The colors aren’t dimming either, but glowing in jewel tones, from hues of Kitchenaid teal or Mustang red. These fits swimmingly with the heavy necklaces and pave settings emerging in jewelry, but even these accessories have a season or two at most, given their decadence. Then it's back to studs and hoops in shiny silver!
With the reduction in accessories, there will be a return to designer names and logos. If there are less details, layers, and accessories, the one reliable way to stand out fashionably is to have immaculate tailoring (thus requiring upper end design) or to wear the logo of your favorite design house.
Tonight's audience at Exeter's Great Hall is full of dreadlocks, girls with huge ironed mohicans, punks, and trendies. There's a diverse range of ages and we're all here to see the band from the Lower East Side of New York City who since 1999 have been wowing crowds with their crazy stage shows.
For those who don't know about lead singer Eugene Hütz's band they are a six piece multi-ethnic Gypsy punk band made up of immigrants from Eastern Europe. But before the main event there's the support act, singer-songwriter Jesse Malin an acoustic country rocker. Accompanied by another musician on electric guitar, who Jesse later refers to as a nazi German, the pair open with 'Black Haired Girl'. Between songs Jesse has a real moan about the internet generation, perhaps travelling back from Gogol's previous gig in Moscow has put him in a bad mood. The complaining continues with 'Hotel Columbia' and talk of being on the road, the difficulties of getting a veggie meal, and life on the road being fundamentally not all it's cracked up to be. The New Yorkers' temperament improves after mentioning Obama, although he qualifies it saying he's not proved himself to be a nazi just yet.
I have to say to start off with I don't particularly connect with the singer, but after a cover of the Hold Steady's 'You Can Make Him Like You' I start to warm to him. 'Death or Glory' starts with the singer clambering into the pit, and then over the barrier and into the crowd, he commands us all to sit, and we comply. He then wanders about the audience getting people to sing the chorus. a feat that would be impossible in the throng that will engulf the audience in half an hour's time. Overall, however, I can take or leave Mr Malin, and could think of several more suitable support acts. As he leaves, with more vitriol towards social networking and anti-social people in the modern world, the crowd fills up the atmosphere takes on a festival feel with light poi and glowing bangles appearing at the back of the crowd.
The crowd explodes in numbers as the bar empties, as the lights drop, and Eugene Hütz greets us with just an acoustic guitar to sing 'Illumination' and in particular the lyric, "There is no us and them." The band slowly join in as the song continues until all six members are present. Once the band kick in the crowd begin to bounce, and they just don't stop. The massed throng move on a pounding rhythm, as core members Russian pair violinist Sergey Ryabtsev, and Yuri Lemeshev on accordion, combine with the frenetic guitar work of Israeli Oren Kaplan, and the phat punky chops of bassist Thomas Gobena from Ethiopia, whilst led from the front by the bandy legged, moustachioed Hütz.
It's cabaret meets punk with folk, and global dub rhythms, and from 'Punk Rock Paranda' the singing is hardly audible over the din of the crowd, and the band. They play a set predominantly loaded with songs from 2005's 'Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike' their third album, and a few from 2007's 'Super Taranta!' The songs are punctuated by the arrival of the two dancers/drummers who add to the cabaret feel, dressed first as harlequins in high heel boots and then in nu rave costumes with a big bass drum that has twinkling lights inside it.
The two girls keep up the pace of the dancing in the crowd, and other band members also gesticulate at the crowd to move even more! Hütz twirls on one leg, the band take a breather sitting on the speaker wedges to survey the crowd, but neither our dancing nor their music slows.
By the time 'Tribal Connection' starts, the crowd are starting to get a bit ragged, and the music is intensely loud, we can hardly hear a word of the lyrics but it doesn't matter as the driving gypsy punk has us in its grasp. The crowd is almost as much of a spectacle as the band. Even going to the very back of the hall reveals that no one is motionless in here tonight. clearly the fact this is one of only four shows in the UK has brought fans from far and wide.
It's a right old knees up, there's calls of "hey, hey, hey!" as the band finish their set, and during the breather I notice that local band 3 Daft Monkeys are also in the crowd tonight. As 'Start Wearing Purple' begins to a huge cheer, as Hütz sings, "We don't need no education" and the crowd are bathed in purple, and for the first time I can hear the music well enough to note that there's additional synth trickery going on in the mix.
Final song 'Think Locally, Fuck Globally' is just a sweaty, steaming orgasm of a tune, which seems to go on forever, and the crowd brings the house down as the band leave the stage. It's been a performance of monumental energy. To get some idea of how amazing a show this is, my daughter pleads for a NYGP (New York Gypsy Punks) T-shirt at the end of the show, as they are "the coolest live band in the world!" High praise indeed, and I have to say judging by the energy they've generated amongst the sweaty throng, who haven't let up in over an hour and a half, it's quite possible she's correct. There's very few acts where I have witnessed the whole crowd in motion throughout a gig, even in the spaces between the seats upstairs they've been dancing, something I've not seen here since Therapy? a very long time ago now.
Megan, the bride looks like a doll in her insanely wonderful dress with its polkadots and petticoats. She is a little punk, fairy Audrey Hepburn. And that's a combination that I would never have thought would work but doesn't it just?
And talk about a dapper groom. David is the same shape as The Boy; tall, skinny and broad shouldered and reminds me just how surprisingly fantastic The Boy looks in a waistcoat.