Will Preston

Music

Is it too prog rock to play two consecutive sets?

by on May.27, 2011, under Gigs, Music, Review

My advice to anyone travelling into London to see a gig at the 02 Arena: Seriously think things through. Are the tubes working? Are you familiar with the overly elaborate London bus system? Do you have a mortgage on standby to pay for cab fair? And is the band really worth seeing so much that you’ll be fine to put up with the bastardised international airport that is the 02 Arena? Let’s just say that getting to the gig the other night felt like an uphill struggle where the hill is made of smelly marshmallows. And then when you finally get to the venue you feel like you’re checking into an airport. It looks like one and all. Never before had I felt like I needed to look for some duty free before a gig. Something’s not right here.

Bow down to Geddy's massive face

But this was Rush, so I was willing to crawl through all obstacles. After scaling the side of a small mountain of chairs, I sat into my seat and as soon as the gig started, a video played featuring the band dressed as characters in a random diner in the seventies. Geddy was the overly Jewish diner owner, Alex Lifeson was the fat inventor of a time machine and Neil ‘best drummer in the world’ Peart was an Irish copper. I won’t bore you with the bizarre details, but let’s just say that Rush have a very odd sense of humour that really didn’t feel out of place at the gig at all. Starting with the twiddlycore hit Spirit of Radio, the band seemed to show just as much energy as most young bands, despite clearly looking a fair bit older. There were no support acts. There was no need for support acts. Rush were playing two long sets. Now that’s what you call true progressive rock.

The first set was hit and miss. Whilst songs such as Freewill, Subdivisions and Stick it Out made the set go by, their decision to play some of the more middle of the road songs like Presto and Time Stands Still made me wonder when the better songs were going to make an appearance. It wasn’t until I realised they weren’t going to play some of my favourites such as The Trees and Xanadu, that I got a bit miffed. But it wasn’t a bad set, it just could have been a bit better. Around this time I also noticed that the sound in the 02 Arena itself was among the worst I have heard. It’s like the design was based on a tin can made of the most echoey material known to man. It was in danger of ruining the sound. I was glad I went with Orange for my mobile provider. If 02 can’t get the sound right at a rock concert, who knows what they’re call quality would be like. But at least it didn’t ruin the bands stage presence.

Canadians can't smile

The second set started with their 1981 album Moving Pictures played in its entirety. It was the 30th anniversary of the album and one of the main things I was looking forward to. Missed half of Tom Sawyer due to hot dog malfunction, but we all know how it goes. Hearing YYZ done live almost made me cry my hot dog out of my face. This was a perfect example of a prog rock instrumental that is totally accessible to an outsider. After the long run of Moving Picture, we had the obligatory drum solo from Neil Peart, who never lets me down. I’m a person who isn’t really compelled by drum solo’s but Neil Peart always turns my head (not in that way!). Ironically, I approved of them playing less of one of their songs in this set. Instead of playing 2112 in its entirety, they were a bit more economic and played the first two parts. Just to confirm, they shortened a twenty minute song to seven minutes. And that didn’t ruin it whatsoever.

For the encore, they okayed an unexpected instrumental (La Villa Strangiato) which has one of the best breakdowns in a prog rock song I’ve heard ever. Even thinking about it now causes my head to bob up and down like it’s try to gain independence. But for the last song, it took me a while to catch on to what it actually was. Turns out it was Working man done in a weird reggae sound at the beginning. After leaving the stage for the third and final time, we were treated with a video of Paul Rudd and Jason Segel (Yes, they were playing the characters from the film I Love You, Man) breaking into Rush’s backstage room. That’s open big band crossed off the list for me to see and hopefully the last time I have to venture to the giant shit tent known as the 02 Arena.

