(review n pix by mwj)

Taking a bit of a chance with this one, as I wasn’t familiar with the music but had enough faith in their reputation as a long time served NYHC band and well as in that pretty genre’s consistent ability to deliver the goods. Plus a good selection of supports and the end of my summers camping expeditions all meant the stars were aligned. (They do look spectacular down the end of the Llyn)
Was able to get back in time to cadge a lift from Colwyn Bay as a veritable convoy of cars headed over. Initially there had been a bit of concern about the strange decision to allegedly limit the capacity for this night, when I thought they would be happy to have as many as possible in and not turn people away. The stage was moved up to half way up the room but there was still plenty of space, though a good gathering of folks from all over taking this local opportunity, the first time the headliners had been to Wales at all.

Someone very familiar with the locality (although some have only legally been allowed back in the area recently 😉 ) is the The Tear Up. Among friends, although you might not think it from the heckling, Garry is over the barrier to stir things up with their traditional sounding pacey hardcore. Still early days and there’s a rough and ready edge at times but when they get into their vicious groove, on “Backstabber” for example, there’s a definite sign of more quality to come.

Also not backward at coming forward, Face of Christ from Vicar’s Cross where the real shit goes down apparently, have some great banter about their various tales of woe but for me the real strength and interest comes in the power of the music. A real fast and heavy riffing metallic edge to their hardcore, I really enjoy it and am not getting bored in spite of a flood of recent appearances I’ve caught.

First time for me to see Liverpool’s Chief though, having missed their show in the Bay earlier in the year. One thing that can’t be denied is the energy they put into their performance, literally bouncing all over the stage. There’s much more melody to their mix of ska and punk, not overly poppy though and still with enough bite to appeal. The fact that they have a political message score bonus points for me, and I think the practice and polish they’ve developed in their show is no doubt a factor in why they are having releases on the Household Name label

So finally our American visitors, H2O. This is pretty much an original line-up band after all these years, and while they may look their age (unlike me!) again this doesn’t hold them back in giving a full on performance, up close and personal with the band. There’s a lot of sing-a-long choruses and hooks which I’m unfortunately not familiar with, but I do enjoy their revamping of “War Pigs”. Musically they do vary things up a bit but there’s a core of a bouncing groove that stays to the genre roots. There’s one of the liveliest crowds for its size I’ve seen here in a while, with kamikaze dives from the PA and blood spilled, all good fun. The band have got one of their young sons along on stage who provides occasional vocals and gives us a drum solo at the end of their well received set, before being told to stop at the curfew. Time for bed for us all!

wrexham is designed for hardcore!