When I saw VOTS on the poster it drew up two emotions!
1. Wow! Punk legends of yesteryear have bit the bullet and reformed, I’m gonna get to see a band I was too young to see first time around.
2. What a bunch of sad wankers, they’ve wrecked their legendary status by reforming.
As it turns out despite the SAME ABBREVIATED LOGO AND NAME Victims of The System (pic above) are most definitely not those grunting punks of 33 years ago.
Nor are they a band from the Lebanon or from New Jersey (as my research found two others with the same name).
It was a tall order… A school night, albeit a free one, and a band from New Zealand playing in Rhyl and a prospective 45 minute (each way) drive to get there, collecting Tim and MWJ on the way. We made the effort as Dead Dreamers travelled 12,000 miles to get here (crazy fools).
With the footy on, it was evident our 9.30pm arrival was about 20 minutes too early and the bands would kick off as soon as the final whistle blew… Only they didn’t.. They proceeded to faff about… Yes, do a line check, then get the fuck on with it… There was far too much faffing going on! This applies to both Vots and SbS – Guys! It’s a gig not a rehearsal – tune your guitars, do a line check and tear the place apart. No fucking shredding, no fucking about – it’s unprofessional! Get on, deliver your goods, and get off…!
When Victims of The System did get on, it was fast, sometimes loose, ferocious, sometimes furious, and nice ‘n’ loud. Headed by a really cool, confident, tattooed, uncompromising and vicious vocalist who was happy to scream in your face – ‘Can you feel us?’ (yes we can..!). He was sporting the neatest pair of Doc Martens which stood out well amongst the Converse crew.
Only added to the bill two days earlier and watched by kids whose pants were so low that they may as well start a new trend have have them round their ankles, VoTS displayed some pretty decent tunes, with well worked time changes. Welcome To Our World, with its machine gunned parts came across really well in a song with lots going on… Good stuff, from metal Destroya style chugga-chug to all out thrash.. Yeah, they often follow the well trodden path of their worldly mp3 collections, but then suddenly jump off in another direction.
It’s raw but it’s promising…
‘There is a curfew, you need to crack on.’ – promoter Steve Rastin was heard saying to the band as they faffed about making a shredding racket as other members smoked and chatted out side… As time moved on and our need to be back in Bangor closed in, it was becoming apparent that we weren’t going to see Dead Dreamers – and young bands need to learn that not getting on with it harms others on the bill. It only takes one band member to show a bit of leadership (usually the bassist ha!), and also the promoter needs a large stick to beat them on occasion!
Having said that, when Surrounded By Silence did eventually grace the boards, they did proverbially hit you between the eyes with the opener Broken Rules and began a full-on screamo set. Mandatory guttural vocals and had a more metal feel than VoTS, the second song really fucking moved, – yeah, they smashed it!
Anomaly (I think it was called that) is the new single, followed by Shadows of People, their first single, which was pretty decent stuff with ace harmonic guitar riffs galloping side by side (makes beautiful noise yes!), before they monumentally cocked it up ha ha!
Dark Tendencies ripped in with a fucking beater of a bass line and again galloped along before turning metal.
Two pretty decent sets – pity it all ran too late to see the third, hope Dead Dreamers had a good set….