(reviewed by Neil Crud)
As morpheus set herself upon me and I drifted off to sleep, visions of black’n’white boxing matches & Canada filled my tiny mind as that high pitched sound whistled in my ears as they tried to re-adapt to the silence of the bedroom.
Full of a Gino’s 9″ Fairziff Special pizza I hit Bar Blu to wash it down with a couple of pints of cider (still haven’t touched lager since that kitchen floor incident).
A good tester tonight for the bands, as they’ve all played here before & are all from out of town (Denbigh, Ruthin & Holyhead), & Rhyl is reknowned for being less than accommodating to outsiders. The turnout was obviously lower than last weeks seam bursting extravanganza but nevertheless still decent enough not to destroy the confidences on display.
Denbigh’s Sarah Davies decided to display her obvious songwriting talent & keep cover versions to a minimum. Chris of Red Shift said she’d benefit from having a band behind her rather than just a left-handed acoustic guitar & he was dead right, his band have also just split so there may be an opening there. A studio session with Sarah would have to be well thought out to ensure that her voice; although very strong, does not overpower the songs & become tiresome to the listener. This is what does happen to bands with an extremely talented vocalist, the entire structure of a song is based around their voice & the recordings become an overkill. So it is essential that if she does record with a band that the musicianship and/or production work is allowed to jostle with her for a say in the songs, that way her voice will be more appreciated in the recording. Did that make sense? I did to me.
I was too ill to make The Hollow last time they were here, I was busy losing weight by sweating it into my bed (who needs the Atkin’s Diet?). So I was a Hollow virgin (now there’s a good band name). Steve Sync had already briefed me with a Pocket Venus comparison & when the opening song kicked in someone else suggested that it didn’t get any better than this. They were wrong as the set was filled with subtleties, beauties & beasties! I recognised all the songs off their EP – even though I’ve only played it the once, which is the mark of good songmanship & I would throw Tetra Splendour into that Pocket Venus comparison, particularly like Prove It which an unusually quiet Steve Sync (he was sober & vomiting partner Fatman was saving himself for V2003) nodded approvingly to. And the last song had a hook line the same as the snooker theme on TV.
I had built myself up to see Model Superb & I’m normally so full of anticipation & like such a big kid with a new toy that I end up feeling let down by a band. My only let down tonight was the absence of female singer Jess, which meant there’d be no live playing of A Fi, a haunting ballad fit enough to be alongside ANYTHING in your record collection. You can check the song out on my May radio show (& The Hollow on June’s). Model Superb do what they said they’d do on the tin, they play post rock (a great term), if I was to do the comparison test then you’re looking at something in a Spacemen 3 with actual songs mould. The movie projections of a family holiday to Vancouver on a guitarist’s white t-shirt & on another we had a boxing tie from the 1950s were a nice touch, it was always something I wanted to do in Sons of Selina, where we’d do a national tour of cinemas with a stage built up to the screen & have a headfuck film projected onto us. We eventually opted for a bank of TVs on the stage with that very video. Maybe Model Superb could take this ambition onto the crowd as their set is more for captivating a captive audience as they go off on Ozric tangents. This ‘post-rock’, experimental call it what you want style was founded by an acid crazed Pink Floyd in the mid-to late 60s, it’s since been murdered by Radiohead once they had run out of songs to write & the style has been adopted into Model Superb’s set but with proper songs rather than some guy whining with one eye closed.
Really look forward to seeing them again.