Metal Hammer presents
Thursday 9th March, 2000 - The Charlotte, Leicester, ENGLAND.
|Well here we are again at "The Charlotte", for another
potentially splendid gig. I managed to get here on time tonight and was ready for
the opening band. It was looking a little empty, but the night was yet young.
The first band up was "GF93". They were from Italy and are label mates with the second support group. I was told by the lovely lady on the merchandise desk, that this band are used to playing to large crowds of 800 people plus. Well tonight there were 40-50 people max and most of them (including myself, because I'm quite shy, not heartless) were nowhere near the stage. It is always difficult this, opening a gig where there is only a handful of people and no one has heard of you or your music, and you're in a foreign country! I suppose at the very least, they could treat it as a practise session
|The things that stood out were, the vocalists english was quite poor (hey, but have you heard my Italian!) and he looked extremely uncomfortable, but he did try and along with the drummer they put their hearts into it. The two guitarists looked far too staid and proper, very studentesque, maybe more befitting an Indie band, but that is irrelevant, really. The female bass player was a nice looking girl, but could have been a gothic statue as she hardly moved. She stood in the corner and it was only during the last song that a small swaying motion was evident. One of the most frustrating things to me was that there was not a lot of interaction with the crowd, I think because of the english problem. The vocalist tended to pace around quite a lot and always had the mike close to his mouth cupped by both hands, he spoke far to fast and muffed and was fairly unintelligible. Unfortunately, this seemed to isolate the band|
|and removed the intimacy that the Charlotte so often provides. The
bands songs were okay, but it was obvious that they were very nervous however, if they
managed to chill out a little and ALL give 100%, by the end of the set they would almost
definitely get the respect they deserved.After a short break (and a quick trip to visit the bar :-)),
meeting my old mate photographer Dave Metcalf with his red berret and performing Nikon,
weddings and barmitfas a speciality), the second band of the evening seized the limelight
and they were from sleepy Bournemouth. A band called "Snub" and they were anything but sleepy! The crowd was
still small (50-60), but now they started to move and loosen up. There was constant
interaction with the crowd, involving them straight from the off and getting a good banter
going, especially "Choff" the vocalist. What a scary looking bunch of
"wild and crazy guys", the skinhead looks of both big "Choff" and
guitarist "Simon Smith" who looked like a club bouncer, dressed all in black.
And with a new second guitarist (he joined just 10 weeks ago), a nice bloke who put 110% into the performance (who I later found was going out with the lovely lady on the merchandise desk!!) and who bestowed really good accompanying backing growls (awesome). He complimented the band style very well and was most excellent. This tour started on Monday but the turnouts so far have been low, he hopes for better tomorrow (Friday night in Bradford) and I agree the weekend should help.
This band gave a really good performance, despite one or two technical problems and the odd mistake here and there. The set contained a good portion of the songs from their debut album "Memories in Richter" (available on Copro Records - COP012). They opened with the title track "Memories in Richter", and stormed through other hard hitting songs such as "Wretched", "Manmade", "The Cynic, the Rat and the Fist", "Arson", "Raping Angels" and "Sixty Degree Conviction". Their music is hardcore, with excellent lyrics that are more often than not meaningful social and political statements. This band seem to have what it takes and I enjoyed the result!!In-between bands I noticed the blokes from "Earthtone9" were here, I seem to be meeting them everywhere at the moment (bumped into them last week at "Slipknot's" Nottingham Rock City gig). I had a really quick chat with "Karl" the voice behind the band, just before "Misery Loves Co." came on and he told me a little about their plans (details here). He is a really nice bloke, but I had to break off the conversation as "MLC" were taking to the stage. In fact, Karl was unable to stay for the whole of the "MLC" set and left after a few numbers, as the band were off to the studio to record a new EP.
|By the time "Misery Loves Co." took the stage, the crowd had increased slightly to around 100 or so and there was now an atmosphere thanks to Snub. "MLC" have always had the core members of "Patrik Wiren" on vocals and "Orjan Ornkloo" on guitar. Now they have been joined on a permanent basis by "Michael Hahne" on guitar and "Olle Dahlstedt" on drums. There is also a new bass player (another Patrick), who has very much a 'Jazz' look about him (looks to side camera - "Nice", "Great").|
|The sound they created was quite dark and
claustrophobic, brooding raw guitars blending power and melody, giving out loads of
aggression. The industrial beats mixed with touches of jazz and funk, and of course
topped with Patrik's often-monotone vocals.
They played a number of songs from their existing repertoire. The ones that spring to mind were "Feed The Creep", "Kiss Your Boots" and "My Mind Still Speaks", the later was met with massive cheers from the crowd and things started to really move for a while. "We have never played here before, so we had no idea what to expect. I want to thank you, its brilliant, thank you." says Patrik
|There were quite a few songs that I didn't recognise, because they
played quite a lot of stuff from their new album "Your Vision Was Never Mine To
Share". This I have not yet heard and it was not for sale at the gig due to the
record company requesting that it was not to be sold on tour. Seems they dont
like us punters buying it for a tenner at the gig, prefer you paying 15 quid in the shops
instead! A very strange and narrow-minded policy I think!! "Your Vision
Was Never Mine To Share" was due for release on the 6th March 2000, so you should be
able to find it around now if you are interested.
There was not really that much wrong with their gig, except they weren't doing much for me, or anyone but a dozen of the crowd (there was a small number of people making an awful lot of noise). The music is not my personal favourite, but it is fine (I obviously dont dislike it and I own their first two albums). It was somehow only an average performance; it became somewhat repetitive and failed to keep my attention. There was reasonable effort put in by the band but not that extra something that the really good bands pull out. The sound quality was quite good, but they seemed to lack a massive amount of stage presence and missed out the interaction with the crowd, except for one chap at the front (but this bloke actually looked very Swedish, so he's probably at every gig). The songs are okay, but I dont think they have that edge that gets everyone going and make the hairs on your back stand on end!
On reflection, I enjoyed "Snub" more than I did "Misery Loves Co.". They gave that little extra and their songs had an edge and some attitude. They were more relevant and quite frankly more to my own taste. So there you have it, another evening of enjoyment draws to a close, I thank you all!
Note: I hope to have some live pictures of the gig soon. I will post them here as soon as I get them.
Loves Co. are:
|The March 2000
6th - Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth, ENGLAND
7th - Army & Navy, Chelmsford, ENGLAND
8th - Blackwood Miners Institute, Blackwood, ENGLAND
9th - The Charlotte, Leicester, ENGLAND
10th - Rio's, Bradford, ENGLAND
11th - Red Rose Theatre, Rugeley, ENGLAND
12th - Cathouse, Glasgow, SCOTLAND
13th - Cavern, Exeter, ENGLAND
14th - Sugar Mill, Hanley, Stoke on Trent, ENGLAND
15th - JB's, Dudley, ENGLAND
16th - Fleece & Firkin, Bristol, ENGLAND
17th - Underworld, London, ENGLAND
18th - Hop & Grape, Manchester, ENGLAND
19th - Arts Centre, Colchester, ENGLAND