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12 hours on Albert Road – An acount of Southsea Fest

by on Sep.21, 2010, under Gigs, Music, Review

Never drink before something important? Or drink before something important? It all depends on what kind of important thing we’re on about, to be honest. If it’s a hangover contest, snuff ethanol if need be. Reach that finishing line, man! I need to stop drinking before things and should stick to keeping my intake to after. Possibly even during if it’s a slow day at work. This subject is the main focal point when dealing with music festivals and events; how drunk will I get and will I remember enough to take a personal account of it? My notepad became used for once. The untouched fishwife of a stationery accessory was now satisfied…

[Article continues on The Dirty South]

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Wedgewood Rooms showcase 2010 – Heat 9

by on Aug.13, 2010, under Gigs, Music, Review

See what I mean about the vest?

Without over exaggerating, this has to be one of the finest sounding heats I’ve been too. Almost all of the bands were brilliant; which made it really hard as a judge to find criticism. In the end you would have to start nitpicking on pointless aspects of the band. This one uses the C chord too much. The lead singer hasn’t washed his top. The bass guitar is the wrong shade of blue. I could go on.

Right from the start, we already had a contender. How do I start my scathing streak from this? There wasn’t much to complain about at all with Porcelain Coins. Ok, maybe their sound was a bit too poppy, but then again, most songs sound poppy to me (You’re out of your element, Preston). It was typical Indie pop to begin with, but a few songs in, they decided to fire out some bouncy and vaguely original sounding material. A set that improved with time. Providing the acoustic mix against the typical electric set up, the lead singer seemed a competent front man, even when technical issues farted over a couple of well timed points. Nothing wrong, but nothing too amazing.

The Phantom were a surprise. You don’t see many bands doing rockabilly. Rockabilly that isn’t covers. Of course their songs sounded a lot like their influences, but it was very well played. Yet another band who was hard to criticise. The only bad thing to say about them, is that there isn’t a lot of mainstream appeal. Well, mainstream in the Radio 1 sort of way. As for weddings etc. they would have no problem finding gigs. Complete opposite of most bands you see at the showcase; lacking the “wedding factor”. Drumming was a bit rough round the edge. I was very thankful for something to complain about. One thing amused me though; the band wore identical suits with red shirts and black ties. It was Kraftwerk via Eddie Cochrane. And believe it or not, they came out on top and won.

For the first time in this contest I saw banter fall flat on its face. When the lead singer from Rubicon smart mouthed, the crowd didn’t react. Not even in a polite way. It was if, for a second, they mistook him for a bad stand up. The is was the only bad point. That and he was wearing a girls vest. Good cleavage for an A cup. Not much improvement was needed, but this was one of the most generic sounding bands of the night. Something vaguely mod-ish with a sound a lot like 2005. Think Kaiser Cheifs, but less bouncy.

Was there a prized for longest travelled band? I think some people deserve it as compensation for navigating Southsea with equipment in tow. But it’s not a fair and just world, is it? If anyone deserved this award, it was Isle Of Wight based band Goodbye Stereo. Slightly similar to the last band, except for unusually high vocals. Almost Blunt-ish, but I don’t want to be mean. Back vocals were good, but not as unusually high. Not much else to say really. Quite middle of the road in terms of sound and appearance.

Whilst it was hard to find a winner for the evening, we found one band that would not win it: Chromotones. Ok, that does sound a bit harsh, but I mean that with an air of brutal objectivity. It’s not like he pissed on my rug and I’m assuming a vendetta. It was weird rock. Not experimental weird, but not the norm. For some reason the lead singer was attached to a tambourine and was imitating Justin Hawkins. It wasn’t bad, it just needed a hell of a lot of tightening up. Still though, they’re a young band! And the banter was awkward with these guys as well. I came away not really knowing what to say.

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Wedgewood Rooms showcase 2010 – Heat 8

by on Aug.05, 2010, under Gigs, Music, Review

I suddenly feel the urge to rebel and 'take the power back'. So to speak...

