(by neil crud)

North Wales is awash, it’s saturated, and it’s everywhere. No, I’m not talking about hard drugs, though the sentence would be fitting & besides you can visit www.quality-smack.com for all your crystalline needs. No, I’m talking about truly talented local bands, bands who will be noticed by the tossers who need a map to get to the pub across the road from their NME office, let alone know where Watford is. Its hard to think of a bad band in our area, even those youngsters I slayed a couple of weeks ago at the MASE gig have it in them to become what tonight’s bands are; & that’s top class.

It was the curse of the guitarists’ lead tonight as each band suffered the same fate & poor Chris White on the mixing desk got the blame (that’s what PA men are paid for, to take the brunt of a band’s frustration when they’re using cheap leads).
Homespun were blamed for putting an end to The Stand gigs at this venue last year, so they have to be commended for that as it gave Paul Hammond the impetus to take over the reins & create a remarkably successful & alternative venue to anything else in our locality. Still, the band were under strict instructions that if they kicked off in any manner they would be ejected from the premises. Had this been anywhere but the Breeding Ground & I would’ve told the promoter to piss off, but he does have a very valid point. This venue is very special. As special as the bands playing tonight & to shit in your own backyard would only send the local music scene back to dodgy local gigs in dodgy local pubs in front of 30 dodgy people.
You should not take away that edge from Homespun & I sincerely hope they go & shit in other peoples’ backyards, I want to open the Chester Chronicle & read Rumpus by North Wales punk band.
They have that element of ‘unknown’ about them, that they might just kick off, which could’ve been why all the bouncers stood at the back & carefully observed the show. A punk singer with a punk singer’s voice fronted the show & the guitarist with the Argos amp getting upset when it kept cutting out. Someone muttered ‘what a prick’ he was when he started stranking over the crap equipment; the statement may be true, but that’s what a band needs; that uncertain element. Someone who just might use his guitar to smash up the main act’s drum kit or assault the bar staff, it’s all rock’n’roll. The rock and the roll that music has been lacking for so long.
Whereas Homespun have that edge, Pocket Venus most definitely have the hand that grasps the testicles of the scene & squeezes them enough to ensure you’ll never ever forget them.
At least half this band were once Supermania & they’ve certainly shrugged off the unimaginative verse-chorus-verse-chorus-middle eight-chorus-chorus easy listening tosh that was that band. Have they too visited quality-smack.com?
The Dave Gilmour inspired guitaring self taught in a teenage bedroom in Llandyrnog has certainly paid off as the band bled our ears with probably the strongest set yet at this venue.
Even the gremlin inspired 3-minute break of technical hitches as they found the correct guitar leads did not deter the audience (incl., 2 coaches from Colwyn Bay). I could’ve shouted ‘show us yer tits’ at front man Chris Yates & unlike Find, the thin-skinned scouse band from the previous show, who were compelled to write a lengthy letter of complaint over the remarks, Chris would’ve simply lifted his T-shirt & showed us his ample breasts.
Having said that, when I learnt who Pocket Venus actually were I was concerned that they had got the wrong name, surely Vocket Penus would be more fitting? I leave the Breeding Ground quite often happily satisfied after seeing the bands, but never fulfilled, this band put the rock into roll & like Carbonari, you will remember their name.
Blush, hmm, Blush, Blush, Blush. Should I review a band playing their swansong? Bowing out in their hometown after 3 years in the big smoke trying to make the big time but ending up being dryly buggered after signing to the wrong manager?
What I can say is they were a different Blush to the young upstarts I saw in the Bistro many moons ago, they still look young but have that experienced look & sound about them, that air of professionalism.
Their set brought back to me another outside band to play the Breeding Ground a few weeks ago who were The Cardinals from Manchester. As only 5 people clapped during their set, they had the audacity to slag off the North Wales scene, saying it was 2 years out of date & we’d never get away with it in the big cities. What were they called again?
The Cardi…? It doesn’t matter, don’t bother remembering the name cos you won’t be hearing it again. If the North Wales scene is 2 years out of date then long live 1999, as this is where it’s at & the Breeding Ground is where it’s happening. Thank you, good evening & good night.