Live at Joseph's Well on Sunday, 18th September 2005
I used to love 3 Colours Red I did. Back in 1997 when I was taking my first tentative fumblings with these weird new genres such as "indie" and "metal" (note: post-rock didn't exist back in those days. We had Brit-Rock, Pop-Rock and Rock-Rock, but definitely no Post-Rock), the bands debut "Pure" was an absolute god-send. Poppy harmonies and shouty choruses stood in tandem with serrated blasts of guitar, powerhouse drumming and a singer with a very Rotten-esque sneer. All in all, a great introduction to the world of guitars, shouting and moshing. Proper champion.
Subsequent developments in the world of 3 Colours Red were a mixed bag; the single "Beautiful Day" from sophomore release "Revolt" (the album with possibly the naffest album cover ever fact fans) looked like it was going to send the quartet into the stratosphere, but with fame beckoning the band did what any respecting rock act would do at the point and, er, split up. Internal tensions between singer/bassist Pete Vuckovic and guitarist Chris McCormack were blamed... a final show at the Reading and Leeds festivals was announced.... And that was the last I thought I'd heard of 3 Colours Red. Until...
...a couple of years back when they reformed. "Hooray" I thought, upon hearing of their reformation. "Boo!" I thought, upon hearing the bands subsequent release "Union of Souls". Now, I'm not saying it's bad, but if this CD fell into a pile of roses it would probably come out smelling of shit. Anyway, I saw them live, liked the old songs, didn't mind he new songs and thought that was that. Again. Until...
...a couple of weeks back when I heard that 3 Colours Red were going to split after their forthcoming UK tour. "Hmmm" I thought. "That's a real humdinger". So when the chance came to go and watch them when this tour came to Leeds I got on the job immediately.
Opening the show tonight on the Mighty Atom based line up are Welsh tykes Along:Came:Man. Admittedly I don't catch much of their set to make much of my judgement relevant or worthwhile, but what I hear sounds quite Biffyish with bits of the dynamics of Jimmy Eat World thrown in for equal measure. Quite good from what I saw, but I fear this may be one of those bands who may suffer from "same song syndrome" i.e. at times their material sounds freakishly similar.
New York's The Smash-Up are next, playing a blend of melodic hardcore that sounds like a bit like Quicksand or Strike Anywhere. It's fast, furious and the amount of sweat that the band produce is testament to the fact that they're giving it their best shot. However, although the performance is top drawer, I do find the songs can lag a bit in places, and sometimes the sound doesn't sound very full. Altogether, a decent outfit but probably not my bag of badgers. At the end of the day though, if everyone liked the same thing they wouldn't sell packets of mixed biscuits would they?
Now, next I would like to apologise to The Yo-Yo's for not managing to catch all of their set. Unfortunately I was stuck at the bar for nearly half an hour as the Joseph's Well bar staff did their combined best to try and not serve me for as long as possible. Hmmm. Anyhow, the ham-fisted attempts at customer service at the bar didn't prevent me from witnessing a The Yo-Yo's rousing romp through their catchy brand of Ramonesian Punk Rock with a dash of Cheap Trick thrown in. It's all very fast, which is obviously the way punk is supposed to be played. McCormack Snr and co. succeeded in filling the previously empty and blasting their way through a short, sharp spiky set. Rather bloody good.
When 3 Colours Red take to the stage Joseph's Well is pretty much as rammed as I've ever seen it. The initial euphoria of opening song "Paralyse" is almost superseded by the shock of realising that Pete Vuckovic uncannily resembles Alex from last year's Big Brother. Crumbs. You can tell this is a "Farewell" tour; only one of the songs from "Union Of Souls" makes it into the setlist tonight ("The World Is Yours"- which sounds ace) with the majority of the material coming from "Pure" and "Revolt". A quick resume- "Nuclear Holiday"- brilliant, "Fit Boy and Faint Girl"- an unexpected and much welcome choice, "Age Of Madness"- spiky, "Nerve Gas"- spunky, "Pirouette"-charming, "This Is My Hollywood"- balls out, trousers down. And when you have an encore of "Beautiful Day" and "Hateslick" you know your on to something special. 3 Colours Red played with verve, gusto and brilliance, and the crown loved it. As final gigs go, it was pretty fucking good.
3 Colours Red are dead.
Long live 3 Colours Red.