The Nob Out Womb... This is Girl Core

Miss Pain - Railway Inn - November 2005

by Matthew Golding

As special guests at the Sinistry of Mound’s girl themed event at Winchester’s Railway Inn, Brighton-based trio Miss Pain seem to look more than at home amongst the (hormonally confusing) line up of super-bra DJs and hairy men in elegant frocks. They may have chosen a name that sounds like the title of that magazine your older brother used to keep stashed under those shoeboxes in his wardrobe, but actually they’re something more sordid even that that. Having as much in common with saucy cabarets as with other bands, Miss Pain’s set is a theatrical affair filled with sleazy synth noise, electro-rock, retro beats, S.T.D. love, choreographed warm-up routines and the use of a theremin – seemingly just for the perversity of the thing. Costumed in a suit and ball gowns, Dom, Sarah and Verity Pain take their love for all things glam and, aided by props, keyboards, guitar and a pantomime attitude, inject it with a vein of camp filth and knowing winks to the audience. Vocal duties are split between solos, enthusiastic duets and the occasional shout down a megaphone. This, combined with the kookiness of the sound and broad retro influences, adds a certain variety to the set but despite the thrillingly meaty synth and studied presence of the beats the music is repetitive and a little thin at times. It lacks presence in the mid range and even takes a back seat to the visual fun. But the whole affair is essentially a one night stand – an array of guilty pleasures, oh so glorious yet mind meltingly shallow. But Miss Pain make no apologies for that – in fact, it’s the basis of their appeal. You may have seen it all before but this is a glamorous, naughty side show. Pure and simple… endearingly retro, filled with electro noise, wilful abandon and Monster Mash fan appeal. Like your brother’s skin magazine, you get what you pay for and expect nothing more. Just don’t tell Mum, or it’s Chinese burn time.