There were so many bands on this bill that it should’ve been called a mini-festival, and I cast a dubious eye over the start times, changeover times and thought there’s no way this will go to plan!! Initially, and right up to it was obvious Dinosaur Garden were not going to turn up, there were six bands lined up to play. With Dinosaur Garden providing the kit, but nowhere to be seen (no message, no call), a new kit had to be found for the night. Thankfully Inferno had brought their own anyway and were kind enough to share it with all and sundry, because that’s what bands do isn’t it? Help each other out (someone mention that to Dressed Naked‘s drummer next time you see him).
Anyway, one thing was for sure… This was gonna run late…
If you read my Pulco review, you’ll see that I have a built in mechanism that steers me clear of bands who get bigged up by the luvvies. In the case of I Fight Lions it was Steve Rastin [Rhyl promoter] who often spaffed his load in the direction of this band, and for that reason I (inexplicably) let them pass me by without so much as a droplet of the sticky white stuff passing my lips.
Despite the karaoke microphones making the vocals sound like soup, there was enough in the opening song to make me realise what I’ve been missing, and I should take heed when ‘the luvvies’ start jumping up and down about a new band or a new album, as there is obviously substance to their enthusiasm.
With mis-preconceptions of ‘another fucking emo band’ in my head, I was over da moon to hear a Franz Ferdinand with attitude band, full of convolutions, quirks, highs and lows and some damn fine catchy tunes. (website)
Jed is Dead were up next, again fighting with the PA, but seasoned and experienced enough to deal with whatever the digi-gods throw at them. They’ve been on what almost constitutes as a tour of late, gig after gig, night after night, and they add an element to any night… An element of being not just another band. Just a bass guitar played by Emily and a bank of electronics and guitars provided by the dreaded Mickey.
‘They just get better and better,’ I heard someone mutter, I couldn’t agree more. (website)
We (Braxton Hicks) did our short set next, the three of us were a few sheets to the wind by now, and it’s probably only the third time I’ve got on stage under the influence… ok… maybe the fifth or sixth time. Gwion was out on the town on a HMV staff party, so he turned up 20 minutes before we were due on, while Joe and myself found it rude not to indulge during the 3 hours prior to going on stage. Again, the sound was poor due to the mics, not the PA as James Rozzy fought the desk like steering a ship through a Force 10 storm. Lots of good banter between songs lots of interaction between band and audience – good fun…, oh and I bit Joe’s arm.
Set list.. Macho Man / I Don’t Wanna Be You / Depression / I Won’t Take The Blame / Depend On You / This Song Was Never Written / Never Kill Yourself / All In / Gone Fishin’ / Poison By Rancid.
We were supposed to open with a new track Belly’s Gonna Getcha but because our rehearsal room had been double booked, we took the safe option and did Macho Man instead. Did play 2 new tracks Depend On You and All In which we played ok. Funny not playing Government To Be and Get Outta My Head.
I’ve been told I gave Bad Dog a bit of a kicking two or three years ago (yes, over the usual playing covers gripe), and due to the usual melee that follows playing a live set, I managed to miss their set. Joe (who never roadies his own stuff) saw them and said they were tight and played their own stuff. Steve Sync, Tim and Sarah also said they played a great set and rocked the house.
As anticipated / feared, everything ran late, and worse still we only got 15/20 minutes of Inferno before the house lights went up and everything had to stop for fear of upsetting the students at such a late hour (11pm on a Friday night). I was looking forward to catching more of their new stuff tonight, but alas this will have to be put on the back burner for another day, which shouldn’t be too long as these fuckers play all the time…