(review by neil crud)
The Breeding Ground website message board has been a-buzz with accusations, counter-accusations & general slanging after the previous live encounter. Hooper are scagheads & Pocket Venus are crap tradesmen. For the internet lurker its been an entertaining read & great publicity for the bands. (The bruises on Paul’s arms are inflicted through his surfing hobby rather than needles & I’ve seen Chris & Naldo’s work first hand; believe me, they’re not tradesmen! Sorry to shatter any illusions there).

So will tonight stir as much a reaction on the internet boards? Probably not from the bands’ perspective but there’ll be plenty to talk about the hassle afterwards, but that’s a different story. On the otherhand, the poster who was convinced that to be a band you had to intake lots of drugs need look no further than the wonderful Fudged. A band that live the rock’n’roll lifestyle to the extreme, if they actually had the cash to book a hotel room they’d be guaranteed to smash it up & then smoke the furniture.
A quality that both Fudged & Novello do possess is that they’re very hard working, playing gig after gig, from toilet to shithole to toilet. If its got a stage they’ve played it. So to play TBG once every 3-4 months is like the Ritz compared to some of the dives these bands play, but its good, its character building & it puts them in good stead for when they decide to go for the big push. That ‘big push’ is not what all bands seek; they may dream it but without the backing they will instead happily play for 5 or 6 years around the country before getting a proper job & reminiscing over the good times. Even that gig they played to 3 men & ½ a dog in some grotty Northern pub is looked back upon with fondness. Like I said, character building.
Nutonic I feel are going to be looked upon as a band that fell into the First Hand Fury, Blush, Mercenary Skank bracket of local band who uproot from home to seek fame & fortune in London. They return after 3 years of slogging their guts out with a thousand other bands for very little reward. Nutonic, like their travelling counterparts before them are a very good band but they’re not going to set the world alight. I really hope they come up to me & slap me in the face with a newly signed Sony recording contract proving me wrong. This is the 3rd time I’ve seen them & I still don’t recognise their songs, so its like a new experience seeing them live, which is a good thing & it’s a good kicking live set, but also worrying when none of the songs struck me.
Novello’s didn’t either to be honest but I’ve only seen them the once before & they’ve undergone a serious line-up change with only frontman Nic returning to TBG this time. So I did watch them with renewed interest, particularly after 3 other bands had dissed them over the weeks, which is always a sign that you’re showing potential. The vigour & energy in the performance could not be doubted & even receiving the usual Breeding Ground muted response did not sway Novello from ‘giving it all’. That comes from playing dodgy pubs where the crowd have their backs turned to you as they order another pint, at least here if they’re not responding to you there’s probably a large percentage of we old fogeys (that’s over 18s) at the back paying attention.
’We’re not playing any covers tonight.’ Announced Ben Jackson as Fudged tuned up & geared up to what was probably their best live performance. It was music to my ears as I’ve spent the last 12 months on a one man crusade to get bands to stop filling their sets with crowd pleasing covers. Fudged filled their set with crowd pleasing originals & proved just how fucking good they really are. I’m not taking any credit for this turn of events but it is great to see a band with obvious talent actually use it.
Their set for me was cut short, mother nature tapped me on the shoulder & I rushed to have a dump in the beautifully scented toilets, the Glastonbury bogs have nothing on this place! Having cleanly dumped my load I wandered back to my spot amongst the Crud Crew, farted & duly followed through.
Thankfully I knew the taxi driver.