(review by steve rastin)

We all know that the live music scene on the North Wales coast is dead…………so will someone tell that to the dozens of mad souls rammed into Vegas and spilling out onto the pavement and into the road?
To be realistic for a minute, the scene has been in a very unhealthy state for three or four years now, but there are signs that things maybe just beginning to pick up again.

A rash of new bands like Null And Void, Bahkus, Slight Return, Ugly Harmonies, Wet Bandits and Sleazy Wednesday are all enjoying that adrenalin rush of getting out there and doing something more constructive than gawping at Jeremy Kyle and eating pizza and in the process are creating their own community around them.
It’s this community that will ultimately reinvigorate the live scene around these parts and the signs are encouraging, judging by the enthusiasm with which they sang along, moshed, drank and pretty much refused to leave the premises when the owners wanted to close up at the end of the night.

The first band to confront this seething mass were SOOTO (it stands for Something Out Of The Ordinary), making their first foray out of the comfort zone of their Deeside stomping ground and they acquitted themselves very well indeed.
Classic rock isn’t my particular cup of hemlock , but these guys present it in a manner that is epic and grandiose without being bombastic or overblown.
They’ve got an extremely assured young vocalist named Sophie fronting proceedings, a rock solid rhythm section to keep the engine on the rails and a pair of technically gifted guitarists whose interplay, constantly trading lead and rhythm roles and weaving in and out of each other’s runs, was very impressive indeed.
The lead work was frequently flashy but never descended into self-indulgent “worship me” mode, a lesson that some other guitarists of this ilk would do well to take on board – yes, sometimes less really does say more.
The warm reception they got from a crowd to whom they were largely an unknown quantity spoke volumes about their performance and both band and crowd are looking forward to their return.

In contrast, Ugly Fashion have been present in Vegas more frequently than the staff of late, which has offered an excellent chance to view the band’s progress. And progressing they most certainly are, playing with more and more self confidence and assurance with each passing gig.
Their choice of covers – Richard Hell, Ramones, Magazine – testify to the fact that they love their old skool punk but they approach it from a slightly skewed angle, making it a good deal more interesting than if they were merely regurgitating their influences.
They are growing up rapidly and the next stage of their development will hopefully be some new self-penned material.
The set ends with their familiar bludgeoning of “I Wanna Be Your Dog” with the kit half trashed and mic stands gone AWOL, a theatre of chaos that miserabilists may call old hat but which is nothing more than bloody good fun for the participants – you remember fun? It’s what live music is all about!!!

As the maelstrom of anarchy envelopes just about everybody in the bottom end of the venue, it needs a band like Kixxstart Kitty to keep the party going.
Now bolstered by new bassist Tom Ellerman, the band rip through a set that seems to be veering closer to Motley Crue than New York Dolls with the power and sense of danger you’d get from an 18 wheeler driven by a serial killer on crack.
Tom seems to have developed an instant rapport with drummer Nathan, which has given guitarist Karl the freedom to really cut loose and blast out the sonic equivalent of Dante’s Inferno, while up front, Zakk prowls, stomps, wails and shrieks like the ultimate rock n roll banshee, whipping the crowd up to a frenzy from which there can be but a single release – gear trashing number two, this time taking out mics, stands, amps and the whole of the kit.

Silly? Undoubtedly!!! Childish? Definitely!!! Fun? You’d better believe it.
At the end the performance area looks like the aftermath of some kind of unholy disaster – there’s equipment scattered across the floor, the place is ankle deep in liquids of various hues and textures and it ain’t going to win any Best Decorated Venue awards tonight.
Perhaps the last word should go to the promoter on the mic (after it has been retrieved and plugged back into the PA): “I’ll carry on putting on the shows and the bands will carry on playing the shows so long as you keep on turning up to watch the shows. Without you {the audience} we are fuck all. Come out and support the live scene and make it happen”.

Amen to that!!!!