"We heard that Cocaine Piss is the new promise in Belgium. Is that true?", murmured Mish Way on stage. The White Lung frontwoman has understood it well. Both the Belgian Cocaine Piss and the Canadian White Lung shook us up when we went to see them at Trix, Antwerp.
Cocaine Piss is a Liège threesome that caught the attention of Steve mister-I’m-the-producer-of-every-cool-band-from-Nirvana-to-Raketkanon Albini after only two singles. Their songs are powerful statements, each one taking not much more than a minute or so, but the way it's done is mindblowing. Aurélie Poppins sings like she’s the madwoman finally released from Rochester’s attic, moving among the audience, handing out the microphone, falling, screaming,… Yet there wasn’t any moment in their set that felt agressive, she’s clearly just having a ball. “It’s funny to see how men react when I’m screaming in their face.” Aurélie told us in an after-gig chat. “They don’t know how to deal with it. While the girls just smile and have a laugh.”
Cocaine Piss’ attitude of mischief and folly is highly contagious (describing themselves as “the best band in the world” on YouTube made us crack up). It’s obvious that they are made of 100% original punk fibre. “You should definitely start your own band, it’s so much fun! It doesn’t matter if you can’t play shit.” Aurélie recommends us, proving my hypothese that pink-haired chicks are the coolest (like Dilly Dally’s Katie Monks or me, when I finally figure out how to use dye properly).
White Lung’s set was at least equally remarkable. The musicians came on stage in a nonchalant way, yet from the beginning on, it struck us how singer Mish Way’s a powerful presence, one of those people with a natural star quality to envy. The foursome from Vancouver played a set of about 45 minutes with tracks that were mostly taken from their last LP titled Paradise, an album on which they have softened their edges a bit but still leave you to catch your breath with buzzing guitar lines from Kenneth “Kennie” Williams and Anne-Marie Vassiliou’s vigorous drumming.
White Lung’s often compared to Courtney Love’s Hole, which is a rightful comparison but the band clearly has their own way of doing things. Mish Way lets her voice be heard on the internet as well, as she writes on music and gender for publications as Vice and Rookie, and has her own sex and relationship advice column called “Sex, with Mish”. We can say for sure that “Trix, with Mish” was quite the experience. And although we missed our tram to the station by refusing to leave until the very last chord was played, it didn’t matter, for White Lung took our breath away (in a non-sentimental way of course, we’re still cool).