It’s been a hell of a year for Canada’s very own Viet Cong. Back in September, their band name was deemed insensitive to many people as it particularly referred to the Vietnamese rebels who fought the Americans during the Vietnam War. So after much deliberation, the band released a full statement regarding the situation that states they’ll decide the new name in time for their second album. However, in the short space of time in the music industry, they have crafted one of the most refreshing and experimental albums in recent years that has won them many accolades across the globe.
After being asked to play at ATP’s Nightmare Before Christmas Festival, it looks as though if Viet Cong has a free day to perform a very low-key headline show of their own whilst they are in the UK. Their choice to play was in Ramsgate Music Hall, which has been nominated in NME’s Best Small Live Music Venue. What a perfect way to spend your day off, getting to discover a lovely seaside town and acquaint themselves with the friendly locals of this most admirable venue.
The only support for the night comes from East Kent’s very own Cosmic Thoughts. They perform a progressively ambitious set that leans towards the dark heart of post-punk reminiscent of Joy Division, Kraftwerk and early Tubeway Army, but maintaining an almost grunge-like heaviness akin to Dinosaur Jr. Their stage presence is charmingly natural and the chemistry between this band is rather wonderful to witness. Unfortunately, there were a couple of technical issues during their set regarding one of the guitars, it doesn’t seem to stop their tour de force by any means. Impressive, substantial, and sustaining a high potential for greater things to come, Cosmic Thoughts are certainly ones that are perched on the top of the box looking further afield rather than inside of it.
The venue is absolutely rammed to the rafters, with people standing out in the hallway trying to catch a glimpse of Viet Cong‘s set. They perform the entirety of their debut album tonight and the set sound is absolutely superb. Everything sounds big, bold, and in your face with a touch of supreme finesse, especially with an incredible rendition of ‘March Of Progress’. However, the band are slightly introverted when it comes to crowd communication. They are a group who let the music do the talking – their actions speaking louder than their words. When they talk to the crowd, they are thankful for everyone in attendance and complimentary of the music venue itself. Another slight drawback about their performance is their music sometimes lead one adrift due to some repetitive musical progression.
It’s unlikely we’ll see Viet Cong perform in this size venue again because tonight those 150 fans in attendance witnessed a special transition. Tonight we saw a band who were overshadowed by the controversy of their name, come out to prove to us why they are destined for greater heights. Could this be the last time we witness Viet Cong in the UK as their moniker they are known by now? Definitely. Are we excited to see what comes next? Unquestionably. Here’s to the next step!