Milque / Red Fridge / Sugarvalve

Leeds Duchess of York

July 13 1998

It's been about a fortnight since the last gig I saw, and I think I'm having withdrawal symptoms. And in that time, France have won the World Cup, System have released THE album, and Human Waste Project have split. So it's been a bit of an up and down time. Needs some stability again. And I'm trying to work out which will be the 50th gig of the year for me. But for now, it's the motorway to Leeds, a particualarly windy night (steady) and overturned caravans on the motorway.

Anyway, I arrived for this gig thinking I may have actually missed the band I was coming to see, Milque, but, as it turned out, they were to headline this thing. If only they'd been told a little earlier. So, the first band up were Sugarvalve.

A 3 piece, who seem to deal in a guitar friendly indie sort of thing. It's not really something that I feel qualified to make too many comments on. I'm useless anyway at saying what a band sounds like, especially when it's not my normal thing. I got the feeling that if you'd listened to a demo tape or anything like that, then you could probably appreciate it a little more. But, well, what stuck in my mind was that the begining of most of the songs seemed to have a lyric that had been nicked from some other well known songs. So well known that I couldn't put my finger on any of them.

And next were Red Fridge. Complete with Hammond Organ. Oh yeah, could we go retro at all. Especially with the vocalist still in his pyjama top. Um, I guess kinda indie/retro stuff. Again, not really my cup of whatever, but the guitarist did seem to have aspirations of headlining Wembley Stadium the way he was stood on one of the cases mouthing the words to a completely packed and engrossed audience. Well, maybe.

But, as I said earlier, I was here to see on band and one band only. Milque. Actually, I thought they were supporting The Dawn, but that would've made no difference anyway, I was still here to see one band. The demo has been on almost constant play since I got it. It's really strong. Listening to it, I find it hard to believe that they were a little bit wary of releasing it. Hopefully the response they've had to it will help to convince them that they do have something.

But this was the test. Would they be as convincing live. Vocalist Zoe had assured that they were better live, so it's a case of putting your money where your mouth is. To quote Kerrang! And were they? Damn fucking right.

Deal With It opened things up, and although the sound was a little didgy at places It sounds like Satan's Bottom up here according to Zoe, the quality and power of the songs shines through. The band themselves sound tight, and have enough variety to see them through, as some of the new songs aired tonight prove, Dynamo and two others whose name's I've forgotten at the moment, but are on the tape from the interview that was done afterwards. Oh yeah, you'll be reading more about them don't worry. If they don't get sued first!

Other tracks from the demo that were played are Target, which is one of the best songs I've heard this year by anyone, and Nightmare. Even if it was introduced as Dynamo, oops, sorry apologises Zoe as the mistake is pointed out by Kaye. Shit, I've seen bands headline arenas introduce the wrong song.

In the demo review, I mentioned that they sounded like Tura Satana. To be honest, I was wrong. The female vocalist thing is what does it and is easily categorised with Tura and HWP, but really it shouldn't apply. It's just a cop out situation for people like me. I'll stick with the HWP link though, because Zoe's voice does remind me of Aimee. Aimee is a favourite vocalist, and HWP were a fave band, and I guess I could seem similarities along those lines developing here.

And in fact it's the vocals that maybe do pull it all together. Sometimes there's that extra little thing that is required to make a band stand out from the ordinary, and in Zoe's vocals, Milque have that something. As good, if not better than on the demo, they are excellent. Prowling around the stage, you get the feeling that the band really will come into their own if they are given the right opportunity. The right gig in front of a number of people who are interested. It should be good.

The final new track, damn I've forgotten the name of it, was particularly heavy sounding, but still it was a song. Something sometimes forgotten in a time where squeaks, squeals and how low the guitars can be tuned seems to rule. That's the key ingrediant here. Songs. Good songs, played well, carried by a great vocalist. Makes for a good combination don't you think? Yes, you do. So go and take a look at the web site . Try and get the demo (I think they're all gone now, but if you ask nicely at the right places, I'm sure a copy could be worked out), and when the mini-album is released sometime in the Autumn, make sure you get a copy. And if you see a band called Milque advertised as playing somewhere local to you, drop what you're doing and go to see them. Now would I lie to you. Nope. Half an hour, and it flew by. Cracking stuff.

Well, ok, see I can be critical. Minus points? Well, sorry, but points have to be deducted for the COLD sticker on Kaye's bass, and for the restrained attack on the drums by Duncan due to the drums apparently being particularly sensitive. Or at least their owner from a certain other band seems to think they are. Oh, and Colin's late arrival on stage! These guitarists, think they're a breed apart.

And yep, an interview will appear in YAZ shortly. Maybe an issue or two away, but it'll be there, have no worries about that.