If you’re unfamiliar with The Computers, there isn’t much I can do to help you understand them. Around this time last year I interviewed front man Al Kershaw (read it in full here), and he described his band as “the answer to and cause of all of life’s problems. The perfect topping on your favourite pizza, and that stabbing pain of heartburn. We will make you smile and cry, make you feel so alive you want to die. Throw you into thought, or push you to insanity. But most importantly you will dance yourself back to reality.”
This is about as basic as it can be put. Or, you could just call it rock n roll.
Before these cultural heavyweights take the stage on Friday however, it is the turn of local boys Bite The Buffalo, bringing their brand of bluesy rock ‘n roll to Devizes’ Corn Exchange. Brothers Miti and Stos race through a set fuelled by filthy guitar tone after filthy guitar tone, bringing comparisons to The White Stripes and The Black Keys from pretty much everyone in the room. Finishing on the title track from their latest album “Blue Lips”, the Zambian duo have certainly won over some new fans tonight, by the movement of feet in the room.
A brief break between bands is littered by motown, ska, punk and soul from the sound desk, and then all of a sudden, it’s time. The Computers take the stage, and Kershaw takes little time in swinging his mic stand around, leaping off the stage, and engaging each and every person in the room. Their soul infested 50s rock n roll is infectious, making it impossible to stand still. An odd move is made by the band in opening with a brand new track (from an album due this year, if Al is true to his word), but they’re soon racing through material from the effervescent second album ‘Love Triangles Hate Squares’, and favourites such as ‘Mr. Saturday Night’ and ‘CRUEL’ have us singing our hearts out, bowing at the feed of this rockabilly locomotive, Kershaw the conductor upon high.
The Computers are one of the most unusual, diverse and culturally relevant bands in the UK today. Their first record was breakneck punk rock, their second had those punk sounds but oozed motown and soul, and lord knows what the third will bring. All I know is that tonight, they have brought style and passion to Devizes in a wonderful set that brought everything; sharp suits, sweat, stage dives and plenty of dancing. This is a band that you must experience live, and after tonight’s set, the live band expectations of everyone in attendance has just been raised. Devizes Festival is rockin’.