Wed 6th April 2005
Support from Alabama Thunderpussy, Taint, End of Level Boss, Centurion's Ghost, Sada, The River
I missed he first band Cudamantra but next up were female fronted slooooow doom band, The River. Don't get me wrong, I love doom 'cause heavy is very important in my world but I just hate it when bands forget the fast bits. All music needs variance and light and shade or whatever you wanna call it and dead slow just gets dead boring after a while. They're competent musicians to a man but the singer was buried waaaaay down in the sound and clearly didn't feel the urge to stretch her range in any way. I'll put it to you this way, the bassist spent a good twenty minutes later in the day trying to convince my mate to take a free cd 'cause they "were usually much better than that!"
Sada played next, stepping up to the stage with a casual swagger, they exploded into the first song taking at least half the (steadily growing by now) audience with them. You know, every now and then you see a band who don't just listen to bands like Kyuss, Clutch, Down and Corrosion of Conformity but actually PAY ATTENTION and make notes...? Sada are one of them. Grooved up to fuck with the odd Pantera/Metallica punch every now and then to keep the edge in, they didn't put a note wrong from start to finish. and they appear to be just as good on record from the sound of their CD they were giving out (cheers lads!). Brilliant.
I checked the poster and Centurions Ghost's logo was giving me the impression they were gonna be bad death/black/doom metal. We braced ourselves and ambled in in time for the first song, only to discover they were, in fact, er... power metal. I simply couldn't keep a straight face and we had to leave after the first song, nearly crying laughing.
Hangnail side project End Of Level Boss stepped up next. Everything started well, huge grooves and the odd metallic blast, yep, it's the Hangnail guy alright. The first four or five songs were pretty much faultless with a large crowd of nodding heads then it all started to go a bit wrong as they moved onto some newer material. The groove quickly vanished as they desperately tried to act cleverer than they really are (why do so many bands do this?). yet another glaring example of why you should always stick to what you know best with a bit of experimentation to keep it interesting, rather than the other way round. Special mention should go to End of Level Boss' bassist, however. Let me put it this way, she was so good, I kept forgetting she was a (painfully) hot bass chick and mostly watched her male guitar counterparts. That's never happened before...
read my review of the Swansea gig the week before, all I can do here is add superlatives. Fantastic again as always, Jimbob continues to get more and more comfortable in his role as frontman (foot on the monitor no less than 3 times during the far too short set!) with Al and Chris providing a fantastic backline as always. Glorious.
Alabama Thunderpussy were plagued by bad luck and bad planning for most of the day. Not only did they get fucked over on transport and the Goblin boys had to leg it back out to the airport to pick them up but also, they were scheduled after Taint. Technical, punk tinged ferocity to good ol' southern rock just does not flow easily and it spoiled the first coupla songs of Alabama Thunderpussy's set (for me personally, at least) but they came out all guns blazing and soon got back on track, ripping through the songs with attitude, grit and panache. Smiles and nodding heads all round. Strangely the personal highlight of the set was when the vocalist started quoting the exact episode of Brass Eye (Drugs) that me and my mates had watched the night before! ...spooky... anyone got any cake?
Finally, Orange Goblin took to the stage... holy fuck, I'd forgotten since the last time I saw them how adamantly Ben Ward refuses to take "Nah, I don't fancy it, cheers" as an answer to his question of "ARE YOU READY TO ROCK?!?!" Everyone loves Goblin 'cause they know what to expect and the band clearly absolutely adore what they do for a living which makes it all the more enjoyable. Ben is still easily the finest frontman around and could probably incite a riot in sheltered accomodation if he put his mind to it and the band simply rock harder than any other three people on the planet. All the favourites were there ('Some You Win, Some You Loose', 'Blue Snow', 'Scorpionica' etc), blistering from beginning to end and the only band of the day that managd to get people excited enough to form a pit. Fun fun fun!!! Still think the best bit was when Ben fell over and required a roadie's assistance to get back up 'cause of all the free Jagermeister, mind...