Live at Royal Park Cellars on Friday, 27th April 2001
Well, another night of Bright Young Things bands down at Uncle Steve Kind's joint and tonight it is The Gordon Bennetts, Mutiny and Harold.
A crowd of about 25 are present when the first band come on; The Gordon Bennetts looked nervous and resembled a pub band. As they started belting out their set you realised that these guys seemed to lack interest in their own music and didn't seem comfortable either. They started with a very 70's feel and reminded me slightly of the great Velvet Underground. The most off-putting thing in the early set was a terrible bass sound and the singer slightly wandering in and out of tune. The drumming was constant and very few missed beats were heard and after a few songs they started to settle slightly and at slight moments almost looked to enjoy themselves. Their set changed from the bluesy rock they started with to a more Oasis type sound - a lot of the songs sounded the same due to the vocal melodies and I could have quite easily fallen asleep at this point. They looked about as rock n roll as Farley's Rusks but not as tasty; maybe I am slightly over-judgemental of them, but they do need improvement - they do look like they have a gear in reserve but decide not to use it today [5/10].
The next band to play were Mutiny who looked pissed off at constantly been called the youngest band in Bright Young Things 2001. I saw these on Wednesday and thought they were ok but that the sound let them down; tonight though is far different. They are very tight and the drummer is fucking amazing - they somehow find a rather individual sound within the ska punk vein but if you want a comparison I'd have to say No Doubt meets The Clash. They soon settle and all start to rock out on the stage and really get into it. The singer, Miranda, has a quite odd style that really helps them be individual and she is soon parading around the stage and just in front of it. Robin the bassist and Miranda then move up a gear and get even more into the music and throw wild figures on the stage.
Some songs sound quite similar but the 5th song "All lies on me" rocks to fuck and really makes you wonder how they can be this fluent on their instruments at such a young age. The drummer Lewis seems to get better song-by-song and guitarist Winston keeps it simple and tight. The bass lines are very fluent until all of a sudden, oops, snapped bass string - quick bass change and they're off again to finish an energetic and tight set. Just before the end Uncle Steve tells me or threatens me even that I better give them a good review but he has no need to worry, these are definitely a band to watch for as they are musically and vocally very strong and with a little more age could take the local scene apart [8.5/10].
The last band are Harold who have the hard task of following Mutiny. I was quite judgemental on their look and guitar heights but when they start to play they really do play. The first song is a jazz-based instrumental and although it goes on slightly too long really shows that these guys have talent in abundance. They look to really enjoy what they are playing and this comes across very well in their sound.
They veer all over the place from indie-rock to blues - the guitarist has a great sound and a very fluent style and the bassist does nothing but compliment this. They are fun to watch and to listen to, moving around the stage and miss no notes; in fact they really piss me off just how good and fluent these guys are on their instruments. The drummer keeps it simple but solid and the vocals are simple but effective, they remind me of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and their set really glides along.
But then, oh no, a bad cover of "Teenage Dirtbag" - it doesn't suit them musically or vocally and spoils the set a bit until they bring back their own brand of rock to finish the set. These guys look and sound like session musicians and do show off a bit you feel, but hey they rock and I don't blame them for using their ability to the full. A great set and again a band I would love to see again [8/10].
All in all a good night and a wide range of styles, so say good night to uncle Steve and go on to further places to get very drunk and dance the night away.