Another metal round! Woo! Bring it together with denim and leather. Once again I was to decide which metal band in this metal head was going to get the pointing from the glorified hand…of metal. This heat moved a tad away from pure metal and decided to mix with that rap metal sort of thing that became irrelevant around seven years ago. Get yer red cap on and make some shameful songs!

The first band on is one of the only bands to activate my tickle mechanism. I couldn’t fathom how they saw themselves as a good band. They went by the name of Sidelined and were inconsistent in every way possible. For a start, only half of the members could be bothered to put on the death metal style black and white face paint. The other guys looked like they had been scared into doing it at the last minute. Either that or they simply ran out of face paint backstage. Amateurs. And the band were just sloppy. It was out of time and there was no way I could make out the sound of the guitarist and bassist. The drummer was the only notable member as he was more than capable and stood out a fair bit. As for the rapping, I couldn’t make hip nor hop of it due to the rappers desire to lick the microphone. A band seriously in need of an intense practice session and perhaps a new direction.

Out came a table with a globe on it. With some effect pedals. What the hell was going to happen next. From my research, I saw that the next band on (Drunk On The Blood Of A Unicorn) featured members from the infamous Jez North. A little bit of wee came out. What happened next was a blur. The lead singer, because that’s the closest position I could possibly attach him to, started producing a elongated and terrifying noise from his effect pedal armed microphone-table-globe monstrosity. The drummer came in and then the rest of the band. They only had one song and it lasted for the entire 25 minute set. It can only be described as music to have an enema to. And I loved it. You rarely see anything like this at local gigs. The last 10 minutes did drag a tad though, but that’s the price to pay for originality.

Tonight’s winners were unexpected, but the crown of metal went to Urban Disturbance. Gosport’s answer to Rage Against The Machine. As if Gosport needed one in the first place. I had heard of these guys before and I was gearing myself up for a terrible set, but they were actually not that bad. The songs had my head nodding, it was tight and the two way rap vocal duo was impressive. They had the crowd going ,mainly because they bought most of the crowd with them; a gaggle of teens struggling to get served at the bar and under the impression that this was the most heavy band they would ever see. Bless their cottons. As with most bands, there was room for improvement, but one huge overlying problem hung over them like the turd covered sword of dung-ocles. Twenty years ago, Rage Against The Machine pretty much had this area covered. Urban Disturbance are a formidable Rage cover band at best. Best of luck to them in the semi’s. They might need to bring all sixty residents from Gosport to win.

The last band on were the closest to typical metal. In fact they went past typical and were teetering towards the generic pitfall. Angry man music with a lot of technical guitar paying. A worthy support act to a more establish metal band, but I couldn’t really see these guys breaking out for themselves. The stage presence wasn’t bad at all. Lots of hair swinging, guitar posing and the lead singer moved around a lot. However, the vocals tired after the first song and the set started to grate. A bit of improvement is needed here. That and maybe some more visual distraction from the audio disruption.

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Wedgewood Rooms Showcase 2010 – Heat Three

by on Jul.20, 2010, under Gigs, Music, Review

Photography provided by Martin Hoare

With a rather big diamond in the chuff found last time, this heat was harder to find such guess a winner. There was no band there that was miles above the rest. Just a pool of just about average acts. I didn’t find my foot tapping or my head nodding, so I can’t really see any of the acts featured here making it to the final. However it was still interesting.

 

First up were Real Estate. Can’t say that I warmed to them too well, although their entrance did turn a few heads with its pre-recording cockney yelling. They had the image of a band that kicked arse, but seemed to lack the extra leg that is required to do so. By no means were they crap. Just out of time and generic. Maybe this sort of brand of hardcore metal just isn’t up my street. Either that or they weren’t making the genre jump out for me. That, and the screaming singing got tired halfway through the set and resumed normal speaking tone; the most un-metal of all tones. Could be something if the band had a strong direction instead of just wanting to be in a band.

