(review n pix by neil crud)

Take the harder edge of Prodigy, sprinkle over with some Anglesey metal, wazz in the Tasmanian Devil then add the subtlety of a ten tonne truck and you may have something similar to Holyhead’s Portrait of A Lifetime. I’ve reviewed this band on many occasions; probably enough for you to suspect I’m on the ejaculate payroll of front man Jamie Burne (well, he did give me a suspectingly stained t-shirt on the night).
I’m really here to review Steve Rastin’s new venture – Rain. Shite name, but perhaps apt and slam in the middle of this wet and grimy seaside town and a step down from Bar Blu and a fall over a sheer cliff face from Billys in terms of ‘venue’. BUT, and the main thing here, is that he’s putting on live music on our doorstep when the marauding Colwyn Bay punk scene looked like it was taking it all away. That isn’t true of course as you wouldn’t have seen any of tonight’s crowd swigging exotic beverages at Speaker’s Corner or The Imp or The Litten Tree in Colwyn Bay. People from Rhyl don’t travel very well, and in the present climate don’t travel beyond their front door.

The crowd and the scene has changed; it was always going to happen, and although the council estate baby factories have for decades squeezed out new produce, there is always a scene cycle that produces musically orientated population dips in Rhyl. It is almost like the money markets! And at the moment, and probably for the next few years we are seeing a lull in gig goers. The boom years from the end of 2000 to the start of 2007 have gone. An 18 year old going to The Breeding Ground for the first time in 2000 will now be 26, he / she will probably have a mortgage, will have to get up early in the morning, feed baby, watch Coronation Street. They don’t wanna be trudging into town to Rain in the err… rain to sit amongst a load of beer spilling teenagers.

But it is those beer spillers that will probably keep the Rhyl scene alive for the next couple of years, and I know I feel a sense of responsibility to assist and push the cause by way of reviewing and advertising that great bands like Portrait of A Lifetime will come to Rhyl and leave their sweat on the walls for your entertainment.

PoAL brought with them Italish Bangorites Leading To Zenith (pic above) who unfortunately fell foul to that age old Rhyl adage of sound problems. So a review of their prog fuelled set would be unfair. Check them out at http://www.myspace.com/leadingtozenith

And check PoAL out, along with their latest line of evening wear at http://www.myspace.com/portraitofalifetime