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Issue 142 Online Bonus Review - ROYAL BRAT, CULT BOY, DUBB NUBB
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Dubb Nubb getting the summer night started

Saturday May 28, 2016 Cafe Berlin, Columbia

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Cult Boy's last perfomance before the move

Well it's officially Memorial Day weekend here in the States. With that, summer is here in all but the Summer solstice (which goes down in late June). The days are warmer and getting longer and while many still have work, most schools have let out and there is a sense of possibility not often accessible during the school year for many. As for me, I;m still looking for a second job as my first one seems to ebb and flow. While it's not easy I'm trying to adjust and had plans to visit a friend in KC this weekend. However, his work schedule on Saturday freed me up to see this show. So, I headed out to the sticks with a loaded car, stopped by a friend's house, and headed over to Cafe Berlin for this show.

It had been a while since i saw Dubb Nubb live so their inclusion on this was an added bonus (during a weekend house sitting earlier this month I ventured out to try and see them only to run into massive road construction). Hannah and Delia got the night off to an enjoyable start with some indie folk (for lack of a better term) built on nylon string guitar, ocassional ukelele and their vocals. Keeping with the spirit of the song, they let the music speak for itself and didn't embellish it with lots of effects or added stuff (drum loops, samples, etc). Dubb Nubb may seem to be an unexpected choice for this bill but their music guided the crowd with a sense of enjoyment and unpretentiousness that felt good.

For Cult Boy this was going to be a bittersweet gig as it was Jessie's last show in Columbia before moving to New England (Providence, I think). Because of this she wanted to make the show count. With just her ukelele, she performed a set of melodic indie rock with poppy leanings. While largely personal, she did veer into larger issues with a song about sexism and how it undermines young women in the process. There was a bittersweet feel here due to the impending move but Cult Boy offered up an affable and catchy farewell to her life here in Columbia and told us to stay tuned for Royal Brat.

After a few minutes to set up Royal Brat came on stage and take the night to a new level. The Minneapolis based quartet blasts out some high energy punk rock that walks a line between vintage hardcore and elements of melodic, even indie, rock. Driving guitar and aggressively tight rhtyhms grab the audience and refuse to let up as their songs tackle issues ranging from sexual assault to relationships, amongst other things. While the set was brief it had enough power to light up the block for a couple of hours both in terms of music and stage performance (especially, but not solely, due to the vocalist's stage presence). Royal Brat is adding its own spin on punk rock tropes and making something inventive and exciting along the way. This is one of those bands you really need to see live to fully comprehend.

Then the show was over. While people milled about to get merch or pay bar tabs I was motivated t o do an interview (see the upcoming print issue for that - ed) and see what made the headliners tick. Eventually it would be time to head on elsewhere for the night. I ventured to crash before heading out to KC to see a friend/collaborator for the weekend. While I don't totally know what will happen this year the summer at least got off to a good start.

- Boone

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Royal Brat conquers Columbia on their first show there.

All content this page 2016 Boone Stigall/The Trouble With Normal