Preacher are a band that I’ve already reviewed, so by all means skip to the next band. To sum up the bands general sound would be me saying “Imagine the film track to the 1986 Transformers film. Yes. All the songs sounded the same and had an outdated faux hard rock riff heavy mess to it. There isn’t much else to say apart from this band could have turned some heads, ever so slightly, about over 20 years ago at a push.

Now I didn’t expect the next band to win at all. Then again, I didn’t expect any band to win. I expected the outcome to be decided through tic tac toe or Battleships. Whatever was available. The band was let dow2n from the star with equipment issues from the guitarists. I feel really bad singling members out like this, but the guitars really sounded that bad. Bad in a way that’s played through an inferior amp and is behind the singer and drummer; who sounded like the real talent in the band. It was hard to fault just them, but the rest let the band down. Oh, except when the lead singer used the “Ready to Rumble” blurb that gave a creepy P J & Duncan vibe to the set. Looking back on it, I can see why they did win.

Not winning this heat was Freakpit; possibly the novelty act? Now I do think that costumes can be a good idea if you need something to distract the listener into becoming a looker, but it didn’t. It really didn’t, possibly due to the inconsistent costumes or because I would have need a bigger distraction from the music. Again, not because it was bad, but because I’ve heard it all before. Poor man’s Rob Zombie comes to mind. The songs they played borrowed too many clichés from most metal songs in the last 30 years and also included an unwelcome Ting Tings cover. And they ended their set with balloons. Yes. Balloons. It is at this point I bring to your attention that the lead singer was dressed as a clown. Go figure.

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The Wedgewood Rooms Showcase 2010 – Heat Two

by on Jul.15, 2010, under Gigs, Music, Review

Is the one on the left hiding some embarrassing underpants stains in the washing machine?

Every now and again when the laws of nature leave early for the night, handing the work experience kid the keys, A chain of natural occurring events leads to the decision by the Wedgewood Rooms to make me a judge at the Wedgewood Rooms Showcase. It’s one of the biggest battle of the bands in the south and has given a lot of bands the opportunity to expose their talent/lack of (delete where appropriate).

 

Last night’s heat was an interesting one, even though it was more than transparent that the losing bands had no chance whatsoever against the winner. A band known as Mercury Rising had pulled out at the last minute, allowing us to close shop early.

The first band slot is always a light one. Something to ease you into the night. The Fun Bus were that kind of light, despite having a band name with questionable undertones. Only if you read into that sort of thing like I do, mind. I say light, however, it was dull. Rather dull.

When you think of ska, you think of a party with people bouncing and a lot of brass. Well there was a lot of brass, but it metaphorically, and literally, stood to the side of the stage. It didn’t stand out like a good brass ensemble should do. However, fighting for the front of the stage would have turned out into a war as the band had a total of nine players. They could fill up a minibus, easily, but whether or not that will be a ‘fun bus’ is a different matter altogether.

This raised an issue of redundant positions in the band. Two guitarists doing the same thing just muddys the sound. The keyboardist could have filled this part, but wasn’t standing out at all. Nevermind! They’re young and they will learn.

Wood The Monkey. Wood The Monkey do what? I kept scratching my hairy ape head trying to work out if this was a private joke or just a crap name. It certainly provided a needed distraction from the set. It was terrible. Cookie cutter pop rock played sloppily and presented by what can only be described as a fallen children’s TV presenter. At one point he introduced a song by making violent monkey noises. His dignity was obviously popping out for a fag around that point.

I came away from their set with absolutely nothing. Plus the drummers used condom looking hat just angered me. As soon as the last song was finished, I went outside to pinch a fag off the lead singers dignity. How’s that for irony?

I hate it when an obvious winner pops up as you can’t find any criticism. You start staring at them long enough hoping that you can find a chink in their armour to exploit for a couple of words before struggling to extend the words ‘you’re great’ into a paragraph.

