Nottingham Rock City

November 14 1998

Well, it has to be said this gig was approached in a pretty good frame of mind, even if it was a slightly pissed mind incurred during the afternoon watching us almost beat South Africa in the rugby. I mean, we should've won. Should've beaten the world champions, when only a few short months ago they were putting 96 bleeding points on us.

Anyway, let's get the "main" band out of the way first. Mol(e)tallica. A Metallica covers band. A covers band fer chrissakes. Yes, the songs were good. They bloody well should be. But how can you have a covers band on over an original? It emphasises everything wrong with music and attitudes in this country. If they were so good, they'd write their own songs. And the place was heaving for them. Fuck, there is something seriously amiss here. We even had Mr Smudged Eye Makeup Still Want To Be Mr Manson nodding his head to them. Cries for Whiplash. I mean, come on. How can a covers band do that song and realistically sing "we'll never stop, we'll never change, cos we're METALLICA". I mean, what the fuck they going to do with the Metallica covers album tracks. “Hey everybody, here’s our cover of a cover the band that we cover have covered.” Some days I wish I had the balls to do what I'm thinking, in which case it would've been "what do you want to hear" and I get up on stage and tell all the dozy fuckers that take no notice "an original band playing their own material. Wake up people. Take notice of the original band here, Earthtone9"

Shit, sorry. I was totally pissed by this stage, which may have had an impact on my view of things, and yeah, maybe I should "lighten up and relax". But we wuz robbed this afternoon. Oops, sorry. But, we're in a place that seems intent on proving how much it cares about music, cos they may be setting up a record label to "help bands out". But they seem to have a habit of trying to suppress anything in Nottingham that tries to do something . Sure, "competition" you may say, and they have to fight for their piece. Bollocks. They're a nightclub.And if they want to claim to be a live venue, then they shouldn't impose a 10pm curfew on bands so that they can revert back to being a nightclub as they did on Thursday for the Queens of the Stone Age gig. If they want to support music, they should help, not try to corner the entire market for themselves. It's about helping each other, not fighting. I mean, they put a covers band on over the main band of the night, Earthtone9, who are partially Nottingham based, have received a 5K review for the album in Kerrang, 9/10 in Metal Hammer, and who today, have a two page feature on them in Metal Hammer. Something classy, something original. And they're put on as support to a fucking covers band. Which means the band that's being playing with them around the UK, Snub, are not able to play this evening. Hey, supporting live music. Supporting British music. Bollocks. Supporting your own fucking egos.

Anyway, in spite of my attitude problem to all of this, Earthtone9 set the evening off in fine fashion. A respectable crowd has gathered, and at this point in the evening I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that they are all here in support of their own. And as the band take to the stage there's an air of anticipation. Or maybe it's just my own anticipation. Three songs in and Withered sees the first action of the night, led as it is by Choff from Snub who remember, should've played here. If the venue supported UK music. And Sand, what a song. Like the previous time I saw the band, they concentrated on the heavier, more aggressive material live, which is understandable but still a shame, as the more subtle moments are quite possibly some of their best. And there's probably a case to be argued for Karl to to encourage the watching people a little more sometimes. It seemed like people were waiting for the cue at times to launch themselves.

Anyway, luckily for me I've got a few people around me who really don't want to be here. They're shaking their heads. It's all a bit loud and shouty really, and the ladies are having a good old giggle with their boyfriends and the other bloke. Laughing at the people who are dancing. All the while pushing back a bit further eating up the space as they hold a conversation. You know how it is, talking and standing still at the same time, it's a tricky business. Takes years to master, and some never quite get there. Ok, you don't want to listen to the band? Well fuck off to the back then. Selfish bastards. It's a really simple concept at gigs. If you're interested, go wherever. If you're not, stay the fuck out of the way of the people who are.

I heard later that the Moles took about 3 hours to soundcheck. Uh right. Which may account for the reason that there was a dodgy guitar lead unaccounted for, which at some point in the evening decided it no longer wanted to do it's job properly. So a new one is sent for. "Get on with it", shouts one lad just in front of me. "Patience" reassures Karl. So the bloke seems to want to invite him down to have a er, discussion about it. Mate, if you ever read this, he would've fucking crushed you. Wake up and get a little bit of common sense. Christmas is coming soon, ask your mum to buy you some.

I've only seen the band twice now, but tonight there was something extra there. Maybe it's the extra few gigs they've done. Maybe it's the knowledge that you're up against Metallica or Moletallica or whatever the fuck they're called,in the attention stakes. I don't know. What I do know is that if there's any justice in the world, they'll be headlining this place next, and with any luck, headlining upstairs. Then watch all the little fuckers crawl out of the woodwork for a piece of the action. The simple fact of the matter is that we have another band in the UK, who if given the opportunity and the support have the ability to be a match for any of the American bands. Isn’t it about time we did that, and looked to the future, instead of gazing over the shoulder at the past which IS GONE. The UK scene is thriving. Even Kerrang! are finally being forced to admit it. Now all that has to occur, is the damage that magazine has done to the gig goers of this country gets undone. And that may be a harder battle. Cos now we've got to get it past people's eyes that the only bands worth seeing aren't just the ones that Kerrang! has being creaming itself over for the last few years.

But for now instead, we must get back to "searching, seek and destroy". Ooo yeah baby.

And honest, I was in a good mood when I went, cos we should’ve beaten the world champions this afternoon. Bloody injury time try. And that was never a penalty try the ref gave ‘em.