Red Sparowes Custard Factory, Birmingham, 31/03/2005

Sat 2nd April 2005

Support from Ramesses, Una Corda

Dave Heaton

The Custard Factory is a nice little venue that's starting to play host to some pretty good shows.

First up were a local band called Una Corda. A new name to me. Their line-up of two guitarists, two bassists and a drummer is a bit different from the norm. One guy playing what can only be described as lead bass. The other bassist stayed at the back providing a chunky bottom end with the drummer, while the lead bass and guitars cranked the riffs. Chatting to them afterwards revealed that they had recently undergone a line-up change. Their singer left and the remaining musicians have decided to go down the increasingly popular instrumental route. They made a great noise. My only worry is that with the proliferation of instrumental riff rock bands that are around at the moment, they may get lost in the pack. They deserve a decent shot at things because, on the strength of their set, they have the talent to do well.

Next up were Ramesses. I saw these guys back in November supporting 5ive. Back then George from Gonga was helping out on guitar, as Tim had broken his arm. Tonight, they were back to full strength. Kicking off with 'Terrordactyl', they locked into an evil groove, Mark Greening hammering seven shades of stuff out of his kit. 'Master Your Demons' and 'Black Domina' followed before a new song called 'The Tomb'. This is a slow, heavy monster that suits it's title perfectly. They finished with their "theme song" 'Ramesses II'. I can't help but think that this band will go far.

Red Sparowes ambled on, tuned up then proceeded to transform Digbeth into a rather special place. No rock star poses, no "C'mon Birminghaaam, let's rock'n'roll" nonsense. Just five guys locking into a sweet sounding guitar fest. They played all the songs from their Stunning 'At The Soundless Dawn' album in the order they appear on the CD. This was no bad thing, as live they were (obviously) much louder and this is probably how the band would prefer the songs to be heard. On more than one occasion, I looked around to see a sea of smiling faces and nodding heads.

A tip of the hat must go to the promotors, Capsule, for putting together a great show and all for a paltry entrance fee of just £7.00. This puts me nicely in the mood for the return of two of the Red Sparowes with their main band, Isis in 3 weeks.


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