Will Preston

Wedgewood Rooms Showcase 2011 Heat 5

by on Aug.15, 2011, under Gigs, Music, Review

And so ends a four day booze and culture odyssey with the next heat in the age old tradition of the Wedgewood Rooms Showcase. I was promised a fair selection of dirty rock, but alas, I didn’t get the call in time to refit myself with some leather and long hair. The night went pretty smoothly and Martin Hoare’s burnt pizza served as mascot for the entire evening. At no point did I attempt to eat it. Neither did the following acts.

Platform Location

It’s always the young band that starts off the night. I have to say there was a bit of promise at the start with these guys, but after a minute in, my ears started to twitch. Another minute passed and I realised that the reaction I was having was due to a subtle mistake with Platform Location: the singer was slightly flat in places. It does sound like I’m picking away at a couple of nits, but it almost ruined a few pleasant sounding emo slash alternative numbers from being as best as they could have been. There were other moments where they were slightly out of time and the mid song banter seemed to have been abandoned. But I have oodles of respect for them for training up a last minute bassist, as they so proudly announced. A seemingly inexperienced and mildly pleasant band with some potential.

Grumpy Apples

Velvetine

Seriously, there should be a street named after this guy now. The most persistent man you’ll ever see wearing shorts and a tank top. Armed with a guitar and a foot drum, Grumpy Apples has always managed to produce more noise than a standard four piece. Belting out red raw blues to a gaggle of bewildered punters, there was no shame in this act whatsoever. All through the set, I kept wondering how thick the irony could be, and whether or not this was intended to be tongue in cheek. If this guy carries on any longer, a tank top wearing blues based cult will develop and I’ll be forced to talk sense everyone before they fulfil an apple based suicide ceremony…in Guildhall Square.

Velvetine

I got a red hot tip that there would be an Aussie style hard rock band on the cards for this evening, and I correctly guessed which one by name alone. Looking young enough to be ID’d at the bar, Velvetine toddled on to stage looking like a meek GCSE project, but ended up sounding like a top AC/DC tribute act. Ironically, that was their only downfall. Despite some ace sounding riffs performed almost perfectly, the whole thing was clichéd to the point that it was like hearing early Def Leppard playing in some kind of time warp. But in an endearing way, of course. The worst part of it was that, despite this blaring disadvantage, I couldn’t help but nod my head and get into their songs. After all this time trying to progress my music taste into the realms of absurdity and avant garde, I still have a raging soft spot for a bit of old school rock. Could someone please put these guys on again?

Forest Floors

Forest Floors

Within ten seconds, I had these guys summed up with a noise: an aroused gasp. I’m not into the whole powerful sounding emotional sound that modern alternative rock is saturated, but Forest Floors could have talked me into it without saying a word. They all looked like they had school in the morning, but played like they intended to come in late next morning. Not only did they play like a band that has been going for years, but they managed to swing over the hard to avoid pitfall of playing too many samey songs. I’m not kidding; each one still kept my attention going. They were obviously going to win by the time they finished their second song. I can really see these guys going far.

The Vortex Buzz

At first, I thought I wasn’t going to like these guys, but they started to warm up a fair bit after the first song rang out. A casual looking garage rock band that riffed their way through the set. They looked like the oldest band there, but played like they only just got together. They weren’t terrible, they just felt like they still needed to find their sound and build their stage presence. I still found myself jigging to a few songs before I realised that the riffs started to sound alike. They were still pretty good riffs, mind. Maybe with a bit more work and confidence, we’ll see an improved Vortex Buzz next year.

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