Pitchshifter / Bullyrag

Nottingham Rock City

Feb 7 1998

"Hello", "Hello". It's only ever Bullyrag when that all starts up. It seems to have been a long time since I first saw this band, and still we await the album, although that should be released soon. But it needs to be, because as good as this band are, there's so much going on musically, that I need to 'know' the songs before I think I can fully appreciate the band. A mix of techno(ish), reggae, ragga, metal, punky stuff. Frantic, the one song I do know, is great, and the closer Boom Boom Marajuana is the tour de force (though I could do without the guitar solo like bit in the middle which bogs it down). The other stuff sounds good, It Makes Me Laugh and Jump (I think) and some others, but you need to be familiar with the music to totally appreciate it. So let's get the album out soon lads eh!

PitchShifter in some ways pose a similar problem tonight, in that they choose to only play 3 old songs, and the rest are new ones. But it's less of a problem. Although Pitchshifter mix things up (especially the techno rock angle), there's not quite the mishmash of styles, and so it's easier to get your head around things.

Triad opens things up, followed by the first newbie of the night Microwaved, which sounded good. Virus is next, before which JS warns of the perils of stage diving before undertaking to stage dive himself. Indeed, he was the only one to actually dive all night, though after a little encouragement let's see who can be the first person to hit the ceiling with their head the surfers are going. Wonder if people regret saying things sometimes, as the ceiling tiles and insulation that started being ripped out of the ceiling probably didn't help the band make anything financially tonight.

Insects is the final old song of the night, with the rest of the gig being given over to new material. WYSIWIG particularly stands out, along with Please Sir, I Don't Want To (i think). But really, all the new stuff sounded excellent. On first listen, I now can't wait for the album. There's a large dollop of techno crossover going on, but it's very easily digestible. New single Genius suffers a little in the lyrics if dysfunction is a function, I must be a genius is fine, but when it seems to be the only lyric, it gets a little repetitive.

The guitar sound is bolstered by Jim Davies, but it's not really needed. The show is carried by JS, who talks between every song, introduces them all, and comes over a lot friendlier and approachable and good natured than you may sometimes think from the press. What he's like in person though, I've no idea.

It'll be interesting to see how the album does. Interesting to see if any techno fans actually cross over to the rock bands who are incorporating new ideas, or whether this cross over scene really is just rock bands and fans embracing new ideas and nothing more.

Oh, and maybe next time they play here, they'll get the big hall and people will actually be able to see them, instead of people having to try and hang from the ceiling in order to get anything like a view. But that would be all too sensible wouldn't it.