Saturday, 25 August 2007

Totally Natural

And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead/Smokers Die Younger @ The Leadmill, Sheffiled 20/08

When a band such as ..Trail Of Dead, a band known for their ferocious live show, starts
to dismiss the idea of playing live as having "no rewards" you know something's a miss. And when said band performs an entire song with the singer being held aloft by fans, you have to wounder what the hell they were talking about

Trail Of Dead have definitely seem better days - they're playing in the little room of the Leadmill, which holds about 200 people, and their last album, the appropriately titled "So Divided", was widely panned. It speaks volumes that their set list contains no songs taken from that LP. Instead, Trail Of Dead treat us to choice cuts from their first 4 albums. I would say "hits" but they didn't play "A Perfect Teenhood". What's with that?

Confined to such a tiny stage, Trail Of Dead's usual appetite for destruction is limited by the mass of equipment. Instead, the songs get a more focused work out. A more than enthusiastic crowd makes up for any lack of movement on stage, leaving some nervous looking bouncers (and one grinning tech) after one too many back-flip-come-stage-dives. The songs from that come from the under rated "Worlds Apart" get beefed up and rocked out, especially "Caterwaul" which sees singer/drummer Jason leave his kit for the safety of the audiences hands for most of the song. "Totally Natural" gets an extended breakdown/build up, providing a spectacular ending to a set, one which most bands would be proud of. But not Trail Of Dead. The house lights come on, the pa starts playing the new Bloc Party album, and Trail Of Dead come back on stage to play "Mistakes And Regrets". The strict live curfew long gone, Trail Of Dead play what is probably their biggest hit with more passion than you'd expect from a band who are disillusioned with playing live. As the last chord rings out, half the band leave the stage, along with the mics. But not Jason and Conrad - they treat us to a version of "Richter Scale Madness" with one guitar and drums and vocals being yelled into thin air. Midway through the song the power is cut. As the drums clatter to a halt, the rest of the band leaves the stage safe in the knowledge that few bands can top them as a live band.

So what if they didn't trash their equipment?

Thursday, 23 August 2007


This post is dedicated entirely to Matt's wonderful final words on redcarsgofaster. It is a lovely piece of writing about what made up and took over the last four years of my life. I don't really have much to add. I feel old.

It's here.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Out Of Spite

Just Norris/Uncle Frank @ The Firebug, Leicester 9/08
Out Of Spite X @ Joesph's Well, Leeds 10/8 & 11/8
War Crimes/Big Difference/Power Corrupts/Army Of Flying Robots @ The Cricketer's Arms, Sheffield 13/08

The punk all dayer reminds me of being young, of turning up at some crappy venue at 2 in the afternoon to find out the band you really wanted to see and came early for have canceled. This weekend saw the the very last Out Of Spite, so I though I'd make the effort. Plus there was some band called Spy Versus Spy playing a reunion set.
After one of the worst train journey's ever (1 hour and 15 minutes to get to Leeds? Ridiculous), I get to Joesph's Well in time for Joe Ninety who set the trend for the weekend by A) being a punk rock band in the vein of Jawbreaker/Hot Water Music and B) having recently got back together. Another trend for the weekend was the finger point. There's something to be said about seeing a crowd all singing along with their fingers in the air. Dartz! played next, during their set another theme of the weekend came to light - Joesph's Well gets unbearably hot. I don't think I've been to a gig where I've sweated that much in years. And that includes gigs I've played (those stage lights get awfully hot). Over the two days I think I lost about 2 stone in weight; it was like a sauna. I digress. Back on the reunion tip were And None Of Them Knew They Robots. Having been at their original last ever gig I can say that the 3 year gap spent playing in Send More Paramedics may have a lasting affect on their guitarist - most of the set was spent doing metal poses and sticking his tongue out. Despite (or in spite of) the metal shapes, The Robots were pretty fucking good. I do wonder if Kev, singer of band, found himself cringing when he had to relearn some of the lyrics. Particularly the line "I wish I was six again and sitting next to David". On the other hand I've never heard a band make a hook out of screaming my name. Not my full name obviously; that would be stupid.
And so comes the one of the most anticipated bands of the weekend - the newly back together Spy Versus Spy. Considered by many to be one of the best British bands of the last ten years, and rightly so, it's a simple greeting of "welcome to the late 90s" that they open their set, launching straight into a rousing rendition of "Waiting For Centralia To Sink". Fingers are pointed, drums scatter about, guitars play angular one note riffs and a crowd sing a long starts. Some of the songs are re-arranged, probably down to the fact that they're missing one of their original guitarists, they couldn't find him apparently, and whilst not all of the new renditions work brilliantly, the songs still as good as they did in 1997. Finishing with an amazing version of "Union Station Still", they're done.

The second day of Out Of Spite features lots of bands that fall into the gruff punk rock category. So I shall do one word reviews because I'm lazy and can only think of one way to say "they sound a bit like Jawbreaker or Hot Water Music". So here we go. The Great St Louis weren't too good; Chillerton were probably the best band of the day, good hooks and well worth checking out; The Leif Ericsson were fairly average; Southport looked fairly old and again weren't up to much; The Dauntless Elite were surprisingly good, lots of good dual vocals and some almost melodic hardcore bits; Milloy get the award for worst band name of the weekend and whilst they were pretty good, I can't bring myself to like a band with such a bad name. The other thing I learnt this weekend was that if the crowd sings along and does lots of finger pointing, it makes a band seem a whole better.

In other gig news, Redcars played their second last gig on thursday. I thought we were pretty good, if a bit sloppy in places. No one seemed to notice the missing keyboard, including us, and I stood on the bar. Army Of Flying Robots were nice and thrashy and Big Difference (I think) played a hardcore version of 2Unlimited's "No Limit".

I wanted to post some Spy Versus Spy mp3s but all the stuff on my computer is coded for iTunes. So no music, unless anyone requests some. Go on, I dare you.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Are You A Celebrity?

A few months ago, some girl came up to me in a night club and asked me if i was a celebrity.
Today, I can officially say that yes, I AM a celebrity - statcounter tells me that someone googled "david from redcarsgofaster's blog". This makes me famous for sure.

Famous on the internet.

For sure.