(review by neil crud)
Wednesday nights are rocking! – I’d like to hope that this upsurge in attendance is a direct result of the BBC Radio Wales broadcast last month, as there has certainly been a lot more people here since then (& they were well attended before).
Steve Sync; still shivering due to central heating boiler problems, quivered the statement that Jives Room are the best live band in Rhyl at the moment. And he’s probably right; because when they click (& they usually do), everything slots into place & bang, bang, bang – out come the songs. This is a band with 3 guitarists & I had to tell them all to turn up after the opening song! There’s no wall of sound as you’d expect from that many egos competing, there is dynamism & style to the songs & delivery. We’ve watched this band from their nervous beginnings last spring & those old demos (Tight Pussy!), through to recording an Adam Walton Session which, judging by tonights performance was a little too soon, as there’s an added gusto to this band. Basically they’re all getting better at what they do, Smotch’s hard hitting drumming & Alun’s guitaring notably. Taking us through the set with some new songs Jives Room gave us; Radish Tree, Numpty Lover, New Song, Bubbles, M.A.C, Office 61, Savour The Taste, Walltog & Sega/Tizer with a spaced out freakbrained ending.
Bethesda’s Winebago shocked me in that band member Meic later informed me that this was their 2nd gig. I suppose looking back you could tell by the stiff visual performance, where you just wanted a guitarist to bounce across the floor pretending to machine gun down the crowd, or another guitarist to stand on his amp & slam his strings against the ceiling. But with those of us nodding in approval there was, in Sync’s words, a New Order, Coral, Strokes thing going on. The Strokes similarity was painfully obvious on one the songs but the rest of the set was executed excellently & after the Neil Young cover (Safehouse) got better & better. Two guitars with similar sound, that indie crisp – not too distorted setting were played with great separation & by the last 4 songs even the heaviest & most stubborn feet were tapping along to the tunes. Maybe they should ditch the Neil Young song & play Dead Kennedys‘ ‘Winnebago Warrior’ as a fitting replacement! Definitely a band worth checking out when they come to your town, city, village, hamlet or front room. Set list – League, Safehouse, Safebuying, Cinnamon, Automatic, Pan Nos/Dydd, Lucifer, Unarddeg, Wave, Sunday, Ffarout (old Ffa Coffi Bawb cover).
I’ll just briefly touch on Kentucky AFC or you’ll start accusing me of being the link2kafc website, having reviewed them 5 times & seen them 8 times! – the bands really should be on stage and playing by 9pm, its usually one of their own fault for turning up late. So when KAFC go on at 11.05pm on a week night there’s going to be a natural drift where the workers and young ‘uns will have to retire home, leaving the dole wallers (who have little interest in the music) to talk over & ignore the last band on (Rhyl is notorious for the Graveyard Slot – see old Breeding Ground reviews). Sync noted that Kentucky sounded really really good, but Endaf’s frustration took the better off him & he threw his guitar across the dancefloor in disgust at the end (take note Winebago!).