Live at Leeds Metropolitan University on Tuesday, 12th November 2002
After an interminable wait, a severely depleted Melaton grace the stage. The lead singer informs us that traffic made them late and half the band are still stuck in it, so they will attempt a shortened set with him and the bass player. And a very admirable attempt they make.
Due to the lack of musicians I wouldn't like to make any comparisons (though Starsailor did spring to mind). The songs, although not particularly memorable, were very listenable. Strong vocals, even stronger (as in hit bloody hard) rhythm guitar and pleasing harmonies from bass player Declan make for a very enjoyable set. One song of note having flamenco style intro, though I failed to grasp any of the song names from the softly spoken Luke.
Obviously humbled by requests from the audience, Melaton were very appreciative of the large (helped by their late arrival) and receptive audience. Their offer of a free CD from their website tempts me to find out what they really sound like.
'City', from the new album, is the opening track to the JJ72 set. A great mixture of jangly high guitar, deep vibrations of the synth and the screaming vocals of "nothing will change" sets a great precedence for what might be to come.
The first part of the set does not fail to impress. Peppered with old and new songs alike, the bobbing heads at the front of the crowd signify the energy the band puts in. The raucous and heartfelt 'Snow' and 'October Swimmer' (which has a fantastic light show) engage the audience so the new songs, which to me don't seem as immediate as those off debut album, are received well - the Cure like intro of 'Fomulae', the Placeboesque powerful drone of 'Serpent Sky' and the mellower 'Always and Forever'.
The vocals are powerful, Feargal Matthews drumming is stalwart and the mysterious Hilary Woods on bass adds to the atmosphere but there is no rapport with the audience. Apart from a gripe about suffering from DVT from tonight's journey and a call for David O'Leary to be reinstated as Leeds Manager, Mark Greaney says nothing.
A brief wave of the hand signals the end of the set and as we wait in the darkness for the customary encore you hope there may be some sort of recognition for the adoring fans at the front. The encore severely disappoints. Maybe I am getting old but a short song followed by a lot of noise does not seem to fulfil my desires. The fans get nothing, not even a thank you and as the lights come up you get the feeling that Mark Greaney may be a little up his own arse.