Live at Faversham on Sunday, 27th March 2005
Five bands. The Fav. For free. F me! It must be Easter Sunday.
First on The Acutes bang out their bluesy rock which, when you consider the band have no bass player, brings obvious but perhaps unfair comparisons with The White Stripes. The moody vocalist looks sublime leading his lunatic drummer through a barrage of power chords that form cracking songs, however the lack of a four-string on stage sometimes leaves the band's sound hollow. Still, a band worth looking out for.
Up next Vatican Jet, a grungy looking gang which are sure to attract attention from record execs in the next year. Decked out in a sweaty vest their singer oozes rock star quality, mainly due to his big fuzzy hair. Gruff rock 'n' roll tunes are fired out from the stage with each song even more ferocious than the last. This band look to have it all, although I would have like to have seen a tad more 'rock action' from the guitarists who at times look frozen to the spot. Anyway, you can't have it all. And that's unfortunately true of The Ebb.
I want to like The Ebb. If I was from Mad-chester I probably would. And you can't doubt their passion. They clearly believe that they are the best band around. However it's their lack of tunes which bring them down. In the first half of the set choruses are lost in a haze of Verve-like noise and you wonder whether their singer, who bears a striking similarity to Simon Fowler of Ocean Colour Scene fame, is also blessed with his lack of song writing ability. However the band end on a high with three cracking songs to finish their set. Girls at the front begin to dance and some impressive anthemic endings salvage what could have been a let down in a night of highs.
Which brings me onto Mahoney. First the bad news. They look terrible. Both guitarists are surely refugees from Extreme and their singer looks like he would be at home rioting in the Elland Road Kop. Their music is also verging on country. Rarely a plus in my book. However within minutes I find my foot tapping uncontrollably. I look around to notice that I'm surrounded by drunken dancers having a great time to what, aptly for this evening, is real down and dirty party music. Almost certainly the most entertaining act of the night, with simple well crafted country/pop songs and delightful harmonies, Mahoney shouldn't entertain notions of becoming famous through their craft. However for pure unadulterated bank holiday weekend fun they simply can't go wrong.
In closing the night The Breech are majestic. Although the crowd are surely sagging under the weight of Easter weekend alcoholic excess, their young vocalist keeps everyone buzzing with an energetic delivery of well-crafted pop-rock. I hear all the best bits of Coldplay, Oasis and for some reason that I can't quite fathom, The Lightening Seeds (maybe I'd had one too many Shandys by this point). These lads certainly aren't the trendiest of Leeds' bands at the moment but their avoidance of second-hand gents wear and commitment to unashamedly good songs without the 'art' (to coin a growing phrase) is to their credit.
Nothing more to say really. A top night with five strong bands who all have something to offer. And, if you're having a wedding this year, you couldn't go wrong with a bit of Mahoney.