Live at Joseph's Well on Monday, 14th May 2001
I was looking forward to this gig as I knew pretty much nothing about goad and Leafeater and hadn't seen four day Hombre for almost 10 months. What I did know though was that it'd be a good night whatever, as all these Blue Star gigs have proved to be. Long may they reign, giving bands the chance to see each other, network, get drunk and maybe even cop off with one another. Anyway, you'll want to know about the bands.........
Hailing from Bradford, via various parts of Europe, goad open up this evening's events. The first impression I get is that they're pretty tight and work well as a unit, the sound is clear and singer Licia uses the stage to it's full whilst the rest of the band remain quite static. Their first track was quite reminiscent of Nursery's "8pm" in it's melody I thought though slightly heavier. The vocals at times seem almost gothic rock and Licia undoubtedly has a fine voice. Sometimes though the vocals seem a little overbearing for the music, not in that they're simply too loud just that there seems to be a clash of styles that doesn't come off.
I've noticed that the band have been advertising for a second guitarist recently and I think this would definitely be a benefit. The same old jangling-clean sound is used in pretty much every song, there's never the stamp of the distortion pedal that would give these songs the lift they need to really power them along. There seems to be a Spanish or Mariachi influence to some of Tony's guitar which is certainly quite different and makes the tunes stand out but again, sometimes is a bit too much of a contrast to what's going on in the vocal melody. Licia does her best to work the crowd and has the hallmarks of a fine front woman but goad just need a little bit more something to get this crowd on their side.
KERRANG! love 'em apparently. It's easy to see why. The band is clearly proficient as individuals and together they're tighter than a Premiership Chairman. Dealing in affable pop/rock with catchy choruses, Leafeater come from the same stable as Green Day and Feeder (two names that I heard several other people muttering as they discussed the band). For a three piece the band have a nice big sound and a good presence on stage. I'm not sure if the drummer places his crash cymbal wide on his right cos that's where it's comfiest but it looks great as he alternates reaching out for that then raising his left hand to salute the devil. These boys have obviously been working on their stage presence and have it pretty much nailed.
All the songs are radio friendly commercial, and on occasion cheesy, rock. Straight ahead, know what you're gonna get, does what it says on the box. Apart from the song that sounds like Herman's Hermits "I'm Into Something Good" that is.
For "Lapdancer" the band have the audience joining in with the chorus "She's a lapdancer". One cheeky young local musician pipes up with "Your mum's a lapdancer". Comedy at it's most puerile. And funniest.
They're tight, they look good, the arrangements and dynamics have been worked out to the tee and the songs are catchy. If they band can get some REALLY catchy songs and lose the cheesy tinge that some of the songs are tainted with you'll be seeing plenty more of them.
FOUR DAY HOMBRE
Am I allowed to write this review? I've played with the Hombres down in London. I have their CD's. I have even talked to them!!! Oh my God....I am clearly going to be such a biased individual. Rubbish. Shut up and listen to what I have to say.
There's a shit load of gear on stage and Rich and Si are wearing In Ear Monitors. This is a band that are serious about what they do and as last year's list of gigs shows, they have put the hard graft in. It shows. The band are incredibly tight, you get the feeling that every note, every drum stroke every little breath has been meticulously planned. The stops, the crescendos the rallentandos, they're all there, but not unnecessarily and they are VERY effective.
With guitarists Si and Rich sharing vocal duties, the finest moments are when they're harmonising together. The rich, full sound is incredibly lush and their melodic pop is perfect for sitting at home and listening to whilst wondering why your girlfriend of 4 years has just gone and dumped you for Hufty from The Word. Live though it gets a little too much at times and when Leon appears on decks it is a lift and a twist to the tale that is needed. "Christina's Song" is great punk-pop and gets everyone going and for me, this is where four day Hombre really excel as they blend the sweeping melodies with a catchy, driving beat.
The room has emptied a little since Leafeater's set, as it seems not everyone is getting into the slower paced numbers, although others certainly are.
The band are enjoying themselves on stage and they finish with a more upbeat tune, starting with a cover of Whitesnake's "Every Rose Has It's Thorn" and later bursting into "Mama Mia". The only disappointment is that they don't play the excellent "Tenth White Lie". The band has a huge repertoire, which is great to fall back on and chop and change. These squad rotation systems are all well and good but you should never drop your star striker in my opinion.
four day Hombre are a fine band and they deserve to do well. They may not be to everybody's tastes but you will struggle to find a more finely tuned athlete in this crazy game we play.