Live at New Roscoe on Sunday, 15th July 2001
So, after intending to go down to see Terris, I thought I'd still pop down and check out the array of talent that had been put on to replace them. As always, it's good to mention what a good little (?!) venue the Roscoe is, as opposed to a venue like the Rocket which is reminiscent of a club, the Roscoe is very much a big pub, but very much designed for live bands.
Anyway, as I walked in, ZANE were just sound checking and after a brief rest they were on proper to a growing crowd. As this was an acoustic performance, there are of course a few things that can't be said about the band. While their brand of thoroughly well written songs was very impressive, as was the vocal and guitar playing talents of the pair, I was really impressed in the frequent instrumental sections of the songs. These created quite an ambient feel, and the texture between the two guitars was really impressive. While there are many singer/songwriters around with strong songs, I thought the overall ability of the 2 guys really stood them strong, I'd be interested how the whole band worked and whether they'd be able to maintain interest through a whole set of similar songs.
After a brief gap, TSUBA appeared with a very kinda experimental feel. You could immediately tell that the band were trying to do something different, varying drum beats and time signatures and use of effects on the guitars. While you got a bit of a buzz from this in the first few songs, by the 6th or 7th a real pattern was immerging. Cue delayed guitar, cue echoing bass noise, cue drummer skipping a beat, cue slightly falsetto vocals. Despite all this the songs and musicianship were really strong, and the "experimental" aspect just seem to detract from it for me, although I suppose it is slightly more interesting then other ways of doing songs. I was starting to wonder if they could play songs "straight" and it wasn't until the last song when we really saw this, and I thought if they'd done sections of the other songs in this style, the whole set would have been a lot more interesting.
And finally MORASSI got up and played their brand of guitar pop. Now to my mind, there's not much criticism you can aim at Morassi, except perhaps for "not a good ska band" or "lacking the criteria for UK garage pioneers". Whereas they are not pioneering anything really, they get up and play lively songs and have a laugh, and generally you can have a bit of fun watching them. Now, to my mind they play a pretty straight songs, not the beautiful tainted feel of Zane but still quite memorable. The tunes put me in mind of the recent Stephen Malkmus solo album, without all the crazy shit he throws in. Unless you count doing a Country and Western song, which the band did shortly before I had to leave. Morassi are a band that would be an addition to any bill, just liven up proceedings, with a bit of thoughtless fun. And after the slightly sombre appearances before them from Tsuba and Zane, they made the evening complete.
So, a highly enjoyable evening, Zane brought the melancholy, Tsuba brought the intellectual ideas and Morassi brought Country and Western and I enjoyed it a lot.