Everyone is familiar with the particular kind of sadness that comes when a band you love breaks up, the gigs you’ll never get to experience again, the thrill of a new release that will never happen. So it follows that there’s probably nothing worse (musically speaking anyway) than discovering an incredible band, after they’ve split up. In the case of Nosferatu D2 we were all somewhat on the backfoot to start with, as their incredible album ‘We’re Going To Walk Around This City With Our Headphones On To Block Out The Noise’ was released two years post-humously. It’s thanks to the efforts of the excellent record label Audio Antihero that you can hear them at all. You’d be forgiven for thinking that with basically all ND2’s recorded music having been released and no intention of reunion that there’s nothing more left for ND2 to five, but in typical AAH fashion, almost magically they’ve produced a new release.
It’s a live recording of ND2’s last ever gig, supporting Los Campesinos! and Sky Larkin. Described as a “DIY” recording, you might be expecting something fuzzy and unlistenable, but that’s not the case at all. Remastered by Benjamin Shaw (of ‘There’s Always Hope There’s Always Cabernet’ fame) this album captures the messy power that gives ND2 such a charisma and pull. Crashing cymbals, emotive vocals and some truly unbelievably good drumming, framed with the occasional mumbled “cheers” and the audience’s reactions. There’s also a track not on ‘We’re Going To Walk Around…’ called ‘A Man At War With Himself’ which is fast paced, furious lo-fi indie at its best and shows just how good ND2 really are/were.
What was always my favourite song of the album ‘Flying Things And Pests’ is brought somewhat further to life than the album version. With the barely audible murmurs of the crowd adding some great atmosphere and the dark, honest lyrics giving extra punch – which combined with lead singer Ben Parker’s vocals, quivering with feeling, create something really special. Parker achieves a particular kind of honesty and wry humour with his clever way with words, the opening lines of ‘2 People, 0 Superpowers’ embodies this talent “a heart with no soul is just offal, and a soul with no heart is something I don’t wanna talk about today”. Lines like this, and the gloomy descriptions of everyday life are widely applicable in that very specific way that can lead a band to real success, but more importantly create music that really means something.
This live album is partly a way to discover just how good ND2 were, but nostalgia and hindsight aside, it’s a very good listen in its own right. Seeing a band live is often a good way to refresh music that you’ve over-listened to, and if you’ve been suffering (as I have) from having only ten ND2 songs to listen to, ‘Live At The Spitz’ is the perfect way to re-engage with the band. But that’s not to say that it’s only for ‘fans’ of ND2, it will lead new listeners to discover a truly vibrant and enjoyable band.
Words by Mel Reeve
You can stream the album in full below or download it for free via Bandcamp.