Live at Joseph's Well on Friday, 12th May 2006
This Et Al kick start the weekend with a wall of noise that pulses through you like an adrenaline shot. These guys make quite a racket but it's focussed and tight, and they don't lapse in to self indulgence.
With what is now coming close to a greatest hits set, TEA rattle through Catscan, The Loveliest Alarm, Sabbatical and finish with He Shoots Presidents. Frontman Wu's histrionic vocals are reminiscent of Mansun's Paul Draper, which is a positive in my book anyway.
That wasn't all though folks. This was the homecoming leg of their UK tour so there was time for an encore, Wardens, and they left to rapturous applause. In fact this seemed to be another case of Leeds audience drift where people turn up for the locals and shun the bigger name out-of-towners.
My only reservations for This Et Al are that their lyrics can be a little clunky on occasion and they need some improved stage presence. That said I'd say we should be supporting the likes of these guys, the new single Sabbatical is out through Jealous Records on the 22nd of May and an excerpt can be heard on My Space.
I was looking forward to seeing Amusement Parks On Fire but have to say that I came away disappointed. I guess the easy way to describe their sound is to say it's post-Loveless. They made use of keyboard loops and rhythmical guitar waves but their songs lacked progression. Their set was made up of what Mark E Smith's termed the three Rs - Repetition, Repetition and Repetition.
The band themselves seemed to be going through the motions, though a couple of their tracks really hit the mark I thought they played for a little too long. Perhaps their mood was set by the audience reaction to the singer's opening gambit "How ya all doing Leeds?" He got nothing but tumbleweed.
When the kids with dyed black hair and camera phones are pushing you out of the way it's probably time for Scarling (or someone's getting sacrificed to their pagan gods in a giant wicker man). What an oddball combination of headliners.
Prejudice not withstanding, Scarling rocked out and put on a great show. They acted as if the best place they could possibly be was right here, right now and damn if that's not an attitude to be admired in an often cynical and jaded scene.
Scarling are like a cartoon representation of an alternative band with lead singer Jessicka lighting up the room, their guitarist a misunderstood outcast with the confusion of the world reflected in her eyes and the rest all unconfined hair and flailing limbs. As one may deduce from their description, Scarling play a modern brand of gothic new metal but they play it straight without the machismo front often associated with the genre. They weren't afraid to show moments of weakness and emotion.
So as I left, ears ringing as they would for the foreseeable future, someone pushed a flyer in to my hand. I looked down to see it's for the unofficial aftershow party at "Friday Flock - Leeds favourite Goth/Industrial clubnight!" And that's when I realised... I like a goth band. Eeeuugh.