Monday, 21 June 2010

Sucioperro - Kilburn The Good Ship - Thursday 17th June 2010

Sucioperro are a band that should be playing at least 500+ venues by now. In fact, that they are not is a travesty showing the true lack of interest most of the public has in the British music scene and seems to prove, sadly, that major label marketing is the only way to really get anywhere if you are an upcoming British act. For those who haven't heard them, Sucioperro are easily comparable (perhaps somewhat unfairly) to their mates Biffy Clyro (who have, with major label backing, abseiled to the arena level). Led by JP 'Dragon' Reid, Sucio deftly combine complex time signatures with sing along choruses all sung in Reid's noticeably Scottish accent. Somewhat heavier than Biffy, often verging into metal territory, and featuring guitar work that is undeniably impressive, Sucio are first and foremost a band that writes songs...and damn good ones. With Fergus 'Goose' Munro and Stewart 'Spider' Chown providing the sort of ballast that someone should've thought of equipping the Titanic with, Sucio are a dense sounding band that write anthems that should be filtering their way into the nation's living rooms. Instead they have to make do with the cosy confines of Kilburn's The Good Ship. A venue that holds around 225 people, at a push I'd imagine - that is if the punters actually want to be able to see the band and not just drink a pint at the bar, this is what truly counts as 'intimate' territory.

The first band backing Sucioperro up tonight are Buick McKane. A Northampton based 3/4 piece (I could only see 3 of them but then I was half watching the France v Mexico game and couldn't see the whole stage), they are similar in sound to the likes of The Xcerts with wholesome anthems that also pack a firm punch. A promising band for sure. Kill Goliath are a little less impressive. Whilst the musical dynamics are fairly interesting, they tend to become a little samey and the vocals aren't particularly endearing. I Am Austin meanwhile are absolutely awe inspiring. Partly because drummer David Mitchell (dressed in a colourful vest, swimming shorts and a hat) batters the fuck out of his kit like a man possessed and partly because they are, thanks to Adam Hughes' beguiling bass parts, undeniably funky. Yet I mean funky in a way that sounds like the world ending in a massive swell of screaming and feedback. To describe than as a mere 'drum n bass' duo would be sacrelige, they are so much more. Go and see them if you get a chance.

As you may have gathered from my praise of them in the first paragraph, i also think that you should also go and see Sucioperro. This is the first chance I've had to see them live (it's their fault, 4 years of choosing bad dates for London gigs) and it's well worth the wait. Sucio are three blokes who clearly love playing their music, Dragon with an especially wide grin throughout their hour long set. They are extremely tight live, and they are a visual act too, watching them is entertaining despite them having nothing in the way of projections to back up their performance. Having opened up with the classic 'Grace And Out Of Me' and run through a set including "possibly the final ever peformances" of 'Random Acts Of Intimacy' and 'Found You Makin' the band don't hold anything back even as their set draws to a close. Indeed, if anything, they work themselves into even more of a sweat as they close with a rousing rendition of 'The Final Confessions Of Mabel Stark'. This all comes via the loveliness of 'The Lonesome Tree' and some kind Jager sharing from Dragon during 'I Have Reached My Life'. At the conclusion of the gig the signs of a great live act are all there (especially fans who have sung along to every word and are now hoarse and sweaty). As they come off the stage, still resplendent in their matching black Pain Agency uniforms, they look like they've had a great time and (even if they are putting this on and secretly hate rock music) everyone in the crowd certainly has.

P.S. Stewart and Fergus seem like great guys off the stage as well, will have to catch the Dragon next time!

Buick McKane - 7/10
Kill Goliath - 6/10
I Am Austin - 8/10
Sucioperro - 10/10

Sucioperro setlist

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Feeder - "Call Out" Video Premiere

Okay, it's not exactly Feeder's greatest moment but I'm not gonna turn down the opportunity to premiere the new video on my blog am I? (no).

So here it is, "Call Out" by Feeder. Holly Walsh said it sounded like a song to please people who were shit at Guitar Hero in the beginners' level.

