Carpet, Starlight Fix @ The Imperial, Colwyn Bay

(review n pix by neil crud)

He may as well have nailed his guitar to a cross, burnt it, throw stones at it and laughed at it as it bled to death. What Carpet’s John Morris does to his guitar would be punishable by death if it were a living thing, and yet he does bring it to life, albeit as it gasps for air while being strangled. You can only look on in awe as he effortlessly but frantically beats the living shit out of it.

I know I’m contradicting myself here but that’s what Carpet are – a band of contradictions. It’s been said before within these pages that I’m flabberghasted as to why they are not playing on big stages at big events and I suppose its down to lack of representation. They’re good at playing, they’re crap at organising, they need someone to be out there, proactive to get them gigs and on the radio.

Carpet are not just about John Morris, they have Julian Jesus on bass who has of late taken it upon himself to exercise during the set and he covers every single millimeter of the stage, pacing, bouncing, running up and down. Together with a solid backing from Hargi on drums you have a close knit unit, constantly communicating while playing, never fucking up and with an endless repertoire of songs to pick, play and throw right at you.

Tonight was a shambles so far as gigs go. Whoever organised it didn’t arrange a PA and Colwyn Bay’s Bite decided not to go ahead with the show. This left other local grind-merchants Starlight Fix to attempt the in-house disco PA for size and make do the best out of a bad job. It turned out to be almost a rehearsal as the 10 or so people who showed up left it blatantly obvious that the event wasn’t advertised. Starlight’s set was unusual in so much that it hardly stopped for its half hour life and it did sound like one long, but well structured punk rock song, which I thought would be quite novel for a band to actually do a set that consisted of just one long song!

The crowd had swelled up to 15 by the time Carpet hit the stage, and they did just that and with no other bands they rampaged for over an hour throwing in a bit of Doors and AC/DC’s TNT for very good measure. It all climaxed at the end with Flood Unhug when Julian pulled the sliding partition doors across the stage cutting the band off from the crowd in a Pink Floyd ‘The Wall’ style, to top it you could hear Floyd’s Is There Anybody Out There being tinkled on the guitar. A superb performance that deserved a bigger audience.

Perhaps the few numbers were explained as I left The Imp and went past Speakers Corner, I could hear Junebug’s Sweet Mellow Water weaving its way down the street and there was the band’s Ralph Latham performing to a busy venue, and you of course don’t fuck with the Lathams.