Live review: !!! (Chk Chk Chk) at Exeter Phoenix
Manon Martini reviews !!! (Chk Chk Chk)’s gig at Exeter Phoenix.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when offered a press pass by Exeposé to go and see the Brooklyn disco-rock band, !!! live at the Exeter Phoenix. Pronounced “Chk Chk Chk”, the band promises to push boundaries and break free from restrictive genre labels through their weird and rhythmic live gigs.
Personally, I’ve always been into a wide range of music. I grew up on ABBA and Britney Spears and spent my teenage years listening to anything from Fleetwood Mac to Harry Styles. Naturally, when asked about my personal taste, I often find myself saying, “I don’t know, I kind of like a bit of everything”- a cop-out answer but true nonetheless. If, like me, you can’t quite put a finger on your taste, !!! Might just be the band for you. From rock to house, R&B to disco, their sound is a vibrant mashup across generations and genres and their set promises good music, good vibes and maybe even ‘A Little Bit (More)’.
From rock to house, R&B to disco, their sound is a vibrant mashup across generations and genres
Whilst there is something endearing about a band that looks like a group of dads rocking out down the local pub, Meah Pace (lead vocals) brings an undeniable flare of soul, rhythm and youth to the group. Pace stole the show on Monday with her powerhouse vocals, mesmerising dance moves and all-around killer stage presence. Meanwhile, Mario Andreoni (guitarist) brings a knowing tranquility to the stage that perfectly balances Nic Offer’s (frontman) diva presence. This is not to say he doesn’t bring it- Andreoni is an undeniably talented musician and I enjoyed watching him shred from his little corner of the stage.
No review of the band would be complete without mention of Nic Offer. With his mop of grey hair, extremely short shorts and at times, comically questionable vocals- Offer brings all the good vibes to the stage. He didn’t let his energy drop for a second and was quite literally bouncing off the walls throughout the set. Knowing how to work a crowd, his collaborative dance moves alongside Pace became emblematic of their diverse and innovative musical style.
The band performed songs from their new album Let It Be Blue including ‘Panama Canal’ and my personal favourite ‘A Little Bit (More)’. Whilst the trippy lyrics of ‘Panama Canal’ are audibly satisfying, ‘A Little Bit (More)’ incorporates minimal drum and bass beats with robotic vocal hooks to create a Fat Boy Slim vibe with a Brooklyn twist.
If I had one quarrel with the gig, it would be the crowd demographic. Whilst I acknowledge that 48-year-old mum of three, Susan has just as much of a right to boogie as anyone else, I feel the publicity team need to work to create a student fan base so that this band can receive the youthful recognition and club atmosphere that they deserve. It’s a band’s willingness to progress with the times that makes or breaks it. To quote Offer himself, “We have to keep pushing”.
All in all, it was a fun night out. Despite their, un-say-able band name and fan demographic, I’d recommend going to see !!! live if you ever get the chance.