Live at Cockpit on Friday, 31st October 2003
Okey dokey, it's Halloween, it's miserable outside, and I'm nice and warm tucked up in the Cockpit ready for a night of bouncy hooky punk rock. First on are The Holiday Plan who proceed to make the beginning of my night shit.
Taking back Thursday for a Friend rip offs, out of tune monotonous vocals over boring post rock/emo guitars, lacking passion, boring stage presence, predictable and lengthy stage banter. Completely unmemorable.
There are loads of bands playing this sort of genre at the moment and I'd say 95% play with some sort of conviction and passion, where as the other 5% are playing by the numbers and I'd definitely say these were in that 5%.
After about 10 mins Billy Talent arrive on stage with "This is how it goes", the opening track from their self-titled debut album. What an opener, the place goes off, I find myself fist in air singing along like a pubescent testosterone fuelled lad of 15. Good stuff. Ben Kowaleicz's presence is awesome, foot on monitor, vocals full of passion, fist clenched, or pacing the stage like a caged polar bear on crystal meth. It makes great viewing. On a side note, Ian D'Sa, the guitar player, has a distinct hairstyle; it's like a hugely elevated flat top sort of job. I got into thinking if At The Drive In caused hundreds of middleclass lads to grow ridiculous afros then maybe if there fame spreads Billy Talent could be the cause for another hair do faux par. Anyways back to the music.
Another couple of songs pass until the awesome single "Try Honesty" - the whole place singing along. Like a punk rock day out at Alton Towers, taking you from adrenaline-fuelled sing along choruses to heart felt, passionate spoken lyrics, it's all good.
After about a 40-minute set of fist-pumping the air antics it's time for the encore. They cover Fugazi's "Waiting room" - unfortunately it's a disappointing end to an awesome gig as the song seems lethargically played and doesn't have the same feeling as the others played so ferociously and passionately throughout the evening. But I'm not complaining. Awesome gig, fantastic stage presence great sound good interaction with the crowd. Quality gig.
Watch out for Billy Talent - they look to be on for world domination, and I for one embrace it!