SUPER ADVENTURE CLUB feature for The Skinny
They catch ‘em young at the Super Adventure Club. In South Park, that’s the name of the international paedophile ring that brainwashes Chef and ultimately causes his death. The Skinny caught an Edinburgh-based Super Adventure Club young too. After having only started gigging in November, we were hugely impressed by their performance at Henry’s Cellar Bar in early February.
“There’s no connection there!” insists singer and guitarist Bruce, “We just liked the name 'cos it’s silly.” Despite the group’s newness, these spring chickens have already recorded a debut album and plan to self-release it at the end of April via their MySpace page. “The album’s just to give people something to take away, an example of what we do,” says Bruce, “we might just give some of it away. I want to do a bit of travelling” he adds, agreeing that the ‘new model’ for bands involves the album as a kind of elaborate flyer for the tour.
As you might expect from a band that is two-thirds music teachers, Super Adventure Club really know how to play their instruments. Despite equipment problems the night we meet at Cabaret Voltaire, their show is still a striking display of technique given a soft touch with cooing backing vocals and playful swing. But as they had earlier explained, they have more than one trick up their sleeve to loosen the vibe.
“The dancing guy with the horse’s head is Bee,” bassist Mandy says, “He’s our Bez but he’s more intelligent and better looking” she adds, “even with his horse on!” Bruce chips in: “Some of the stuff we do is quite complicated, so I think Bee dancing about gives people a visual focal point and a bit of energy while we’re noodling away.” To some there is a stigma attached to strong musicianship: you’ll always find casual music fans liable to liken guitar solos of any length to self-flagellation. It’s Super Adventure Club's awareness of this punk-inspired impatience that makes them special; not because of the gimmick of the dressed-up dancer, but because of their determination not to be difficult, despite the complexities of their music.
So far, there’s been precious little to sample on their website, though the wonderfully askew Built in Redundancy went up recently because it’s their only finished song. “I think having nothing online is working in our favour actually, because everyone’s saying ‘give us more tunes!’" says Bruce. “That’s our quietest tune,” Mandy points out, “and then when people see us live there’s all these ridiculous noises!” The “ridiculous noises” made elsewhere are made up of guitarwork somewhere between metal and hardcore punk, vocals that range from unhinged yelling to crooning falsettos, and structures that take lead from prog and math-rock, regularly side-stepping or changing pace to keep things interesting. It’s an ever-imaginative mix that defies easy categorisation, and one that really shouldn’t be as accessible as it is. But if ‘pop’ is perhaps stretching a definition too far, how do Super Adventure Club describe their sound?
Drummer Waz says that they want to "step away from saying ‘we sound like this or that’", before Mandy jokingly blurts “screamo-jazz!” Bruce gets closer to the truth: “We’re pioneers in our genre of...eh...em...no, we’re just the best band around, that’s it.”
Super Adventure Club MySpace