Live at Rocket on Monday, 4th March 2002
Quick, someone call Tony Blair. If Saddam Hussein gets his paws on this lot we're all shafted!!!!
Forget exocet missiles and hydra bombs. Tonight there's an assault on our ears that makes a nuclear blast sound like Enrique Iglesias purring his soft cheesy pop into Anna Kornikova's delicate lobes.
Get a pen. THE EIGHTIES MATCHBOX B-LINE DISASTER. Write that down. Mention this band to your friends at work/school/college/the dole queue and in a few months time you're gonna be the coolest cat in town. Quite simply put, it's all about the groove. Drums lock with bass, which lock with guitars, which provides a basis for the vocals to screech and howl along, driving forward all the time. I'm stood in front of the stack and can feel the bass drum moving my clothes, and maybe some of my internal organs. The beat is incessant and each song is powered along with enough energy to put the Duracell bunny to shame. If you want to be entertain then TEMBLD are the band for you. Complete with stack climbing antics these boys have stage presence by the bucketful. The singer's voice, when he chats briefly between songs, hints at middle class breeding a la The Strokes, and if this is how middle class kids are rebelling these days, as opposed to snorting Bolivian marching powder by the bucket load, then long may it continue.
Semi-naked The Parkinsons take the stage. This is punk. Now in saying that, I'm not sure if the fact that the band lack a degree of tightness is a bad thing or not. Is the punk ethos that you can't play your instruments?? Well it's not that these boys can't play them, just that the drummer struggles with the pace now and again. Where the openers lacked catchy tunes, yet had the tightness, The Parkinsons are the polar opposite. Again we're treated to lots of jumping around, posturing and visits into the audience but it's not until the end of the set that things really take off. With the vocalist up on the right speaker stack the guitarist is soon up on the opposite one and the atmosphere grows. Chugging away at those two chords as they have all night, the band begins to really whip the crowd up into a sweat. Then here comes the highlight. Following the singer's lead, the guitarist jumps down from his perch, after handing his guitar to the soundman for safekeeping. As resident Cockpit/Rocket soundman Phil offers the instrument back he is instructed to strap it on and play. The guitarist gets a second guitar and soon Phil is checking out the bass player's hands and picking up the chords. Seemingly finding this to easy he then begins a solo!!!!! This is what The Parkinsons are all about. Having a good time. They rock and make no mistake. But they do it in the traditionally shabby punk way and not your pro-tooled up Nu-metal kind of fashion. Hurrah for that.
Blending the best bits of what has come before is Ikara Colt. They're from London town it would appear. Don't hold that against them though. Why? There's no reason to and every reason not to, that's why!!! Keeping stage theatrics and crowd surfing to a minimum (but bear in mind that's a minimum by tonight's standards!) the band produce some of the coolest and tightest riffs this room has ever seen. I'm left gaping at the drummer as he nails the beat solidly and consistently throughout the set. These guys have songs. They play them well. The songs rock. There are dance influences. There's a female guitarist. Little boys all over the land will be asking for Ikara Colt albums rather than Easter Eggs in the coming months and you can understand why on tonight's showing. The punk influence is evident again, as it has been all night, but Ikara Colt take that and bend it, mould it and shape it like Play-Doh into something that is very much their own. On one of the loudest gigs I've been to, they seem to be even louder. Yet it's all finely balanced and it's not just noise, it all works. It's hard to put into words. The easiest way to describe the display tonight is to say "Go and see Ikara Colt if you have ears". They may not work as well afterwards but it will have been worth it.
If happiness is a cigar called Hamlet then I reckon John Lydon is a chain smoker.
Oh and yes, as always there were some beautiful ladies at the gig. Girls are always more attractive at gigs than they are in nightclubs but I'm not sure why. Hello to the ladies who asked me to take their photo and apologies if the shots don't come out but hey.... I had to drink to numb the bleeding in my ears.