Monday, 7 June 2010

The Haunted - Hatfield Attic - Tuesday 1st June 2010

The Haunted are on tour with Slayer at the moment. However, being the hard working metal musicians that they are this doesn't stop them from playing headline shows on the nights off they are getting from Slayer duty on their jaunt around the UK. Tonight sees the band play at the Attic in Hatfield, a small bar that's part of the Hertfordshire University complex. The venue only holds around 250 people at the best of times but only somewhere in the region of 40-50 bother to turn up for this gig. This highlights a few things. Firstly that there is a distinct lack of a metal scene in Hertfordshire, as illustrated by the fact that there is no support act. Secondly, people don't seem to know where Hatfield is; I find it hard to believe that there are this few dedicated Haunted fans in London prepared to make the half hour train journey to get to this show. Thirdly, The Haunted are professionals. It would be so easy for them to turn up, see the minute crowd and think "fuck it, let's just take it easy and get some rehearsal time for the Slayer shows in London". This is precisely the opposite of what happens. From the moment the Swedish thrashters burst onto the stage they rip into one burst of barely contained musical fury after the next. Peter Dolving screams as if his life depends on it and the Bjorler brothers rip away at their guitars. This is one tight live act and also one with a good sense of humour. Dolving welcomes the audience to "the Hatfield metal lounge" (referencing the fact that the venue looks more like an up-market cocktail joint than a metal club) and comments good naturedly on the size of the crowd, getting rather amused when me and two others are the only ones to respond to "How many of you guys are actually from Hatfield?" with an answer in the affirmative! Indeed Dolving can't half talk! This is a good thing though, his observations on UK bars having carpets are particularly interesting. The relaxed atmosphere of the show allows for the crowd to get up close to the band, even enabling someone as crap at photography as me to take a few decent snaps. The likes of "99" and "No Compromise" get heads banging although there is nothing close to a moshpit simply because there aren't enough people! Having ripped through around two thirds of the set Dolving takes advantage of a break to ask "Anyone here know how to play any Haunted songs?" This sees one lucky guy strap on Patrik Jensen's guitar whilst Harley Anderson (of London metallers Internal Conflict) replaces Dolving on vocals for a run through of "Hollow Ground". The band then proceed to romp their way through a few more songs before ending with a climatic "Bury Your Dead", complete with us fans allowed up on to the stage. I may not be the biggest of Haunted fans but I know a top live show when I see one and this, despite the disadvantages, is right out of the top draw. They're top guys as well!

The Haunted - 9/10

The Haunted setlist:
Moronic Colossus
The Drowning
The Premonition
The Flood
The Medication
All Against All
Prevation Of Faith Inc.
Shadow World
Guilt Trip
No Compromise
Hollow Ground
Iron Mask
Dark Intentions
Bury Your Dead

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Sunny Day Real Estate - Kentish Town Forum - Monday 31st May 2010

It's hard to believe this show is finally taking place. When Sunny Day Real Estate reformed last year it seemed to much to hope that they would finally play in the UK, having split up on the eve of their first European tour in 2001. Then, having announced this show for the 22nd April, it was put back as a result of the Icelandic volcano fiasco. It was almost as if there was someone up there trying to stop SDRE ever getting on to UK shores.

Everyone in the forum for the show is visibly tense. How can a show that has been waited for this long live up to to the expectation? I suppose it helps if you can get arena botherers Biffy Clyro to casually stroll in as an acoustic support act. Having long proclaimed SDRE as one of their favourite ever bands it's clear that even being present at this gig is a treat for Simon, James and Ben. They only stay on stage for half an hour, playing a casual set of all their recent hits such as 'The Captain', 'Many of Horror' and 'Mountains' alongside old classics in the form of 'Breathe Her' and 'Scary Mary'. The fact that they are playing acoustically is something of a godsend as a no holds barred all electric Biffy set, even only a half an hour one, would have stolen a fair amount of SDRE's thunder. Tonight however they are restrained enough to provide just a short warm up with enough time to show their appreciation for the headliners.

When Sunny Day Real Estate finally do get on stage the tension in the room disappears. This is a band that sounds like they've only been around a few years, not one that has reformed to try and relive its early nineties heyday. Jeremy Enigk is occasionally drowned out by the rest of the band but it doesn't matter as the crowd is on hand to scream along vociferously to every word of 'In Circles' and 'Seven'. The set is mostly culled from the band's first two records with only 'Gutars And Video Games' and 'The Ocean' being called on to represent the latter albums. This is one of those rare gigs when each and every song is a highlight of the show. 'Sometimes' makes a heart wrenching closer and after it, all of a sudden, it's all over. Barely an hour after arrival, the band exit. The crowd chants for them to return for a good five minutes but it's all in vain. Perhaps they don't want to give the crowd too much of a good thing but it's undeniably disappointing that after all the time the UK has waited for a SDRE show they only grace the Forum with their presence for an hour. Whilst they are on stage, they are perfect. It's just a shame it was all over so quickly.

Biffy Clyro - 8/10
Sunny Day Real Estate - 9/10

Biffy Clyro setlist (all acoustic)
Saturday Superhouse
Little Soldiers
God & Satan
The Captain
Breathe Her
Many of Horror
Scary Mary

Sunny Day Real Estate setlist
In Circles
Theo B
Guitars And Video Games
Song About An Angel
The Ocean