Live at The Vine on Thursday, 30th September 2004
This evening, there are 10+ gigs taking place in Leeds, showing the very healthy state of things at the moment. Surely though, tonight's headliner's name ought to be enough to drag inquisitive music fans down to The Vine, even if we ignored the tasty aperitif likely to be served up by Baby Food, The Barbs and The Rocks.
Sadly by the time the Food kick in, the turn out is slim, but increases as they play. When front man Noah takes to the crowd and screams "I am going to kill you, you don't stand a chance", it's probably wise to believe him - this is amply shown on "Desperats", which is a fucking racket, in all the right punch-in-the-face-until-you-get-it kinds of way. "Meathead" is a monster of unsettling proportions and the doublet of "Guts" and "Bombshell" finally proves that Baby Food are the unnatural and unlikely offspring of "Martin" era Soft Cell, Extreme Noise Terror and somebody beating your head in with a big hammer. They are playing numerous times in the future - see them numerous times.
Throwing everyone a bit, Special Needs turn up next and it's a very different kettle of fish. There's multiple harmonies, 50s style, with bits of The Drifters, The Who, The Kinks, The Libertines, The Strokes all chucked in to promising effect, the crowd now steadily increasing.
Keeping the momentum going in fine style are The Barbs - fun-packed, quick as you like pop-Pixies moments with "Massive Crush" still hot, hot, hot, and praise for Baby Food. Mice.
The Rocks crash, bang and indeed whallop from the first second - a heady brew of swamp blues, Pixies, punk-funk, lounge singing, The Libs and crowd-mithering antics from the word go - the singer's arse is in my face as I scribble these very words. Attractive young girls pinch this part of his flesh - no response, this man is a (ahem) rock star and expects such behaviour. Very good.