What can I say about 10p Short? Well if you like recent Kings of Leon (you’re dead to me if you are) you’ll love this. It’s well performed and professional sounding pop rock with a mature and tender edge to it. Make out music for yuppies, basically.

They even managed a four way vocal harmony which was nothing less than pitch perfect. Damn you 10p Short for not making my job in finding things to improve upon easy. Plus they had the image going on which helped in their favour.

I’m not gay.

When a novelty act comes to these contests, you really need to question if there’s any real future for them. Bobby Random entered the stage dressed up like Mexicans and made everyone howl just by trying to affect an accent. It was funny for a bit, but got rather too silly for my liking.

But they played tightly and were fun to watch. I can’t really see this act taking off unless they focused towards the comedy side of things, but come on; the market for that’s a bit thin around here.

A bit of a mixed heat, but we already have a great contender and some eye candy.

For the women, I mean.

I’m not gay!

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“With great power chords comes great responsibilty”

by on Jul.02, 2010, under Gigs, Music, Review

Justic Force 5

I held that pose through their entire set, it was that good!

Well it’s been a while since I saw a live band and I’ve been going stir crazy after living without the missus for 2 months so I thought I would make best my presence at the Edge of the Wedge. I was told that a band right up my street (well, round the corner from my street, geographically) would be there to rock my much rocked cock off. This is the first review that I do where I wonder into a completely different gig halfway through the night.

Have fun having your mind blown.

Kodiak Jack

Third time seeing these guys and they always tickle my ears. Sounding like Pearl Jam, Velvet Revolver and Soundgarden put into the same heroin hypo. It’s crunchy man rock and I love! I’ve loved them ever since I face palmed myself for screwing up my schedule thus missing the chance for them to guest on my radio show.

Really it’s the inclusion of the backing vocals that do it for me. And bloody good backing vocals they are. When grunge comes back into fashion again, these guys will ride that wave high, quite frankly. Plaid wearing rock at it’s finest.

The Ruderalis

I did not get this band. Don’t make me try as it will just make me dislike them. No that I did dislike them, but there wasn’t a lot to be liked. They sounded tight, played well, but the songs were too hip, too twee and after two songs I left.

To sum it up; Hip indie boys trying to make you happy by excessive upbeat music.

I don’t like being forced to cheer up!

At this point I snuck into the Wedge to catch a local favourite of mine: Contra.

Contra

Can I call it post rock? I may try and get away with giving them that label. It’s that kind of alternative rock you hear that just blows shit away. Very heavy, very shouty and very good! The set started off with a few problems with Russ’s guitar, but the band decided to (according to Adam) make up something on the spot.

Most entertaining, my dear fellow.

The only problem was you could see the floor in the venue; there was hardly anyone there. At this point a single tearsrop splashed on the floor. Support your local music scene, people!

Back to the Edge after a quick smoke on my pipe!

Dendera

I like Dendera. They area a fun band if you like cheesy Eighties metal if you can excuse the instrumentation being a bit rough around the edges. What I saw wasn’t Dendera. Their singer, Dave Hartley, was nowhere to be seen. He was easily the most memorable member. A true showman who looked like he was having the time of his life upstage.

Mr Hartley; where ever you are, please make yourself known!

In his place we had an amateur kareokeist. It was clear that she had next to no practice with the band , not because of the shy stage presence, not because of the out of time and dull vocals, but because she had a friend holding up the lyrics in front of her (photo evidence will be included with this review).

Heavy metal lyrics aren’t the hardest to remember.

Swords. Denim. Leather. Steel.

That’s all you need to know.

The band then ejected this singer halfway to riff off some generic instrumentals, before covering DIO and Iron Maiden.

Rest In Peace Dendera.

Justice Force 5

By far the most amazing entrance that a band has made in this venue. Soaring with the Batman theme tune (1989 film, not ‘na na na na na’) as they made their way to the stage (yes, all 2 meters!) the crowd’s jaws were tickling the floor. I’m still excited from it as I type this.

