Better Than A Thousand / Step Back

Birmingham Foundry

April 13 1999

Well, it's back into full swing on the gig going front. With a few more to come. But even that pales against BTAT tonight. But more on that later.

First, let's deal with Step Back. Not bad, I quite enjoyed them in a old school hardcore style not threatening sort of way. Though I don't think Vickie was overly impressed by them. I find it kinda hard to know what to say sometimes about these types of bands. It works well live, but is there enough to distinguish them from the rest of the bands? But does that even matter? There's a couple of friends down the front, so at least they're able as well to do the obligatory "slam the mike in front of someone's gob and hope that he comes out with either the lyrics, or failing that, at least a damn good scream." Which is all nice and good. Still think I should've tried to grab a copy of the CD they were on about at the end of the set, but well I didn't, and that sometimes happens.

Anyway, Better Than A Thousand. I have one album by them, don't know an awful lot, so don't expect too much from me. Cos I didn't from them. And it was simply awesome. As much as the music it was just the general atmosphere. It was laid back and relaxed, but still retaining enough intensity. Much is said of the communal spirit that likes to be associated with hardcore, and is something that I personally tend to question quite a bit, but you can see what people mean by it all tonight. Maybe it's because it's a band being fronted by, I guess, as near enough a legend in hardcore circles as there is. (Yes, I do know people will raise other names and go "waaaaaa"). But it just feels good, as it should be. There's no violence going on, just people having fun. Some new tracks are aired as well as older stuff, and so Ray teaches the words in order to sing along to I Can Make A Difference.

We had a balti earlier, so excuse us if we can't move around reckons Ray, to which someone, who tries hard to become the drunk star of the show, retorts with "Balti is good food." He subsequently follows up with cries of "England" when Ray introduces second singer for the evening Daniel from Sweden, and various other drunken football chants. Someone screwed up and double booked tonight, so we're playing Leicester at midnight if anyone wants to come along Ray informs the crowd. Like I said, some are doing it more than I am at the moment. It was too rock for me to get to two gigs in an evening. Besides, I didn't have enough money. But for the remainder of the set, there's the banter, and also Ken checking the watch to see how much longer they're allowed here. Another few singalongs, I wish I could remember them all, follow, Daniel does a track, after which Ray reckons "he's better looking than me, got a better voice than me and always makes me look dumb. I reckon he could sing for us after I retire. Who votes Daniel as singer for BTAT?. Silence. Looks like Rays job is safe for a while yet then. Yeah really, we're playing Leicester after this, and you can all come, well except you he points good naturedly to the drunken friend. And while talking about the new album that they're proud of, he's interrupted again. Shut up while I'm talking will you. Now I know what I was like. When I was five years old. There were so many little things that made this such a great gig. A poor memory like mine just can't do it justice. It's an example and a time when you need to be there to be able to appreciate everything.

We'll be selling stuff for about 15 minutes, then we're off to Leicester. Not sure iif they ever did make it there in time and how it went off. I'll try and find out. Hope it was half as good as this, cos this was wonderful. There'd been a debate on going to see Pitchshifter again tonight, until I was told of this gig by both Vickie and Dan. And as much as I love Pitchshifter, I've seen them so many times in the last year. And I'm so glad I saw this gig instead. So thanks to both of them for letting me know.

Anyway, I get this evening off I think, before another little burst of gigs. Woooo woooo, rock'n'roll dude. Shoot that man now.