Live at Rocket on Tuesday, 26th September 2000
What a welcome surprise. At the end of the first act tonight, a band who are billed just as "Special guests", comes the announcement that they will be playing The Strychnine Lounge on Friday. That means I just saw who could only have been Visa, Charly Six or Roi - I've been doing the Leeds gig guide for a year or so now, so gig details are unfortunately lodged in my head - and a quick confirming glance at the tally sheet on the door revealed it was Visa. Finally, I have SEEN Visa - in the past I have simply been limited to hearing about them and of course I've listened to their CD "Wow Signal" - one of the best CDs I have received to date. The thing is - I just didn't recognise them - the band I'd been wanting to see for quite a while - and I just stood in a crowd of twenty or so in complete oblivion. Oh well. Musically Visa were entertaining enough, I don't believe hand-on-heart that the show was as good as the CD but they may have been a bit put off by the lack of an audience. No disrespect to the crowd though, who cheered and applauded every moment of the set - unfortunately the clapping just echo'd in the empty venue. Pity really, as the guys played some decent alternative rock.
I could have gone home at this point feeling bouyant that I'd now seen Visa live, but the band who I'd really come to see were Coasta. Coasta are the York band who came through as heat champions of Futuresound 2000, then became outright winners in the subsequent final, and if that wasn't enough they then charmed the pants off a packed Leeds 2000 crowd, crammed into the UK Play tent to watch their final day show. In slightly less appealing surroundings the York boys once again take over The Rocket venue with an audience, whose count had swelled to perhaps fifty or so, that are as appreciative to Coasta as they were to Visa - cheers, whistles and a general happy atmosphere - and the knowledge that people with cameras are lurking filming the event for the band's video. Coasta are just the rockier side of the old Manchester scene - a bit of grit and rawkness, with the underlying baggy sound, a sound perhaps not too dissimilar to the good old days of Stone Roses and Oasis but with the knowledge that this is the "correct" coloured Rose and we do things a little different over here. We like to spice things up a little and Coasta are no different, giving their music an edge, a mood, a feel and that "thud" that goes through you when true rock bands do their stuff. The Manchester links make sure that Coasta maintain a melody to their music but it's the knowledge that they've only pinched the best bits and rocked it up a little that made me leave tonight knowing I'd seen some talented lads.