The idea for the band is sheer genius. They are a team of super heroes who save the world with awesome hard rock. They could survive as a decent band if they focused on either the fantastic superhero stage presence, or the catchy hard rock. But they do both great at the same time.

It’s also the first time I’ve seen pyrotechnics being used at the Edge.

For some reason, the music and the costumes instantly brought to mind the 1998 Matt Stone and Trey Parker comedy film ‘Orgazmo’. Songs titles that stick out include ‘You’re a Bitch, but you got balls’ (‘so put your balls on my balls’ – I had to go to wee from laughing so hard), ‘Fuck me like you Owe Me Money’ and ‘The Organ Grinder’.

During the latter song, we were introduced to the band’s nemesis; The Organgrinder who provided a bloody pantomime in the form of a music battle against the band. Narrative is usually left out of gigs, but it was more welcome here than ever.

If this band had the same budget and space as Alice Cooper has to do a live show, all live acts from then on will be ruined for you.

If grunge comes back into fashion, could we please have a trend for superhero based bands?

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Kick ass rawk, crap Muse cover and Enochian Theory

by on Jun.07, 2010, under Gigs, Music, Review

Enochian Theory - 1

Type EPIC into Google image search and this image comes up followed by a picture of Dio fighting Vlad the Impaler with a motorcycle

There are a small amount of bands that I would be willing to crawl naked on my hands and knees through Southampton to see. Enochian Theory are one of them. So are Rush, but they wouldn’t know what Southampton is let alone play there. But there you go, I ventured out to see a band that put on such a good performance and give the genre of progressive metal a great name that I forgot to get dressed.

As usual, they played their hearts out despite having a poor turnout due to the event being promoted as much as Big Foot’s solo career. Supporting these gods of metal were Preacher, a kick ass rawk band, and Condemed To Sin who couldn’t kick ass if the ass was attached to their feet sharply.

Preacher started the show promisingly with a a typical hard rock sound heard through a dozen bands, but still sounded great and grabbed my interest by the balls. It was just a shame that Condemed To Sin caused a lull in the show by bringing their whooping girly entourage, poor Muse cover and drummer with “Six weeks experience with the band”. This sorry lot decided to make a break for it after their set before anyone had the chance to boo them, something which I was making a run up to do.

Wasted shoe leather for nothing.

Washing the awful sound out my ears were Enochian Theory finally on stage blasting my mind with a ray of energised metal, that not only blew my mind, but sucked it back in as well. For three piece band, they really know how to project their sound. Fans of Tool and Porcupine Tree will drop to their knees when seeing them to be frank. Seeing how empty the venue was, Ben, the frontman, kept a great sense of humour about it and provided high calibre banter poking fun at the situation. A true performer.

The set was flawless and gig left me wanting more. More Enochian Theory, more deserved publicity for this event and more than a 6 week period for a drummer before you gig. Otherwise you just look twattish. But do check out Enochian Theory. In fact, why are you reading this review? Why not go on their website (www.enochiantheory.co.uk) right now and purchase a CD, and another one just in case the other one breaks or gets lodged in a storm drain. It sounds silly, but it does happen!

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Saul Hudson & Chums

by on Apr.27, 2010, under Albums, Music, Review

Slash

He sold his chair to buy more guitars...

He’s probably one of the only people I have ever seen who can display a lot of personality by just not talking (well, him and Clint Eastwood, but Clint still knocks you dead when he says what he needs to say). Probably more famous for his trademark (*cough* Mark Bolon *cough*) hat and hair, Slash is one of the icons of rock that pops up every time you raise a horned fist into the air. Although his new album is considered his debut solo album, I think people are forgetting about ‘Slash’s Snakepit’, his project after splitting up with ‘Guns N’ Roses’. Whilst this new affair and his snakepit was an all star project, We are now presented with a string of ‘guest’s’. Although They don’t feel like guests on Slash’s album; more the other way round. A collection of B sides and guest appearances on other peoples albums rather than a collection of Slash-heavy work.

