(review n pix by neil crud)
Like I said about Rob Talbot, the promoter at Preston, the same can be said for James Rozzy in Holyhead. These people are essential to a scene or the scene. Without them there’s no hub. And although sometimes venues are shortlived, people like James will seek out new halls for new civilisations. Bands, punters, venues and scenes come and go, but some promoters live forever, just take a look at Steve Rastin in Rhyl, he’s 97 and still putting on gigs!
We were due to play at another venue in town, while this gig was on, which was silly. One horse towns have enough trouble hosting one night, let alone two. The gig was thankfully pulled and as an olive branch we, Braxton Hicks (pic above) were given the opportunity to bake under the stage lights and face a difficult audience at this metal night. That’s exactly what happened, they were a tough audience, or at least didn’t know how to react to Joe’s piss-taking banter, ‘We went down like a lead balloon,’ he later said. I think we lasted 20 minutes, a great diet though, as I lost about half a stone in the heat!
Entity were supposed to be on the bill, but their bass player had some prior engagement in Ireland (silly boy). This was a shame as Entity are an entity well worth seeing. So, as is normally the case, the line up is changed and shuffled. Making the live bow here at this 1960s decor clad club, with real live Bingo going on downstairs, Atlas Will Atone (pic above) graced the rickety stage. They went down well with Gwion and Joe from my band, and although I didn’t find the music awfully pretty, they were tight and they knew what they were doing, and hey! minimal covers! One I think. So Atlas Will Atone are a real band, a serious band, rather than the plethora of cocksuckers out there living out their dreams with other people’s talent rather than their own. This is important and more power to them and their like. The singer (Sion?) put so much effort into his performance I feared his face would explode, and they hide the fact they’ve only been together a couple of months extremely well. (check em out)
If Atlas are a Beaujolais Nouveau then Holyhead’s Inferno are a prized vintage. With more gear than a touring funk band, this 3 piece have matured over the years into a top of the range rock outfit. With each band only getting 35 minutes to ply their trade and the fact we only did 20 should’ve allowed Inferno an extra (and deserved) 15 minutes, but like I’ve said in the past, 35 minutes nails it on the head – bands can outstay their welcome and be oblivious to the short attention span of an audience. Having said that Inferno had everyones full attention; opening with some timeless classics before hitting us from the halfway mark with new material. As their last album, The Lions Den showed a maturity in their song writing, the new stuff takes it up another notch (if that’s possible), with bluesy-Hendrixy washes without losing that tough rock edge. Songs I never wanted to end. Looking forward to the next release.
I’ve seen ArtisFiction (main pic) frogmarch through their various ‘growing up’ guises across the years, from bumbling schoolkids being out of tune and out of luck, to teenagers being out of time and out of luck, to now, the near finished article where luck doesn’t come into it. Just sheer skill and guile. This is the band I always wanted Senser to be; a modern day Senser if you like (without that uneccesary wailing woman!). Where they could’ve taken the easy hardcore metal route of big beats and phat chord laden riffs, they’ve added rap-grunge to take their sound into a whole new audience without losing the original genre. Like Inferno (and Zebedy) ArtisFiction are one of the hardest working bands on the coast, forever gigging home and away. They look like twats, they probably are twats, they sound awesome… Hats off them…