Sun 16th December 2007
Support from Suns Of Thunder
On a freezing November's night, after what seems like an age, Swansea's favourite sons (and Suns, for that matter) return home to lay it down for the faithful complete with a shiny new album to show off, it's gonna be quite a night.
Local groovemeisters Suns Of Thunder get going once there's a reasonable semblance of a crowd in attendance and we're off to a fine start as they romp through a now well established set list of good time riffs and loose but focused jams comprised mostly of material from their rather excellent current ep 'Gimme Some More' with a choice handful of album 'The Last Of The Highrollers' highlights thrown in for good measure. It's clear for all to see that their recent countrywide jaunt with Brant Bjork & The Bros has paid dividends as (hard as it is to believe for these boys) they're even tighter than normal. This said however there are one or two (very brief) ropey moments where the lads loose each other mid jam but it soon becomes apparent that, whilst Sin City's front of house sound is (for once) holding itself together rather well, the Suns can barely hear each other through the monitors. Clearly this is far from ideal for a band so fond of improvisation and letting their tunes take them where they will but they soldier through and a fine time is had by all. Well, everyone who wasn't trying to hear their band mates through a speaker that drummer Sam would later describe as 'sounding like someone farting at me...' did anyway...
After what I'd have to say is quite possibly the single fastest change over I've ever seen at a gig, Taint front man Jimbob thanks the crowd for turning up to show some support for our returning conquerors and then leaps into the hammer-on frenzy intro to début album 'The Ruin of Nová Roma' opener 'The Sound Out Competition' before the band seamlessly pile in to join him but rather than the expected full tilt riff-o-rama of that track they switch neatly into the new album 'Secrets & Lies' opening twin blasts of current MySpace crowd pleaser 'Hex Breaker' and it's follow up 'Corpse of Love'. Now I have a confession to make here, despite being a GIGANTIC Taint fanboy (can't you guess...?), I hadn't actually got my hands on the new cd until tonight so everything except 'Hex Breaker' is entirely new to me but none the less I'm utterly blown away and the crowd is sat calmly and adoringly in the bands collective palm by the end of the first track. Within the space of a few more songs the venue is more packed than I can remember a Swansea gig being in many a long year and every song, whether old friend or new instant classic in the making is lapped up. Highlights for me include the afore mentioned swaggering 'Hex Breaker', the as ever monstrously heavy 'I'm Gonna Kill Henry Ford', the break neck riffing of 'Drunken marksmen', London hating newie 'Goddamn This City' (complete with comedy Mockney accent introduction) and set closer 'Mass Appeal Sadness'. Without a doubt Taint's star has been in ascension for a while now since the distinctive, angular yet grooveful hardcore/tech/doom crossover of 'The Ruin Of...' started getting noticed by people outside the immediate scene that the boys had grown up in but it's patently obvious tonight that this is a band finally completely at home with themselves. Whereas previously there have been grimaces as half the set has failed to meet their own gruellingly high standards and the band have seemed to shy away from the audience to a certain extent, Jimbob is now not only able to converse with his crowd but is actually more than willing to do so and has become an engaging frontman and a huge presence on stage, Chris is no longer attempting to fill previous bassist Stophes shoes having established himself with the trios dynamic but simply kicking out the low end rumble as hard as he can and Al (human drum machine that he is) unleashes absolute hell on his kit, gurning furiously the whole way through.
Leaving the stage to a huge roar of approval and worshipful drunken high fives from Acrimony/BER guitarist Stu, Taint stroll off to the bar happy that they've delivered the goods yet again. As always (and yet somehow even more so tonight), utterly sublime.