The Sexual Objects rock The Old Queen’s Head
Currently in the throes of their first promotional tour of the UK, Sexual Objects are nonetheless old hands in the music industry, and the brainchild of cult post-Punk figure Davy Henderson, founder of the Fire Engines and Nectarine No. 9. Those sadly-defunct bands had a considerable influence on the jagged, cerebral stylings of Franz Ferdinand and their ilk, but Henderson’s new outfit is more relaxed, and indebted to US indie veterans Built To Spill and Yo La Tengo – all meandering and evocative guitar jams, which suit Henderson’s limited vocal range to a T and allow his chiming, discordant guitar license to roam.
There is a palpable degree of nervousness as they take the stage in the intimate Old Queen’s Head venue in Islington – despite their experience, it seems like they have to learn the ropes all over again, and matters aren’t helped by Henderson being hopelessly out of tune even before the first song. However, this raggedness somehow works to their advantage: the first few tracks (including You’re All Over and the title track to their forthcoming album Here Come The Rubber Cops) start in shambolic fashion, before the band gel imperceptibly and gain confidence as the songs progress, as if they had stumbled on that final killer chord progression or harmony for the first time right there on stage.
Things take a decidedly retro halfway through, with the introduction of Subway Sect singer and all-round underground legend Vic Godard, who takes over on lead vocals for a sizeable chunk of the set and allows Henderson to concentrate on wringing yet more tortured tones from his amplifier. Inevitably the material veers towards more traditional post-Punk fare in the Buzzcocks or Fall mould, with a rare airing of Godard’s own Parallel Lines getting the crowd going. However some of the unquantifiable magic is lost in the proceedings, and you get the feeling that if the crowd is in the mood for a trip down memory lane at all, it would ideally be in the form of a short Fire Engines set. Sadly, the vintage material doesn’t get an airing, but from the new songs played this evening, it seems the future is equally bright for Henderson and his bandmates.
Photos: Keira Cullinane