Live at New Roscoe on Wednesday, 1st August 2001
The first "Whatever..." night I have been to at the New Roscoe has left quite an impression on me. An unassuming venue that looks like it should play host to tribute bands, it has a Wednesday night local talent night where three bands play and finishing work early I decided to call in.
The first band up, TV JOHN take the stage and burst into their first song, which kind of shocked me just at the volume after listening to a banal background music CD! It reminded me of early Offspring stuff, with a great harmony guitar line at the end. All their songs seemed tight and rehearsed, but they did make a few mistakes and the drummer seemed to take an age getting his drum kit sorted, which left lots of awkward silences between songs which spoiled a good performance for me. Once they were past the first couple of songs they seemed to relax, adding a Bowie (??) and a Led Zeppelin cover and ending with a song that just seemed to build up and build up until the end of the set leaving the stage to a wall of feedback which seemed a little arrogant seeing as though they were only the third support!!! With a little more stage confidence these guys will go far!
Next up FELIX LEITER, a three piece that struggled to follow TV John in the first couple of songs (a few people went to the bar and some outside to cool down) but they pulled it back with a very accurate cover of the Beatles' "Come Together". The bassist has an excellent voice but the original material let them down slightly and people only really started listening after they played the cover (a very sad and fickle characteristic of today's music scene) and they showed that a three piece can sound full without a need for 6 guitars.
The headliners, BEAT ROUTE 62 really did make an impression on me, their sound was a lot more clinical and constructed than the other two bands and the stage seemed full of expensive equipment and guitars. These guys have obviously been together a while and they know each other well (socially as well as musically) every start and stop of a song being on the dot! The singer (I hate giving bad reviews... BUT!) leaves a lot to be desired, he isn't in tune for very long (despite expensive in-ear monitoring) and its very raw and untrained, sometimes the higher notes were a challenge for him and they were quite cringe inducing but hey, we all have our bad days and he may be an excellent singer on another day!