Live at Cockpit on Tuesday, 8th October 2002
Opening proceedings tonight are local boys Infrasound. Coming across a little like Annie Christian or Delirious they specialise in riff heavy verses and more melodic, driving choruses. They also feature one of the most talented young guitarists I've seen around in quite some time and it's his playing that elevates the band higher than perhaps they should reside.
The singer comes across as the bastard lovechild of Tim Burgess, Billy Bragg and that bloke from A, but without the Mockney stylings. His vocals suit the songs well, giving the band something different, but they also let the band down when the choruses should really lift and pump out at you his voice doesn't have that extra gear.
The band don't particularly have a great presence on stage and the songs go on for too long. The keyboards drift in and out of earshot so maybe we're missing a little something tonight. At present the band show promise and with some hard work could possibly feature as the music over 'Goal Of The Month' some time.
As The Shining open up their first number the immediate impact is that the sound is much better than it was for this evening's openers. That's about as much better as it gets. The only thing I know about The Shining, prior to tonight, is that they feature two ex Verve-ites, both of whom are named Simon. I'm not sure who is who or who does what but I did intend to find out. I no longer have that desire as it is irrelevant to me now.
You can travel pretty much anywhere in the country and go to a gig venue and you will find a band who sound like The Shining. Or maybe even who The Shining sound like. Each of that band's members will own 'Urban Hymns', 'The Complete Stone Roses' and 'A Maximum High'. Every indie cliché is ridden out tonight, with the frontman showing off all off Liam Gallagher's, Ian Brown's and indeed Richard Ashcroft's moves. Each chorus consists of one line repeated over and over, more often than not climaxing with an "ee-aye-aye-aye-yaaaaa".
Only wondrous can's of Red Stripe and delectable indie chicks stop me from departing early. I need a break from it all and nip to the toilets...only to find two blokes in front of the mirror fixing their hair. For me that epitomises the band. It's all about indie styling and looking good, shame they didn't bother to write any decent songs.
"This one's called 'Find Your Way Home'" is the cry from the stage.
"Find Your Way Home and fuck off" is the witty retort from one audience member".
All of this has been done before; there are no twists, nothing fresh, new or invigorating. I get the feeling that if the band didn't feature members with a history then they would never have been picked up. Compare this to Richard Ashcroft's offerings since The Verve split and the two are just miles apart. The Shining are poor. They're pretty tight and slick, for the most of the set, but there is just nothing here to grab you. I'm only here because I have to, to collect my LMS wages of crack and whores and am contractually obliged to stay until at least the encore. I don't stay for that however, I make my escape as my compadre points out The Shining is an anagram of Hen Shiting, which is probably more entertaining than this band.
Very poor, very dull. Oasis, Shed Seven, Richard Ashcroft and Ian Brown are all still making music so you really have no need to come and see this band.