(review n pix neil crud)

Fuzzy – is perhaps the nearest adjective I can find to describe this Sunday feeling. Getting up at 10am, telling my self I didn’t drink too much last night & I’m feeling fine. I am of course only kidding myself as the onset of fuzzyness descends upon my furrowed brow without remorse.

A smaller than average crowd greeted tonight’s bands; when I suggest smaller, a crowd this size still would’ve swelled The Bistro – the area’s only other long stay venue. Maybe the jubilee street parties the weekend before was a little too much for the outgoing punter, or perhaps the public were saving themselves to watch an adopted Canadian in union jack shorts knock 7 bells out of a convicted rapist. Or maybe one too many early morning goldenballs have been netted this week with the prospect of many more. Whatever the reasons, they missed a storming evening.

The menu was a la carte & the horse was about to bolt, so for starters we were given a taste of Kismet. I had the usual tirade of ‘Neil Crud is a wanker’ after reviewing them last time, which I presume was over my lambasting about the lack of original material in that previous set. Thankfully that deficiency has been evened out now with their own compositions baying for dominance. It’s a strange concoction of influences & soundalikes, the Hendrix element is there in their own material & I did notice some groans amongst the audience when Hey Joe, the 2nd Hendrix cover was played. There’s an almost Dr Feelgood vibe going on in there as well making it hard to fathom Kismet out, which makes them more fascinating. My advice would be to open up with that Dick Dale number, play your own stuff, save the stronger of the 2 Muse covers (not the weak version you opened up with) to rouse a crowd if needed & take a chunk out of Pineapple’s tin when it comes to covers, & punk something up no one would expect you to do. Pineapple used to rip through A-ha’s Take On Me & Lionel Ritchie’s Hello. I would’ve loved to have covered Amii Stewarts Knock on Wood in a punk rock stylee when I was in a band, perhaps Kismet can mortify the old disco kids & do it!

The main course was most certainly Alien Matter (main pic). Having spent an evening mixing their latest 6 track offering I have lived with their songs for the last 2 weeks & awaited tonights set with added enthusiasm. The fact that 2 Sons of Selina members, Steve Sync (keys) & Cumi Pants (drms) (who was also vocalist when we were in 4Q) are in this band could make me biased in favour of this review. But as Alien Matter have known over the last couple of years I have been their biggest critic. There is only one thing left to criticise this band over & that’s a distinct lack of gigs. It’s a travesty! A band this good should be gigging at least once a week, in fact a law should be passed to force them into it; the lazy gits. It’s hard to believe this line up has performed only 2, maybe 3 gigs together in 18 months & to imagine what they’d be like after a run of 20-25 shows in succession is quite staggering.

The YTS soundman has almost graduated, as the sound up front was spot on with everything crystal clear. Add this sound to the frontline appearance of Alien Matter & you have the perfect set-up; the moody guitarist, Mike with the extreme long blonde hair (is he or isn’t he?), & Rich on bass in contrast with matching long black hair, & in the middle you have Pete in a jesters top & green face paint with the best punk voice in the business.

I have not felt this way about a band since I saw Pocket Venus here at the Breeding Ground last year, & I genuinely believe that if Alien Matter got their act together & took their show out of their self imposed sanctuary of Colwyn Bay, they would seriously be a major force to contend with in the music business. The icing on the cake tonight was when Mike, unhappy with his guitar sound walked off stage with about 3 songs to go. The band finished the song without him, & it still sounded good & then followed him. An altercation took place in the dressing room when Cumi laid into Mike for being a primadonna, but it was the perfect way to end the show. This is punk-psyche rock & this is your future!

For dessert we were served up with the sweet taste of Newport’s Schafer (above), making a welcome return to these shores. They’ve been away, done their homework & passed their exams with flying colours. I was shocked to learn that a band as tight as this are performing only their 11th gig, which goes to show how good they really are. Their management company obviously think so too. So like Alien Matter before them, the potential is there to see. Schafer have honed their sound & it’s now important they stick to it before they get around too much, as only Primal Scream can change their sound every 2 weeks & get away with it. In Marcus Warner they have a self-assured & self believing 19 year old front man (who’s a dab hand at winding people up on TBG Message Board as well as singing). I look forward to hearing their new recordings.