Live at Joseph's Well on Monday, 17th March 2003
This is what I need. I've been at work all day, now I'm out with my ex- girlfriend having been stood up by all the people I was supposed to meet, and here are the first band of the night, the un-heard of Malibu Stacey.
Well I've certainly heard of them now... the band came on stage like they were about to play a sold out Wembley Arena, not the back room of a pub in Leeds. With no faff, they kick straight into their first song, which summarises everything punk should be in the twenty-first century in two and half minuets.
This band has it all. Jonny Rotten Sneers, aggression and power reminiscent of the Ramones, and yet no punk pretension. They look like normal guys, no crazy hair, no baggy trousers, and no outlandish tattoos.
Malibu Stacey is the greatest pop punk band I have seen this century. Not pop punk in the New Found Glory sense of the word, but punk that is instantly likeable, Is catchy with memorable choruses. Is this the saviour of modern punk? 10/10
Rumours that the drummer was fired a few days previously are quashed as soon as the band begins. If it is a new drummer, he learnt fast!
Whilst Mr Dogg are un-deniably in fine form tonight, I feel their brand of powerful, angst ridden Ska needs more precision. The later songs, in a more up beat mood are good as ever, and get the crowd moving.
I'm surprised how many songs I recognise, being as the last time I saw Mr Dogg play, I was very drunk and met the woman of my dreams, so my attention may have been elsewhere!
The final few tracks leave a lasting impression on the crowd, with the infectious Ska guitar and sing-a-long chorus's that Mr Dogg have made their trademark. 5/10
THE DEAD PETS
Opening track "follow us in" sets the mood for the whole set with its anthem like chant of "we are the Dead Pets!"
Perhaps due to over crowding on the stage, or perhaps due to excessive energy, singer Sweeny Todd spends half the gig in the crowd, barking the lyrics at individual crowd members as if they are to blame for the worlds problems.
The only way I can think of to describe the dead pets sound to the un-initiated is as modern old school punk rock with a Ska tinge. All the aggression of Agnostic Front, all the charm of the Mighty Mighty Bosstone's and all the fun of the Dropkick Murphy's.
The seven-musician line up (including two bassists?) creates a solid yet clean sound, a testament to the skill of this punk mob. They have everything a punk band needs. They're scruffy, tasteless, rude, offensive, aggressive and instantly likeable. The whole band ooze charisma, and they possess one vital strength that you rarely see with commercial punk bands... they all look like they are having a great time. And this creates a great atmosphere in the small venue. 10/10
Mr Shiraz's arrival on stage is instantly marred by the fact that half the crowd seem to have left after the Dead Pets Finished. However, Shiraz seem unfazed by this, and embark on a rampage of infectious, good-time Ska. From the dancing girls on stilts, to the guy in ironic hat dancing, you know the goal for tonight is fun.
The sound is bouncy, happy, bass led Ska. The two-part brass section adds a comfortable parp in time to the music without over-crowding the rest of the instruments.
This sound seems to work with the reduced crowd, who respond to the melee' on stage by skanking for their lives. The band seems to be loving their headline spot, and they give the impression that they wouldn't care if the room were empty.
The truly rock n roll ending, where several friends fill the stage to sing along on the final track was one of those beautiful moments where you just want to start a band so you too can live out your rock fantasies. 8/10