Live at Joseph's Well on Sunday, 3rd October 2004
This wet Sunday evening starts off with Kram, a Leeds-based trio whose name I've heard pop up in every second conversation this week. It's great to be able to finally see what all the fuss is about, and at the moment it seems to be about melodic grunge as far as I can see (which is not that far as Joseph's Well is one to avoid if you're a short arse). There's a part of these songs that, in a weird way, could be to played at the BBC Prom, yet there's also a part that could stick around for years in another underground grunge movement. Kram are Muse, Nirvana, Jeff Buckley and Sonic Youth tied together, without actually being any of them.
Agent Blue take the straight-on/straight-off attitude tonight, as one visit to the bar is enough time to miss the opening of this set. I feel this band have brought the evening down a step, sonically. Yes, the singer (Nic Andrews) has the energy of a drunken-cheetah and yes the band are as tight as nuts but they really don't spark any desire to see them again or buy their records. I get the feeling that they are not trying to break any boundaries in their field. Don't forget, noise is only good if it's good noise...
Yourcodenameis: Milo look odd. It's the first time I've seen them live and after reading some good reviews, I've never come across one that mentions the way they look, so I thought I would be the first. Milo are fronted by Paul, a small polite man/boy/lad who thanks the crowd after each song (I'm pretty sure his mum is stood behind me whooping and clapping to every beat...) He screams at the crowd, head-down and coy as he blazes through songs like "2 Tone" and new single "Schteeve"; the mood at the Well is suddenly lifted. He has the voice of Colin Doran (Hundred Reasons) and the presence of Graham Coxon.
This is intelligent; this is dynamically blended, rhythmically complex, punk-emo-rock, laughing and joking all the way home, yet still serious about its self-worth. They'll slow songs down, speed them up, stop them, start them and half-time them as if the songs are made to sporadically jump into different rhythms, proof that Milo refuse to conform to their genre. Radiohead meet At the Drive in? Morrissey meets Hundred Reasons? Joy Division meet Lost Prophets? Ok, perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself, but Milo resemble none of these bands individually but make an attempt at fusing together the key aspects of them.
They're far too energetic for indie and far too shy for emo, they look young and fragile and either it's bitter cold on stage or it will be a while to go before their confidence reaches the standards of today's emo. They don't really set the roof on fire tonight but the band still gets high praise as they leave the stage, not for a great performance, but for seemingly spearheading the British emo scene in a worthy direction.
"KRAM are very fucking loud" -Tom Goodhand (Sandman) "It's KRAM's ability to take you from one note to a full massive sound, usually in one song that separates them from most bands" -Glasswerk