First off let me apologise to all the bands that I didn’t get to see on Sunday, especially the headliners from Brighton, Mimi Soya. Sadly work commitments meant I to leave immediately after a great set by a band you’ve heard about many times before on this blog, Steal The Smile. But more about them later. I saw four bands in the end at a total cost in the region of £100 and a total mileage of 400 miles. So at £25 and 100 miles per band did I get value for money? Overall yes. Did I get value for money from every band? You can judge that by reading below, but can you guess who didn’t provide value for money? Once again at this venue there was hardly anyone in the audience, what is it with promoters? Do they not get that their job title consists of the actual word ‘promote’?
First up were the Mardies. I thought they were pretty good, although some of their songs seemed a little ‘samey’. The clear exception to this rule was the rather excellent “Dancing With Thieves” (I hope I got the title right girls!). My first impression of this all girl band was of Sixpence None The Richer with balls. So overall not a bad performance and their harmonies were immense (4 out of 5)
Next up were Nicotine, which is supposed to be addictive, but this lot were a long way from addictive in my humble opinion. Guys if you are reading this review you might wish to stop now! The two vocalists were really trying the shouty, screamy vocal style, for which you need to have really good vocal styling, clearly they didn’t. It was also bloody difficult to understand anything they said, even when they were speaking. One of the guitarists/ vocalists had a Sandie Shaw thing going on with his feet going bare. If that helped improve his vocals I’m glad I didn’t hear him sing with his shoes on! Some of their guitar work was ok, but for me it felt like the drummer was playing a completely different song in a completely different band. Overall it seemed like their mission was to take the wonderful simplicity of someone like the Ramones (but not the ability) and then complicate the fuck out of it. They finished with a cover version of the Troggs “Wild Thing” which included the worst vocal of the night and probably the worst cover of this great song that I have ever heard and I have heard plenty. Boys, don’t give up the day jobs (1 out of 5)
The third band on was the excellently named the Fortunate. They’re from Basingstoke and have been going for around 18 months. They consist of three guys (bass, guitar and drums) and an excellent female singer who also played keyboards. Their sound is quite crisp and fresh, although for the first song the vocals were way too low in the mix. But after that it was great. The diminutive singer, Natalie, reminded me a little of Clare Grogan off of Altered Images. Overall the fortunate are a very tight band with a great pop sensibility. I would certainly pay to see them again and I purchased their excellent 3 track CD. (5 out of 5)
Finally, as far as my day went anyway, it was the turn of the mighty Steal The Smile, who were once again without Henry who was off on a solo acoustic tour of Grimsby and Scunthorpe. Well ok I made that bit up, he is on holiday in the USA. Oli, Johnny and Luke played well enough for Henry not to be missed on the night. They really are getting tighter as a band and some of their playing seems to intuitively read what one of the others is doing or going to do. Johnny was by far the best drummer from all the four bands I saw at the gig on Sunday. The boys played a five song set which included two relatively new songs; “Always Wrong” and “Two Years Down” both are now available on MySpace and the second is still available on this blog by clicking here. You can also read more of my STS blog posts by clicking here. Obviously I would hand over my cash to see these boys again and sometime soon too. (5 out of 5) Keep on rocking guys!