On a cold Monday night we migrate from nursing a pint in The Kingsland pub for over an hour to the short line outside Cafe Oto. After some grumbling about the doors not being opened fast enough we’re on our way in. In the absence of a stamp my wrist is scored with a marker pen and we make our way to a small table right in front of the stage.
The night starts with Jack Shirt who plays a kind of sinister fairground music on a guitar and an array of effects pedals. The music is hauntingly beautiful but the feedback often spirals beyond his control and he finally apologises and gives up. The crowd applaud warmly in support, and Jack looks a little dejected as he packs up. We decide to grab his CD-R, nicely packed in a felt pouch and wait for the main event.
Similar technical difficulties occur near the start of Carla’s set as Francesco Guerri’s cello falls silent and he frantically unplugs effects pedals to try locate a fault. Thankfully with two on stage Carla happily jams away on her guitar until the problem is solved and they launch into the first song. One of the highlights of the night is when Carla lays down her guitar to perform Baby That’s The Creeps. Carla wanders through the audience, brushing past audience members and knocking over furniture, captivating the room with her intense performance. When I start to shiver I’m unsure if it’s really because of the cold.
As the set ends Carla asks if she’s played a good amount, gesturing the length of the set with her hands. After shouts of “more” and rapturous applause Francesco and Carla return for an encore.