Heaven is a gay club most of the time, it's also under a shopping centre, and it's £4.10 for a pint...which I avoided to prevent bankruptcy. Oh, Oceansize played their biggest headline show to date there on Wednesday (so Mike says). The venue is surprisingly cavernous once you get inside, holding 1,625 supposedly. It's pretty cramped inside for 'Size, more so than I expected for sure.
Anyway on to the music and the first band on is Nottingham post-rockers Vessels who are basically like 65daysofstatic but with longer, more expansive songs. They use interesting beats and samples throughout and interestingly they swap instruments after every song as well (not the drummer). Having listened to none of their music beforehand it's a compliment to them that they come across well enough to persuade me to buy their album. Following them come Belfast's And So I Watch You From Afar who have plenty of fans in the building already judging by their reception. They're about as close to punk as post-rock is ever going to get and they play maniacs. Whilst the sound could be better and they are twice annoyed by a stupendously dull heckler, they are certainly a great live act.
No, they're not as good as Oceansize, did you really expect them to be? Despite numerous sound problems throughout their set the Mancunian art rockers are brilliant. New songs such as sludgy opener 'Part Cardiac' are just as impressive as old cuts like 'You Can't Keep A Bad Man Down', which sound as fresh today as the day they were first cooked up in a band rehearsal. Sadly songs from latest EP 'Home and Minor' are off the menu due to the technical problems but it doesn't matter when a band are such masters of their craft as 'Size are. Mike Vennart is an engaging frontman as ever and drummer Mark Heron is one of the best to watch in the game. Some in the crowd appear to have paid £13 to come and talk through the quiet songs but other than that people seem in awe of the performance. It's interesting that they choose to make up so much of the set from new cuts (particularly when ranging from the very quiet 'Ransoms' to the epic 'Steven's Head'). Closing with the furious 'It's My Tail And I'll Chase It If I Want' the band leave the stage to cries of encore, which are sadly unanswered. You may have noticed...I love this band.
Vessels - 8/10
And So I Watch You From Afar - 8/10
Oceansize - 8/10
The Charm Offensive
Build Us A Rocket Then, You Rocket Building Cunt
You Can't Keep A Bad Man Down
A Homage To A Shame
It's My Tail And I'll Chase It If I Want