Live at Cockpit on Monday, 26th September 2005
Well the night had a nice little twist right at the beginning on this occasion. I arrive at the venue all geared up to go on the hunt for the tour manager again (about 7.10pm) and get turned away. WHY you ask (even if you don't I'm going to tell you). Because they have decided they will not let anyone in till 8 (even though it says doors 7pm) so now I have an hour to kill. After having a nice 30 minute conversation with a homeless person about the economy I decide to head back.
Outside was the tour manager, THANK GOD. After achieving to arrange an interview with White Rose Movement I head inside to check out Dead Disco.
First thing that strikes me is... it's a girl band. The ultimate hell when it comes to support bands. Now usually I would leave the room straight away after having a dry throated female roaring through the PA system, but to my relief (and I'm sure the relief of others) no screaming (insert happiness here). Dead Disco were a punky quartet that played what is to be perceived as the average support band's music. Nothing that you could honestly say was impressive, and you could tell this by how the crowd stayed well back from the speakers.
The lead singer tried to hit the high notes on several of her songs, but to be honest we all know that the majority of girls can do that and it all sounds the same, it's only impressive if you're a guy as it's quite rare that they can actually hit those kind of notes. All in all Dead Disco were nothing that special but not that bad either.
Now next up are a band called Protocol, who I am going to admit I have never heard of before, but am likely to hear more of in the future. Protocol are a highly original band with a very definitive sound. Polydor Records signed the band some years back and since then the band have been creating their perfect sounding album, whilst also writing songs for a well known artist that I am unable to divulge for legal reasons. They recently played to 2000 people at London's KOKO club.
I don't expect much out of support bands but for Protocol I really should have done. John Pritchard put so much energy into his performance, pouring his heart out for the crowd, who lapped up every bit of every note of every song. The turnout was actually bigger for Protocol by a fair amount than it was for White Rose Movement, not only that but Protocol got a much better reaction out of the crowd too. Come to think of it they might as well have headlined.
Their songs were remarkably upbeat and blended together unbelievably well, in particular their new single "She Waits For Me" where the song flowed perfectly and had the most addictive chorus. You could actually feel the energy from the band, and I can see their bigger gigs being vibrant with emotion and energy. As for arena shows, I would think we will be seeing them sooner than you think.
Now on to the band of the night White Rose Movement, or not as it would seem due to half of the congregation of fans leaving, rendering the room half empty. This was such a shame for the 80s influenced group simply because they played so well. Songs such as "Love is a number", "Girls in the back" and "Cruella" all have the unquestionable influence of bands such as New Order and the Cure. White Rose Movement gave it their all, and yet still no reciprocation from the crowd. Singer Finn Vine even declared that we were "awfully stagnant" which to be honest he was right about. I don't believe that keyboardist Taxxi or Finn actually helped the situation by performing in their extremely clichéd manner, showing little to no expression whatsoever.
Besides the lack of interaction on both ends (except the guitarists who weren't deterred by anything at all) White Rose Movement did play spectacularly well. Apart from a minor drum problem their actual musical performance was flawless. With their synthesiser-driven melodies and unmistakably harmonic vocals White Rose Movement could bring the 80s back. Perhaps when they get a little more well know and the album is released will we really start to see their live acts flourish.