Feedback, Shatter, Hubble, Defect, Terminal CC, Aneurism
The writing was on the wall but no one was there to help us with the longer words; plenty of parking space outside, then we paid our £2.50s entrance fee & saw the sign: This is an alcohol free zone. We entered the Ocean Bar to be greeted by 400 teenagers the majority of whom were barely 16.
Shit! Neil Crud & Wayne The Bastard are now officially the grandfathers of North Wales Punk having stumbled upon the new generation; 400 of them from Llandudno & Colwyn Bay, all punk rockers clad in their Limp Bizkit, Offspring, Placebo, Sex Pistols & Motorhead T-shirts. As I’ve said before, this is the reaction to the bilge that poisons Saturday morning TV & Top Of The Pops; all those vomit inducing girl & boy bands. You can stick your manufactured Popstars up your arse, the revolution has turned full circle & the wheel is starting to roll.
The music? Well, Wayne & myself played our debut gig with 4Q a mere 13½ years ago, before some of those present tonight were born, like those here we were awful, we were out of tune, out of time but not out of luck, we didn’t care & neither did our audience. The music tonight is the same, Aneurism have been together 6 months & have an average age of 14 between the 3 of them. A shaky opening Should I Stay or Should I Go isn’t much to show for 6 months’ work but it doesn’t matter, the kids don’t care, the music doesn’t count tonight, its having the balls to get up there & do something. If you weren’t in a band you were still a part, you still had a feeling of belonging to something after the wilderness years of sugar coated pop.
’I may look like the other 399 people in here but I’m an individual.’
We’re all individuals, & so were the numerous people turned away at the door of this sell out. Aneurism’s glut of Nirvana covers were played so badly that Kurt Cobain’s head would have been spinning in his grave had he been buried with it.
A piece of the action is what the crowd wanted & bodies surfed across the sweaty mass to the sound of Terminal CC (another 3-piece) making their debut show, probably 5 or 6 rehearsals too soon. Superb drumming from Nick was let down by lack of co-ordination from his partners in crime (Matthew & Dave), but hope springs eternal in self-penned songs like Hey Hey, You’ve Got a Gay Cat’, which have neat riffs & something solid to build on.
Defect’s bass player broke his arm last week so Gary stood in for him & basically showed the rest of this 5-piece band up. An atrocious opener of AC/DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long nearly had me running for the sick bucket but they soon made amends with their up front vocals, DJ scratching & back line (albeit a little messy). The kids (some with drawn on sideburns!) surfed their way to the front while others queued up to stage-dive as anxious MASE organisers concerned themselves with possible legal claims for personal injuries. The alcohol free zone was a good idea considering the bulk of these pre-adults would have already downed a bottle of Merrydown before getting here.
The production line of teenage angst & anger took a breather as Hubble (Gary) sat down with his acoustic guitar to strum out a few Green Day covers. Hey! He can play, he can sing & he has charisma. Unfortunately the crowd’s short attention span thinned the venue out a little & led to pockets of games of tip-on & others smashing plastic glasses on each other’s heads. Hubble, so far as talent is concerned stood head & shoulders above the rest, if he can write his own material as well as he can play other people’s then we should hear more from him.
Eight bands are far too many to endure in one evening, particularly when so many are still at the rudimentary stage of musical evolution. Shatter were no different, a 4-piece together for 4 months showed real promise with a Senser meets Trent Reznor style & discordant guitar (purposely?). A couple of good songs with the rest improvised badly & I suppose the punk instrumental of Old Macdonald’s Farm would be pretty decent if they turned into an anti-dog burger song.
There is nothing like experience & only one way to gain it, so full marks to MASE for giving kids the opportunity. The selection process will deem that only one or 2 of tonight’s musicians will move onto bigger & better things in the future, maybe some members of Feedback from Abergele will do so once they move away from cover versions. I must apologise to the final band whoever they were as we could not stay any longer, this is by no means a reflection on any of tonight’s performers, but 3 hours was far too much for my lost soul.
My advice would be to cut the line up to 5 bands maximum, but who am I to complain? I am now an old man.