The peasants are revolting, the revolution has begun & about time too. The backlash against the manufactured plastic sugar coated vomit inducing likes of Westlife, 5ive, Steps & their talentless ilk is underway. Limp Biskit are No1 in the charts, kids have found identities, be they punks, skateboarders, cyberpunks or townies; they’ve had enough of being force fed record company drivel – they want culture.

The future starts here, the future is now & it’s in North Wales’ breeding ground for raw local talent, displayed at the resurrected venue next to the Marine Hotel in Rhyl. A new name, a new set-up & hopefully a new dawn masterminded by Paul Hammond & his crew; often lambasted (right & wrongfully) in the past for publicising events or creating bands without much forethought, as with previous exploits in recent times he is to be taken very seriously. Judging by tonight’s packed house Paul & his acquaintances have to be congratulated.

There is a buzz in North Wales as a whole new breed of bands create cultures of their own, exploiting the new MP3 internet medium. Whereas 5 years ago a band would have a demo tape as their only possible ticket to ride, they can now portray their CV & MP3 on the net to the whole world & his dog. My own website dedicated to these very bands is testament enough to the wealth of talent we have here on our doorstep.

The Alarm‘s Mike Peters cut the ribbon to open tonight’s proceedings; he set the standard 20 years ago that no band in the area has yet to match. The Alarm are the Manchester Utd of the North Wales music scene, & it’s up to the rest of the chasing pack to take their crown. Vying for a Champions League spot are Prestatyn’s Carbonari, when they should be headlining they were the first band on, as the organisers wanted to show the capacity crowd the quality the locality can offer. Take nothing away from tonight’s other bands, but there is something special about Carbonari, they have the look (particularly Tom Scriven on guitar), & they have the songs. I do feel that a possible second guitarist & a bassist to release the shackles on Sarah Lipman’s superb voice would project Carbonari into the big bad world of rock’n’roll. They are special & for my partner in crime Fairziff to clap in appreciation of the superb track Tarantula can only mean one thing – read my lips; you’ll be seeing a lot more of Carbonari.
[Set List: Self Love / Someone I’m Not / I Want You / Pathological Liar / Tanks & Guns / Tarantula / Contradiction]

With the theme of bringing in ‘circuit’ bands from over the border, Carbon Atom from Liverpool opened with an extremely promising song; a sort of Ozrics/Eat Static mould, but unfortunately their set rapidly went downhill thereafter. Described as tough to pigeonhole, I’m afraid Carbon Atom are too eclectic for their own good; a bit like crazy paving, they follow no pattern.

Fudged are tonight’s crowd puller, a new look 4 piece line up with added keyboards (which I couldn’t hear), they’ve done enough gigs to ensure on stage confidence & a rapport with their home crowd. How they’d fare in front of an unknown audience in an obscure town (Bagillt!) would be interesting. Fudged have enough talent to drop the Radiohead & Stereophonics covers, although being crowd pleasers they will never be taken seriously with these songs in their set, particularly when their punked up version of timeless classics like Stand By Me are far superior. Add these to their self-written repertoire, including a stadium classic dedicated to the tragic Demiola Taylor & you have a very tasty recipe.

Let’s hope the Breeding Ground spawns the talent of North Wales for a long time; if tonight’s conception is anything to go by then the offspring should grow up to be very healthy.