Live at Woodkirk Valley Country Club on Friday, 11th August 2000
Openers tonight were DayDream, a three piece who are unashamedly proud of their Beatlesque influences. But this is no geetar Oasis style rip-off, here are some genuinely well written, complex, and surprisingly punchy songs, but with a wiff of Northern Songs underlying it all. The bass is melodic and at times soulful, guitar far harder than anything George would have owned up to, except perhaps on Helter Skelter, the vocals in tight two-part harmonies avoid the cliched Beatles sound, plumping for the dirtier rougher rasp of the later years. Now as a closet Beatle fan I would be the first to sling derision the way of anyone attempting to clone the Fab Four, but this is accomplished and intelligent, a homage reinforced by some original songwriting and a talented energetic performance.
Since I last saw The Absence, they have changed - for the better. They still use some blistering staccato beats, choppy guitar and mad analogue keyboards, but they now have a female singer of some class who lifts the whole band to a new level. It really is hard to describe their sound, but there are hints of Talking Heads,The B-52s, The Sugarcubes and Blondie. A confident and thoroughly enjoyable set despite a few technical hitches, the stand out tracks were the anthemic 'When I'm Old' and a corking version of Princes 'Kiss'. Getting better all the time, The Absence will be back soon so catch them then.
Gweedo don't muck about. Solid, energetic and tight, they storm into a set that mixes some true classic rockers with more obscure songs and original tunes. Again a three-piece they found no need to deviate from what is an effective combination. Clearly the vocals are the most obvious bonus, grating and flexible, meeting the challenges of the covers with enthusiasm and building some real light and dark into the originals.