Will Preston

Wedgewood Rooms Showcase 2011 Heat 7

by on Aug.22, 2011, under Gigs, Music, Review

Possibly one of the sunniest Sundays of the year. I came to the gig tonight with a glowing red face because I forgot to put on sun tan lotion, as usual. Lack of preparation was a theme for one of tonight’s bands, so I didn’t feel like I was completely alone. The results were very close and the crowd was very large throughout the rest of the night. It felt like it was the final, to be frank.

Join the Rising

Well, for the first band on, they didn’t sound too bad. Not that it was their sound they were playing. Think U2 covering The Cult in a shamelessly upbeat cookie cutter package that thinks it’s far more exciting than it actually is. Granted, the lead singer had a bit of confidence, talent and energy, but his demeanour was less of a rock star and more of a children’s entertainer trying too hard to appeal to the preteen demographic. This was made worse by too much talking in between songs. I’m all for the mid song chin wag, but half a minute later, I’m almost running up to the stage to shout into his ear to start playing; the irony of this being that I didn’t really like their music in the first place. It was pleasant and upbeat, but unoriginal yet dull at the same time. We’ll have to wait until Bono asks for their sound back before Join the Rising could look at going any further.

Citizen Unknown

Dead Man's Dance

These were most regular looking band of the evening. I would say they were regular sounding too, but that would be cruel. Living up to their name, the band entered the stage as quietly as possible in a doomed effort to not be seen. After more than enough second of awkward staring, they kicked in with some formulaic punky rock that was too pop to be punk, but too punk to be pop. From the back, the lead singer looked like a bizarre cross between Charlie Brooker and a darts player. The banter was a bit on the bizarre side; when introducing themselves, the lead singer claimed that the band was from Portsmouth, despite saying this in the most northern accent you can afford. Then he started giving an itinerary of what he plans to do later. I was bewildered, you can be sure of that. Citizen Unknown spent the rest of the set playing some rather samey numbers that started off well, but sounded like the last song they just played. Not the most enjoyable band of the evening, but not the least enjoyable band….

Dead Man’s Dance

These were the least enjoyable band of the evening. The compere didn’t even get a chance to introduce them before they snuck onto the stage and started playing. After roughly half a minute of sloppy by-the-numbers indie rubbish, they pulled the brakes and stalled the entire set due to the drummer snapping his only pair of sticks. No, seriously; that was the reason. I would have used that window to exit the stage in shame, but oh no, it carried on after the most cringing minute all week. There was nothing to rescue here at all. It was like I had just repaired a car made out of cardboard in order to drive to my own execution. Dead Man’s Dance could act as a stark warning to other would be bands about preparation, composition and how to avoid burying your chances at ever playing a gig again. Dead Man’s Dance?! Dead Man Walking, more like.

Guerilla Gorillia

The Founders Of

After seeing that shambles before them, these guys seemed like they would have won the evening. In terms of instrumentation, there was nothing really wrong apart from the lead guitarist suddenly sounding like he was in a different band, but this didn’t happen enough to collapse the set. There was also a cheeky bit of dual guitar harmonisation. The band must have seen my Thin Lizzy t shirt and wanted to impress me on the fly. There were other moments like this where they wanted to show off their talent, but it often felt out of place in their songs. Still, they sounded alright. The problem is that these guys are all very talented technically, but they need to make more catchy songs before they could get a lot more gigs in. The minute that Guerilla Gorilla pen a few hooky numbers, we’ll have a band worthy of regular support, and maybe even a headline gig in a few years.

The Founders Of

This is the third time I’ve seen these guys and they have improved a lot. Still not my bag, but very tight and energetic. They had that poppy ska sound that doesn’t use trumpets, with moments of Radio 1 rock slid in to please the average punter. And it worked; the crowd got going and were shouting for an encore by the end of the set. It was pretty obvious that most of the people there were TFO fans, and it wasn’t just the phalanx of TFO t shirts that gave this away. The only thing that lets them down is that no song really stands out from the set. This didn’t stop them from winning the evening, however.

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