In 2009, The1234Shoreditch was plagued by eight years of rainfall in five hours. Or at least that’s how it seemed at the (wet) time. A year on, it’s not just the weather that’s largely improved – the lineup also shames what’s been before, with Fucked Up sitting atop a bill previously crowned with The Rakes. Below Canada’s hardcore royalty are Vivian Girls, Wavves, Dum Dum Girls, These New Puritans and Comanechi, but two extra large crowds amass for two extra large bands, separated by various oddities and levels of ridiculousness.
Peter Hook presenting the whole of ‘Unknown Pleasures’ without a hand from anyone else involved with the seminal record’s creation was, let’s face it, never likely to be great, but as the bassist warbles through Joy Division’s and post-punk’s greatest work, sometimes imitating Ian Curtis’ baritone croak but mostly giving it a Vic Reeves club singer spin, most soon trade the red-faced novelty for Flats in the Rough Trade Shops tent. In Hooky’s defence, as clearly misjudged as his performance is – and regardless of his motives – he couldn’t have performed in front of a more difficult audience. The 1234 folk not only know ‘Unknown Pleasures’ like the back of their Ray Bans but, quite rightly, adore every second of it. And even if they didn’t, there’s a definite sense of the unimpressed hanging around Shoreditch Park – Wavves getting mumbles of “fuck off” between songs, for no real reason; Fucked Up receiving a reception far more muted than their ferociously belched set deserves.
The Silver Machine (a super group covers band featuring Bobbie Gillespie, Glen Matlock and Zak Starkey) are therefore the clear hit of the day, holding the impressive crowd they pull with renditions of Troggs, Creation and MC5 songs that have Gillespie characteristically snaking about in a black cowboy shirt and Matlock resting a boot on his monitor. They’re good, and so too is The1234Shoreditch, at heart and in style.
By Stuart Stubbs
Originally published in issue 20 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. August 2010