Com Truise in London

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  • In the hours before Com Truise's recent London performance at Madam Jojo's, the sultry sounds of Victoria & Jacob coaxed the crowd close within the velvet-effect surrounds of the sometime cabaret club Madame Jojo's with their moody soundscapes. While simple in their construction, V&J's songs were enjoyable and festively-electronic enough to be an adequate opener for a character consciously immersing himself and his surroundings with electronic equipment of all sorts. In fact, the Oregon five-piece STRFCKR, who then squeezed onto the pool table-sized stage before Com Truise, AKA Seth Haley, were also an appropriate part of the lineup, slotting their Fisher-Price shards of guitar kaleidoscope onto laser beams alongside kazoo vocals. Haley appeared with a very "no bullshit" strategy: a couple of his beloved synths, an effects pad, an unexpected live drummer—definitely no laptop ("computers suck" hollered the New Jersey-based headliner yelled at one point) Haley's productions are sharp and rolling, and wouldn't, on paper, seem to benefit from live percussion. However, when those snares are tightened and the hats are expertly close-mic'd, at many points it was impressively difficult to source the origin of the sounds—be they from the drum kit or Haley's rig. Of course, this was assisted by Madam Jojo's comfortable sound system, which provided a pleasant relief from the volume of similar underground holes, and might partly explain the popularity of White Heat's Tuesday night showcases.