The start of something new and exciting, or just another false dawn? Well, I guess it’s down to sad old anorak clad gits like me to convince you that sitting at home reading reviews is simply not good enough and does not come a patch close to being there – the live experience.
In some ways it’s harder for bands nowadays as they do have to compete with peoples’ freedom of choice – at least a gig a week, the comfort of peoples’ homes, the price of beer, the smoking ban, high prices, the weather (lame excuse, put your fucking anorak on). The problem used to be in finding somewhere to play, now it’s finding people to play to…
Promoter Steve Rastin is tireless in his love for live music… Tireless enough to break the border and trek out from his native Rhyl where his live gigs at Vegas Bar go from strength to strength. He goes west to help plant the seeds in Bangor.
I recall nearly ten years ago when we all put our eyebrows together to raise a collective one when Steve started putting bands on in Bar Blu in Rhyl on a Wednesday night. ‘The guy’s a fucking idiot, it’ll never work.’
It did, it ran for five years (check out the archive reviews on this site – hundreds of reviews and hundreds of great nights). Bar Blu was the launch pad for many young bands, many of whom who went on to be signed and release albums, record BBC sessions and others who went on to flip burgers.
Times change, people move on, kids grow up and have their own illegitimate screaming nappy shitting kids and ‘the scene’ disappears, morphs, dies and starts up again… Just like life. But hey.. it’s only music, so why are we so passionate about it? I mean, if you worked in a newsagents you wouldn’t be telling all and sundry how many copies of Woman’s Weekly you sold today would you? So why tell everyone you’re in a band? Why big yourself up like some twat on a podium about how good your shit band are?
Why? Because you believe in what you do… You believe that what you do is worthy of other people listening, you are the new Nirvana. Trouble is, the days of ‘a new beat combo’ have long gone… Bands are two-a-penny and The Net is saturated with millions of the fuckers, many excellent, many mediocre, many complete shit – the choice is yours. You can take them or leave them – many of you leave them, and the more you leave them, one day they’ll give up AND YOUR ONLY CHOICE WILL BE THE CORPORATE FUCKING SHIT MONGERS OF SUGAR COATED MINDLESS WANK THAT YOU ARE FORCE FED VIA YOUR TV AND RADIO. – The choice is yours… Apathy rules? Oh ok…. (Wankers… the lot of you).
Hence the turn out tonight… But then again, creating a Facebook event and watch the numbers of people click to say they’re going to your gig is not tantamount to ‘properly’ advertising a gig… #1 – Half the fuckers think a gig is Radio (FUCKING) One’s Big Weekend, or that Hackney bollocks that is shat across the telly this weekend (and it is COMPLETE AND UTTER FUCKING BOLLOCKS). Hackney? FUCK OFF… – clicking ‘like’ doesn’t mean you’re contributing to a scene or supporting something while you’re warming your fucking couch, you’re building up the hopes of some poor useless fuckers who spend hours, days, weeks, months, years in their garages, bedrooms, sheds rehearsing their songs, their set to play to you… and you can’t be bothered turning up cos it’s raining, or cos some Hackney SHIT is on the telly – you’re all cunts… Fuck you all…
#2 – You’re in a band… Don’t sit there and wait for the phone to ring or the inbox to fill up with offers to play Wakestock, Central Station or The Red Lion – Get out there… if you’re good enough, then get in their faces… yes create that all important Face(FUCKING)book page, event.. whatever, but get out there – photocopy flyers, stick posters in newsagents, on uni walls, in police stations – make it an Event, and not a FUCKING facebook event (Ha! Event… my arse..)
#3 – If you’re not good enough, then don’t stick your songs online for people to hear with the excuse ‘It’s not finished yet’ – and don’t ask your mates or parents what they think – they’ll lie to you and fill you with false hope. You’ll go out there thinking you’re the new Nirvana when really you’re a clapped out Courteener. Ask a twat like me what I really think (behind closed doors – not publically), or better still ask a bigger twat like Adam Walton the same question.. He (me) is/are not being a twat – it’s an honest opinion from experience – and believe me, I and Walton have played in some of the shittest bands in the history of North Wales and (at the time) we thought dogs bollocks were below us.
The bands…? Oh yeah… these reviews follow the same pattern… aren’t you supposed to mellow out as you get older? or is it a case of becoming grumpy? These reviews do follow a similar pattern, moaning at YOU (and there’s hundreds of you who read these) to come out and play…
Rastin booked four bands to play on the premise that at least one wouldn’t turn up. He was right, so I won’t mention them. First up was Lucy Was A Decoy (good name) – my kitchen cynic was in full flow when they opened up with a Rolling Stones cover – great band, great song, but why bother? No need, we have enough karaoke to contend with on the telly and with tribute bands (don’t get me started on fucking tribute bands – the only tribute they pay tribute to is your thick fucking mind and your wallet – now fuck off). If you’re gonna play a Stones song do it differently, a reggae version maybe? Butcher it.. Smash Jagger’s back doors in, make him find out that you’ve fucked one of his masterpieces so hard up the arse that even Bill Wyman’s underage girlfriend is sobbing into her New Kids On The Block pillow. Lucy get kudos for their version of Dazed And Confused, that’s more like it and despite their sheepish on stage presence, their ‘final’ (and original) song Unfinished was by far the best of the bunch; it was inventive, enticing and if that is a taste of things to come then Lucy Was A Decoy are going to be your favourite new band in the future. I say ‘final song’ as they managed to break the bass, thus ending their set – now that is punk rock.
Addicted To Fish (pic above) alighted the stage (floor) – I’ve seen the name knocking around for a couple of months and two chords into the first two songs it was evident that they possess a shitness that makes them quite good really! I’m not sure whether it’s deliberate or they are a band so much in their infancy that they still toddle the steps into the world of rock and roll. In a way I hope not as there is something about this band and their haphazard approach to their songs. (Covers? I don’t know). Their drummer had only joined a month ago (and it showed), but it didn’t detract (well, it did) from the Guy Garvey lookalike on guitar-vocals, who has a great strong voice that could knock a tree down. If they can tighten up without losing the shitness Addicted To Fish will be a really good band. Really enjoyed most of the set.
Rosary, on the other hand are in a different league. If we’ve been watching the Blue Square so far (nowt wrong with that), now we are tearing up the leagues, and maybe this is the precedent that should be set for the other bands – but there again, if every band was the same then the world would be as boring as watching The Voice on DVD. Rosary were Y Cer two years ago and I saw them at some Battle of The Bands bollocks, and even then they struck me as a band that meant business. And once they got rid of the shit name and became Rosary, it was/is obvious that they’re not a band who wait for the phone to ring or the inbox to ping. They go out, they make it happen because they believe in what they’re doing, and with the evidence slammed before me in musical form tonight, they have every right to do so… From the opening washes of guitar with a psychedelica feel and the Plan B lookalike frontman, Rosary exude a confidence, but not quite cockyness that demands attention. Someone said ‘a good U2’ – but that doesn’t do them justice really, although the big stage and big crowd would. Some of their stuff is mesmerising, some is show stopping, some is toe tapping and they are up there with the Holy Coves and Something Personals of this area; bands who work hard and believe in what they do and possess the quality and the right to do so.
One look at the number of gigs they play and have lined up should be incentive enough for other bands to get out there and in the faces of everyone who cares and kick the lazy fat fucking arses of those who pretend they do…