Keep Rollin' Part 1

Lost Prophets

Wednesday 14th March, 2001 - The Colosseum, Coventry, ENGLAND.

Colosseum Flyer
This was my first time at the Coventry Colosseum (I remember it as the TicToc), so I was interested to see what the venue is like.  Unfortunately, the bands tonight played in a very small room at the left of the building which was long(ish) and narrow (12-15ft) and the stage(!) is about six inches high.  This doesn't make for very good viewing if you come to SEE the bands, as unless you are in the first six or seven rows of bodies, all you see is the backs of heads and if you are in the first few rows you get moshed to death.  Anyway, there is a larger room which I am told is far better (I mention this as it is rumoured that Earthtone9, Stampin' Ground and Skindred will play here in May, I would think in the larger room).
First up tonight were Autonomy from Daventry.  These were classed as the local band, one which I have managed to see live before in their home town (at the Dun Cow) and on that occasion really enjoyed their spin on the heavy, rapcore nu-metal sound.   Since then they have had a change of vocalist (of which they enjoy two), as Terry left to be replaced by a chap called Oliver Eldershaw who joins Jay (the second vocalist).  I have heard a few comments about Oliver but wanted to reserve judgement until I had experienced his contribution myself.  So this gig should be interesting.

They started off with a song that I can't remember hearing before, but it gave me my first impressions of Oliver which to be totally honest wasn't good, as his vocals were so out of tune that it was painful.  However, the song was good and strong, with a nice mix of fast rapping and roaring, which is an Autonomy trademark.

The set consisted of a few songs that I recognised (This Is

Autonomy - Oliver and Jay - Click for larger picture.
Real and S/K/N/S) and others that I didn't.  I am not sure if this was because I just didn't remember them or that they were actually new, anyway it was quite a good mix of heavy, violent metal that certainly had a core of the crowd bouncing around the pit.

As the set went on, I was unable to come to terms with the new vocals, as they really didn't get any better and often grated on me.  The shouty raw stuff was good with both able to do the "full-on" thing, but the more gentle "singing" parts by Oliver were at times terrible.  This is a shame because this is a fine band and when on top form can really create a good party atmosphere (as they did last time I saw them).   I hope it's just because the lineup needs to settle down,  but I also noticed the way that Terry and Jay used to feed off each other was not present with Oliver and Jay.  I guess it's a new partnership and these things take time to develop, and I am sure they will.

Autonomy - Oliver, Jay and Matt - Click for larger picture. Maybe I have concentrated on this negative aspect too much, as the gig was far from a disaster, it was actually pretty good.  I particularly enjoyed the energy that the band manage to throw at you during the gig, the heaviness of the riffs and explosive quality of many of their songs.  Excellent.  They are a band worth catching live despite my new-found grievances and watch out for their debut album which is in danger of being released this year. Autonomy - Matt - Click for larger picture.
Next up were a band called Djevara, who I'd never heard of before tonight and who apparently were semi-finalists of the NME student band award.  I am not going to say too much about this four piece as I don't want the review to degenerate into a completely negative rant.  All I will say is that they were not to my taste, they came across as a little "naive" and reminded me of rock music about 20 years ago (the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal era).  In fact, the description of students playing in a band is just about perfect.*

Lost Prophets - Click for larger picture

At last, Lost Prophets appeared on stage.  This was the band I had really come to see tonight (and having Autonomy in support was a bonus).  I have not seen them before, but had heard lots of good things about this band from Wales.  They took to the stage(?) with a very warming welcome from Ian Watkins (vocals),  "Good Evening, how are you doing?  We are Lost Prophets. Move up to the front, don't be scared, come on!   And a night of metal entertainment will ensue, I want to see you do us proud.   But mind your head".  I had forgotten to mention when describing the room that the ceiling was only about 8 feet from the floor!

Lost Prophets - Click for larger picture

Starting with Shinobi Versus Dragon Ninja, the place was instantly moving and was suddenly packed with bouncing bodies.   Their mix of rock styles, sometime heavy, sometimes light but always with melody, would be interesting to see live.  And they were good!

The first question was, how many of them are there on stage?   One, two, three, four, five, six!  Yes six!  This is a

Lost Prophets - Click for larger picture
big band, more like a gang, but they had a big sound to match as they went into The Fake Sound Of Progress, another popular song that had the whole venue jumping to the melodies.

The interaction with the crowd was notable, and this is very important, because it helps create the atmosphere and develop a relationship.   There was a real vibe about these blokes and with plenty of chatter to the crowd between songs from often different members of the band.  And into Five Is A Four Letter Word and then it was getting hot as the trend continued with more moshing, bouncing and general madness.

Lost Prophets - Click for larger picture The band recognised this and next up was ...And She Told Me To Leave, as Ian said "This is song that we don't normally play live, but to give you a breather and let you chill out..."   This was a nice gentle number with the occasional flurry, but mainly allowed things to quieten down just a little and for people to get back their breath.

"This next one is A Thousand Apologies and comes in without warning" states Ian, and with only a little warning off we went again.  This was closely followed by the comedy moment of the night as Ian introduced For Sure and the opening guitar notes echoed around until Lee Gaze (the guitarist) screwed up and had to start again.  This was met with laughs, cheers and clapping as Ian shrieked in amazement shouting "Oh my God!  We've been found out for the amateurs that we are!  I'll get my coat!   Cheque please!"  Brilliant...  They soon picked it up and continued with this great song.

Finishing with Kobrakai, they had given us a good nights entertainment and the crowd seemed very satisfied.   Overall, a fine gig by the Prophets and even though I generally enjoy my music a lot more on the extreme and aggressive side, I really did delight in their performance tonight.   It was a nice mix of warmth, melody and madness that was imparted with sincerity and love.  We left as the band were inviting everyone onto the stage to come and chat and have some fun, these were genuinely nice people.  Thanks lads.


*This review has been edited (at the marked paragraph) since it's original publishing, due to an email received from 'Bass' representing Djevara, who was objecting to some of the comments made in the article.  Where as the comments were not meant in anyway to be offensive, I understood that perhaps the wrong interpretation could be made and as such have no issue with editing the piece.   Although the music of Djevara is not to my own taste, I would like to add that they informed me that they have since been signed to a label (details unknown), which is great news.  I thank 'Bass' for his feedback and wish them all the best.
(Jan 2002).

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