(review n pix by neil crud)
How many times have I ranted about it? I’ve lost count… Moan moan bloody moan…
It was only by chance I found out about this gig when I saw a tweet. Yes, it’s all well and good creating an Event on Facebook, in fact it’s a necessity, but it’s not the end-all of the be-all. Facebook is drenched in events by your friends from far flung places and if you do happen to steer away from your PC, laptop, tablet or phone for a short while then that event will be missed and quite often, people who would go, don’t because they’re not aware it’s happening.
The next thing is bands not turning up to play gigs, tonight on the bill is Engage The Enemy, Inferno, Dora Nadine and Drop Out La. Tim and myself were all geared up for a night of metal mayhem, having opted for decibels rather than dulcets from Euros Childs down the road in the Railway Institute. Engage The Enemy, Dora Nadine (second time I’ve not seen them!) and Drop Out La weren’t here for whatever reasons, maybe they gauge a show by the number of people who click ‘Going’ on Facebook and decide if there’s not enough, then they don’t turn up. I don’t know as they were not there to explain or defend themselves. Maybe they can explain now…
It was left to the mighty Inferno, and I mean Thee MIGHTY Inferno to insist the show must go on and be professional about the whole situation, With over 30 gigs played over the UK this year alone, this is a band who mean business and are the business. They’ve played at sold out festivals and they’ve played in empty venues, and tonight it was the latter, bar twelve of us. Regardless of this; I guess you could state that tonight they played to 500+ people by the time this review gets read, and the very fact they didn’t put a note wrong during their slick set with their distinct balls to the wall sound, that it turned out to be a good gig for them.
It did cross my mind to invite local bands to play to just me and a few mates in my living room to save them the hassle of travelling to obscure venues to perform to the bar staff, and I could enjoy them from the comfort of my sofa, which is what you’re doing now.
This of course also leads to what are venues and promoters doing to draw in people off the streets and out of their comfort zone homes to watch live music. Yes, bands need to advertise and promote their gigs above and beyond Facebook and Twitter, but venues also need to up the ante in this cut throat world of having no money to go out on the piss.
To sum it up; we walked past the Pentagan nightclub; or Poop [sic] as it is now ludicrously called, and there was a long queue of students waiting for their opportunity to get in for a night of Shit Music, Shit Drinks and Shit Atmosphere. The same was happening at The Shitembassy too – these students, all eager to waste their grant money, go to these Shit Nights because of advertising. They’re aware of the events because they get Shit Flyers thrust at them by cute little girls in the streets, trying to lure them as the Shit Clubs compete for the Top Shit Spot with some Shit Z-List Celebrity Nobody masturbating their own Shit Ego for a thousand fuckin’ quid.
These students didn’t go to see Inferno as they didn’t know about it – simple as that, (don’t get me started on the locals!). Why not leaflet the Uni – there’s thousands upon thousands of students pretending to study in Bangor and as a band you have the opportunity to tap into a big audience if only you can get them through your door. If you can’t get them to do that, then you need to play on their doorstep. Why not turn up at the Student Union and play at lunchtime? Do the same at the Student Bar (tell them it’s in aid of some Iranian Freedom Fighter’s Cat or something) – get in their faces as well as their facebooks.
Back to the music, after all, that’s why you’re reading this. The fact I’ve not picked up the truly excellent Inferno album ‘Welcome To The Lion’s Den’ for well over a year, and the fact that I recognised most of the songs they played tonight is testament to the quality of their songwriting, which is backed by neat guitaring, brilliant drumming and bassing and that liquid gunpowder voice.
Whilst fingering my CD collection (which is a favourite pastime), I was pleasantly surprised to find 3 Inferno EPs nestled alongside their album, and pleased to hear they’re planning a new release next year. They opened up with Veni Vidi Vici which has a melodic Motorhead feel to it, or it was maybe my ears complaining at a second successive night of being assaulted in the nicest possible way. Water Into Wine kicks in three successive songs taken off their razor sharp 2007 ‘Suicide Pact’ EP, with one of the best riffs you’ll ever hear. Then Are You Alive, again, with an ace riff that Matt Bellamy probably nicked when he mislaid Brian May’s songbook. The excellent (I’m running out of ace, brilliant, superb adjectives) guitaring that opens up The Lion’s Den again sends shivers across my spleen and then the foot is pressed harder on the metal pedal for Snakes & Ladders. Next up is Death By Rock ‘n’ Roll and with Vis A Vis, I guess are new, and will be slammed into your faces from now on. Clairvoyant hits you with some tricky drum work and a throbbing rhythm with Zeppelin-esq guitar breaks as the PA struggled to keep up with the band. Follow The Blind kept the same feel in a kind of cruise-control-nearly-at-the-finale way. The Hand Is Quicker Than The Eye would not be out of place in a spaghetti Western, a truly dusty desert, thirsty cactus, denim clad, burlesque beater of a song – fucking brilliant! (see video).
The heads down, don’t fuck with us Judas brought up the rear before the anthemic El Toro made us hail to king, to the king motherfucker…
(Inferno website – a real one!)