Elephant & Castle, London09/11/11
Sisters Hannah and Colette Thurlow famously named their bristly, glowering rock band after a favourite moment on a Melvins song, 2 minutes and 54 seconds in, to be precise. We don’t catch the time but I’d say Corsica Studios really sets alight around twenty minutes into the band’s taut, brassy and surprisingly upbeat set. The sisters are joined on stage by a live drummer and bassist, one of them called Joel, it soon transpires, much loved by an increasingly familiar friends-and-family audience.
An opening barrage of stuttering, repetitive grunge gives way to an energised drive, full of hooky grooves and kicks forcing movement from the otherwise still south London hole of this back-street venue. A promising punk approach scattered the band’s early live shows, but a scrub of soap seems to have cleansed 2:54’s grubby edges – time will tell if this is detrimental. Their joyful attitude and ballsy stage presence is what carries tonight though, and ‘Got a Hold’ is the clear catalyst in a set that’s gripping in a chilling fashion, albeit inconsistently.
The next level is comfortably found and the band’s sheer exuberance washes over. Shades of noughties grunge queen Brody Dalle spit out from the stage, although we’re not sure she would have digged Colette’s foray into the robot dance as the night reached its gritty denouement.
By Ian Roebuck
Originally published in issue 32 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. October 2011.