(review n pix by neil crud)

I was due to have my ears syringed this morning but last night at Bar Blu saved me the bother. It was so fucking loud that people in neighbouring Prestatyn were complaining about the noise, and that was just the DJ… no kiddin’!

Last week, Newport’s From Mars did mention that they’ve never known a place where the DJ is actually louder than the bands, and the real irony comes that it was a fateful September last year when Jives Room walked off stage after being told to turn their volume down, and tonight Jives Room are one of the bands unable to compete with the DJ in the decibel competition!

Jives Room, a little like The Cox but for other reasons, don’t travel. I know they did a Chester gig a couple of years ago but this is their domain and I suppose when you get an audience as big and as appreciative as this then why bother?

The two new songs sat well in their set and White Noise, of which you may have heard a bastard version of on my show a few weeks ago, shows a band with song writing calibre. It’s a tension song that builds and builds, and would sound excellent on CD thundering out of your Pioneer Hi-fidelity 3-rack stacker system.

Someone did raise the question on the link2wales message board why Jives Room have 3 guitarists all playing the same thing. Well, they err… all play guitar if that’s what you were asking, but the dynamics and melodies are intricate and most certainly a million miles from plod-along chord changes. Front man Kyle even improvised with a Black & Decker Leaf Hog High Performance Blower Vac (available from all good stores) as pictured.

Before they started jiving, Bodelwyddan’s Modern Tradition opened proceedings, stepping in late on for the absent Kardomah. I’ve probably seen Modern Tradition at least six times over the years, from their early days but I have never reviewed them myself. The 2 previous reviews they’ve had courtesy of this website came from Say Hello To The Angels and Paul Scouse. The band have spawned from that shaky very juvenile outfit I once produced at Rockcliffe in Llandudno 3 years ago (they were called Elapse then, and Condemned before that), & by regular-ish gigs they have matured into a decent act.

A big plus is the length of their set, I used to endure it last year as it went on and on, with only their version of the child molesting Billie Jean to break things up. So what did they do? They ditched half the songs to make the length about half an hour and put out a honed, a tight, an interesting, and a ‘will see again’ set. From an opening song with a full on guitar solo from the young lad (Gez or John?) that should’ve warranted finishing the show, Modern Tradition set the tone and immediately changed it for song number 2, the Welsh language one from their Elapse days. The penultimate track with the superb harmony between vocalist/bassist Gwiz and ubiquitous drummer Joe, should have, in Steve Sync’s glazed eyes been the opening song, but Beanie, the shorn of mohican punkette, said they were too slow with not enough titty action.

Lucky for Zeroscape they played on a night full of people; although the flock do start nesting later on as the bands never seem to start ‘til about 10pm these days, so the graveyard shift does live up to its name. Unlike other bands who do this ‘headline – no punters’ slot Zeroscape were good enough, cool enough and punk enough to keep a good proportion of people present to their 12.35am finish.

It’s not often a Canadian band passes through town and a six month tour of Europe must take some doing, and doing it in style seems to be the Zeroscape code. When asked what they did on their day off yesterday, ‘We got stoned,’ came the reply.

Promoting their new album ‘Braille’ this crazed punk-ska-noize-spunk band let you know from the word ‘Go’ that they were going to assault your senses with power chords, ska chops, screamin’ and yelling. After two songs off came the shirts, and the toned black and sweaty torso of singer/guitarist Rob had the female fraternity clicking their cameras at as frantic a pace as the music. Crazed goatee mohican wearing guitarist Eddy did not lapse for a minute with wild faces to match his wild playing, while Jizzle and McNizzle provided a relentless back line.

Like all tonight’s bands, the sets were kept to a minimum and the whole evening benefited from it. You’ve got to hand it to this band, they turned up in the UK with a handful of dates to play and organised more gigs as they got to know people. I do believe Zeroscape are playing at Offa’s Tavern in Prestatyn on the 23rd – if missed them this time, go and see them. Of you saw them this time, go and see them again.