Another busy week, more rushing around like a headless chicken and the chance to go to a gig with the usual heavily lidded eyes for company (and no I ain't been on the green). A cider in the awful student lounge that is Big Hands and a read of the paper (or tits, lies, bigotry and crossword rag) and up to the Academy I strolled (emphasis on stroll). Upon arriving I chatted with the dude on the door whom I have known for ages but whose name slips away like an eternal mental eel and then moved on to chat with the ever amiable STP crew - Sam, Babs and Stu Taylor. Always solid refreshing company and off their arses contributing to the scene - top stuff!
So to the gig and the first act of the night, namely Barrington Mozart and Friend. I knew of this duo but had still yet to catch up with them so was looking forward to having a see what they are all about. Just a dude on guitar and a chap on drums this two-piece made a fine old racket despite being low in numbers. The crowd at this stage seemed to bode well for the night ahead and responded well to the sonic puke the guys on stage ejected. To get some insight into the inner workings of the crew is best achieved by looking at their facebook biography - 'Born from Satan's pipe, these two Furness madheads tried many a musical outfit together before settling on their current pseudonyms and agreeing on the 'no rocking in stockings' rule. Formed in 2005, BMAF will never die'. Mmmmm - quite enlightening. Both players worked in unison and hit several good highpoints with the stickwork mightily impressive. The solo piece was well delivered and a wrap around number that repeated several rhyming lines was one that appealed although what its was called is anyone's guess. There is something light-hearted about the crew but something more serious and you can't help but think that given more encouragement and a little more dedication the songs can progress and become even more impressive. Again for a full assessment I would have to view several times but I stand by these initial thoughts and would gladly recommend them to the musically curious.
Wank, discordant, without focus, wank, out of tune, wank, out of time, wank and in need of a fuckin' good shake up - well that's Dirty Jack assessed and time to move on. What more can I say? Starting with a weak signature tune and ending in a chaotic mess that was just embarrassing this was a moment to forget. Individually there is something to work with but on this showing there isn't one good thing to say - oh sorry there is - wank!
The Strive next and with a distinctly alternative edge that was sprinkled with post-punk and lightly flavoured with independent rawness I found myself not thoroughly taken but in appreciation of a unit who have built something to work upon. Musically things were pretty well delivered and offered an undulating mix of variously paced numbers that offered different acoustic angles to examine. The only gripe I have is that the singing in parts seems a little off key and is perhaps an area they need to work at. The lighter numbers that had more spring in the string seemed to fare a little better and this is a band I wouldn't mind catching up with in 12 months to re-assess and see what progression has been had. Watch this space!
Lastly The Pyratz. Two viewings I had had recently of this crew - the first unimpressive, the second quite good. What would tonight bring? Well the instrumental intro was just the start needed and rocked, riffed, rolled and ransacked and to be honest oozed a confidence that displayed a band that meant business. A really solid opener for sure! The next two numbers kept the flow going with the only flaw being the vocals not loud enough much to the frontmans annoyance. Drums were clattered big time here and a certain settled flamboyance was oozing from the stage. This is very much Americanised whiskey jack music with obvious essences of New York punk but looking at their facebook site I see they like a bit of Tank too (darn those Filthy Hounds of Ages). With vocals back in order the set rolled and after a bit of naughty name dropping (oh no) a tribute was played to the Dolls which was pretty fuckin' hot. Kitty Liquor apeared at some point and added some extra sexy visuals and money throwing mayhem within the weave of a grand song but the best was yet to come with 'Ring of Fire' sounding immense but amazingly outshone by the following number which brought a new gob to the fore and which really did the job. What the fuck was that song? By far and away the best of the night and rippling with riffage, delivered with passion and combining 2 mouths that operated with startling effect this was a moment to savour. But - a check of the clock and oh shite - time for Fungal to go get his lift. What went on after this I have no idea but I was more than happy to shift my arse on such a good note and hoped that the ones in attendance were going to get more of the same. The best band of the night by a long way!
So the good, the bad and very ugly on one gig and thank fuck the best was saved until last.
Crowd wise it was not as good as expected and wondered why this was. 2 other gigs in the local area, general laziness and just the usual 'I'll be there' but have no intention of Facefuck bollocks and therein the answer lies. A few band members worked their arses hard for this and got left cold on the night – not fair tha’ knows. Ok it wasn't the greatest gig but if you don't go you won't know - you'll just have to take my word for it - and that ain't gospel. Wake up, wake up – some people are trying in this scene!
review by OMD (27 May 2011)