My main issue with this album from the off is that it’s too bland. Slash has pretty much reached that ‘Eagles-esque’ level of playing dull music that isn’t bad, but isn’t great either. Technically, it’s a good effort, but then again technically ‘Nickelback’s’ back catalogue is as well. And the less said about them the better! This is the kind of album you’d play at a party with no personality; a gathering of unrelated friends – yet again, but like the album itself. What really surprises me is the cameos from people who can usually kick a bit of arse into a dull song. Ozzy Osbourne pops up and makes me want to cut my own head off rather than nod it. Talk about a ‘Suicide Solution’. eh, Ozzy? Even Iggy Pop abandons being vaguely crazy and lulls into the smooth twang that really lets the album down. Same goes for Lemmy’s appearance. But the human house plant, Andrew Stockdale of ‘Wolfmother’, gives the album some worth with his contribution (such a contribution that Slash is nowhere to be heard) with ‘By The Sword’. It deserves the radio play single treatment by far – a great song with power and melody. That , and it doesn’t drift me into an angered slumber.

There’s a cameo by, sur-ruddy-prise, Dave Grohl. I do like the man and he really has talent, but does he have to appear on every all star affair nowadays? Also, there’s Kid Rock abandoning his ‘Twat-Rap’ routine and sounding like every single contemporary rock singer for the last ten years. But he was never that good to begin with, so we’ll let him off with a caution and a £30 fine. If you’re looking to fill the space in your CD collection where a new Velvet Revolver album should be, give it a go. Just don’t expect the next ‘Guns N’ Roses’ album, expect a mayonnaise enema; bland on the whole.

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Porcelain Coins, Champ Of The Day and At Last @ The Fuzzy Duck

by on Mar.28, 2010, under Gigs, Music, Review

Porcelain CoinsWell here I am again down Guildhall walk on a Sunday night at the Fuzzy Duck exactly a month from my last venture. Maybe there’s a voodoo spell going on or something bizarre. As all Sunday nights, this one was generally quiet; the first time I could hear myself think at a gig. After an hour and a half of nice noise from the DJ, the first act came on. It wasn’t my bag in the slightest. The acoustic whining duo proclaimed themselves ‘At Last’ (ironically, the same words I used at the end of the set). I’m not saying they were completely awful. Both musicians were confident and the singer had talent, but what came out was a semi final worthy X Factor song; a hollow pop affair. It kept the gaggle of girly worshippers satisfied, but I didn’t dig it at all, especially when they ended with a cover of ‘Teenage Dirtbag’. That song should be sealed in cement and buried in 2003.

The next act were a slight improvement, but still not hitting it for me. ‘Champ Of The Day’ are your archetypical pop punk band. They were loud, fast and clean shaven. Not a ‘tash among the bunch. In between there songs about young people’s activities and whatnot, there was a tad too much banter. One such run was a “retro” matey talk about wrestling. This led them to play a song about their favourite wrestler. Yes, the set was that kind of nature. Watered down and harmless, but not all that terrible. Well, apart from them playing out of tune slightly, but isn’t that’s what punk is all about? Am I right? They left the stage, but left nothing for me to take away. Bless ’em. Surprisingly, the final band of the evening really turned around the curve and fashioned it into something nice. You can do lots of things with curves, you know. With a big sound that really opened my ears (with interest, not tinnitus),

‘Porcelain Coin’ made me forget there were three bands playing. Here is an act that sounded great and had the confidence to move around the twister mat sized stage they had to hand. It was a shame there were very few people present to witness this deserving act. The vocals were just fantastic; the kind where you’re constantly waiting for them to go wrong. And I mean constantly. They never go wrong. Awesome voice, awesome sound altogether. Finishing of this varied sandwich was DJ Will Chump keeping the atmosphere going til midnight. I wish I didn’t start early on Mondays.

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