Live at Original Oak on Friday, 31st October 2003
It's not what I was expecting. In fact I don't think anyone could be prepared for this gig. The Original Oak. Gigs. In the same sentence? What's going on?! However I had a pleasant surprise as I walked into the Oak Room and saw the setup. They had even built a stage especially for this gig! But enough about the venue because tonight was about the music, and how it was!
First up were Preparation H, whom I have seen play a few times already. Now these guys are good considering that they are still very young in many people's eyes. The drummer was a bull in a china shop, smashing round the kit like he meant it, and I mean REALLY meaning it! The guitarist knew how to jump up and down the fret board just like a certain Mr D. Hawkins, and the bassist just added to this full rock on sound, and Joe was once again showing why in a few years he'll be getting attention from lots of people on the Leeds music scene. The only thing that I would pick up on is that this band doesn't actually realise their potential. The covers that they play ("Boys are back in Town", "Enter Sandman") are good, played tight, and made the crowd want to sing with the band, but they have strength in their own songs, which are cleverly constructed too. All I shall say is that I hope these guys write some more of their own style of rocking tunes soon, maybe throw in a few more rocking shapes when doing solos etc, and then these guys are going to go far. 7/10
A quick change over and it's straight into the Milf boys. Now these guys are getting plenty of good press on the Leeds Scene, and deservedly so, as they are extremely good at what they do. Obviously a lot of people link them with Muse etc, but with tonight's songs and tonight's performance all I can say after buying "Absolution" is that these guys are doing it better, and I wish it had been Milf's third album I had bought. Again the drummer is hitting the skins harder than The Incredible Hulk would. I would definitely say that he is one of the best drummers on the circuit at present. Paul smashes and throws out the raging basslines like I have never seen before, and Matthew is again the star of the show, with his arsenal of effects and his voice. The set was so good that this Estonian man decided to just invade the stage, he then got off and bought Matt a beer, and best of all he supported the right football team! "Blind" was once again the highlight in the set I thought, and I thought they were the best band on show tonight. I really hope these guys get what they want out of playing their music, because they deserve to have their cake AND eat it whole as well. 9/10
The night hit top spot in the changeover straight after Milf's set as the same Estonian tried to buy Milf more drinks, however they already had drinks, so he just gave them too me. I asked how long he'd been in Leeds. He said three hours. I asked what he thought of Leeds. He said, "Muslims have a pilgrimage called a Mecca, and this is my Mecca!"
The last band on were Baby Rattlesnakes from Newcastle way. Now I don't know what to say about this band, because the Oak Room was packed. The bassist (who had done a good version of "Enter Sandman" with Preparation H earlier) thought he was cool, and the hardest baddest bass-playing machine in the world. He wasn't. The guitarist showed that he could play by doing plenty of solos, but there is only so many times you can get away with the same fret board wankery, in the same place in the song. The guitarist/singer thought he was Johnny Rotten. He wasn't (at one stage the PA they had brought down even gave up). The drummer started off not too bad, but eventually started playing everything at 60bpm more than his fellow band members. Again more covers, but not well-picked ones, and not very well played ones (Kylie's "Spinning Around" any one?) The band must have been in heaven then as some 'knickers' were thrown at them, however as they landed nearish me, I could easily see that they were most definitely 'pants'!
I feel bad for not having too much good to say about this band, but this made an 18 year old feel like I was 40 years old with their middle of the road bore rock. I hope that they go back to Newcastle work on their songs and come back with a more venomous bite than this. 3/10