Live at Faversham on Saturday, 19th March 2005
It seems every student in Leeds has fucked off back to their Southern mansions (your loyal correspondent excluded). You can park your car on the streets of LS6, sit down in the buses, and get served within seconds at The Faversham. It's a bit empty here tonight, isn't it? But at least that means that the comfy-looking leather sofa is available - some time passes - what's that you say? There's a band on, but I was comfy on that sofa. I bet some twat will have nicked it when we get back.
It all seems to be worth getting up for as International Karate Plus start off. Jabbering backing vocals, very loud bass, clattering drums and a vaguely audible guitar is around there somewhere too. IK+ must be pretty pissed off with Death From Above 1979. They manage to make a similar sound to the IK+, but with one less member, and much more success. Why aren't IK+ causing a stir at The Cockpit and getting the kids dancing? Because they are fucking boring. It takes roughly three songs before the limitations of their rhythm-heavy sound becomes apparent. There's only so many times you can be impressed by their frantic vocals and utter disregard for such trivial matters as melodies. OK, so at points they sound like Pixies, but it doesn't rescue them from their desperate need for more songs to fill the half hour set time. I told you that we should have stayed on the sofa.
The Scaramanga Six are always worth getting up for though. Tonight's set consists of some things old (there's some tracks from Strike! Up The Band aired tonight, including the vicious 'Elemental'), some things new (so recent that it's not even on the 'permanently forthcoming' Cabin Fever) and then some stuff that's kinda new (that's the Cabin Fever stuff). It's all ace though. It's highly strung, blisteringly energetic, utterly insane and loud. In the loudness though there is a problem. Somewhere, between the stage, the amps, the monitors and the soundman, something is afoot. We cannot escape the noise that seems to be emerging deep from the pits of hell. A noise that can only be called a "WOOOOOMMMMPPPPPPPPHHHHHH!!!!!". It's deep, it's bassy, it makes my ears hurt and it shouldn't be there. It's nasty. Some unknown force really doesn't like The Scaras and is out to ruin their gig. To say that the band don't let it phase them would be a lie, but then you'd be a tad concerned if Satan was trying to put you off. They play on, with added venom, and Paul Morricone gets a bit pissed off and throws a crate off the stage.
Perhaps they should worry less. It may be obtrusive and unpleasant, but it cannot stop the ROCK. Underneath the hell-noise, 'Pincers' still sounds like the most confused, angry and downright bizarre pop song you've ever heard. Forthcoming single 'Horrible Face' is still vindictive as ever and the new songs suggest that the follow up to Cabin Fever will eventually be as operatic, catchy and uncanny as the songs we all already love.
Who the fuck are Unfolds? A question that must have been asked by most of the audience tonight. It turns out that Unfolds are little heard of for good reason. Perhaps a year or two ago, Unfolds may have been a bit exciting (only a wee bit mind). Now it sounds like they've been scrabbling round in the bins of The Hives, The Libertines and, to be honest, just about every band that have been officially 'the next big thing' for the past three years. It sounds tired. Occasionally, when the singer reaches the high octaves he sounds like Kevin Rowland, that is a good thing. In fact, occasionally the whole band have a bit of Dexy's about them. The name of their forthcoming single, 'Ooh Raa Raa', should be enough to lead you to expect a video featuring many pairs of dungarees. Somewhat more worrying is their tendency to wank off into cock-rock, especially in the guitar solos. This worry is a minor one, when compared to the troubles Unfolds are having. No one at The Faversham gives a shit about them. There are a few polite applauses, a handful of ironic ones, and that's it. Even the people at the front are turned round and chatting to each other.
How do Unfolds respond to this? The guitarist/vocalist buggers off into the crowd, and still he gets ignored. Time to pull out the big guns. They smash the kit and lean the guitars against the amps so as to achieve feedback. The result a few raised eyebrows. Believe it or not, people are no longer impressed by wanton destruction, especially when it is accompanied by music this dull. So we get shown two fingers and get told to "Fuck off, fucking Leeds". Mature. Now where's that sofa?