Chasm haven't apparently rehearsed for about 8 weeks. And although things might be just a touch rusty in place, the only thing that they really suffer from is he old first band on stage syndrome. You know the one, where virtually no bugger watches the band. Well it's those peoples loss. With the giant projector beaming out overhead, the band get their heads down and push out a 25 - 30 minute set which is as good a display of UK nu-metal as you're likely to get. Not that they're entirely nu-meta mind you. It's just a flavour, there's also a little bit more emotion on the Far tinged 54. And a touch of aggression as after one track drummer Gemma stands up holding the remains of the snare drum she's just destroyed, before asking if any of the other bands could loan her a spare one. Si-DaiLo steps forward, though I could've sworn there was a worried look on his face after parting with the drum. Especially as Gemma doesn't treat the thing any better, and continues to hit seven shades of shit out of the thing. Things continue as they move through the likes of Almost There, Zen Lunacy and eventually bring things to a close with Block. They'll probably play better gigs than this, and they'll certainly get better responses than this - but it's still early days and they have to go through that first band on syndrome.
Which means tonight that Shallow don't. A few more people have made it upstairs as vocalist Tony announces, pretty much as he did last time they playe here, that they're Shallow from Stoke - on Trent. Didn't quite gel for me tonight, some new material so there's the familiarity thing to deal with, and it just seemed a bit laboured and dragged out. Mind you, Chris Chasm I'm sure said something regarding "they make your bollocks shake". Or something like that, a better quote than I'll ever come up with anyway. Or it could jut have been the presence of video cameras capturing the moment, as well as Nick who apparently is celebrating his bbirtday by attempting to consume more alcohol than any other person in history. And proceeding to fall over in the process. Star.But for whatever reason, even though there was nothing wrong with the set, it just didn't gell for me tonight. Sometimes that happens. Just because you like a band, doesn't mean you always make the connection.
Dai Lo it has to be said are on top form. From the moment they step on the stage and start with the slow burning Cold Harsh Truth they're in control. The video projector is bombarding a series of images taken from various movies, most illustrating various and graphic ways to die or be mutilated. It constantly changes throughout the set, proving to be a damn site more innovative than a number of "professional", ie signed bands, that take out much heralded projection packages on tour.
But even that still can't draw the gaze away from the band and in particular vocalist Shaun. It's a small stage, but he's a blur of energy. Constantly moving crouching and having a ball. Between tracks he's rapid firing the compliments, a bit like Mike Muir on speed. He's also got a spotlight in his grasp, and he's going to use it, picking out and highlighting the somehow still standing Nick." Go on, just another quadruple vodka you know you want to, you're a star" is Shaun's encouragement. Not that the bloke needs it mind you.
It's only the second time that I've heard the new material, but already it's begining to take root. Moths sounds like they've been listening to Blackrock a little - all stoner like riffs and a huge chorus, while Warhead is just massive. Huge riffs, a killer vocal melody by Shaun that feels so right because it sounds so familiar. It's so impressive that even the welcome inclusion of old favourites such as Twist The Knife, and Target are almost overshadowed. That was almost, they're great songs, but it would inreasingly seem they only hint at the bands capabilities. Despite it being a home town gig for them and the place looking pretty much full, still it seems most people are content to sit on the floor instead of even stand, let alone dance, despite Shaun's protestations that everyone is "magic awesome" and everything else. But it's Friday night, probably a little too much effort after a hard week at work. Personally I think all chairs should be banned in this instance. Or fitted with a small bomb or minor shocking device. Come on, sarcasm again ya gits.
It all ends with Nick somehow summoning the presence of mind to take the spot from Shaun and one by one illuminate the band providing the only lighting for the last song. And you know what, it actually worked very well. I think it was Junkmale that ended it, but I'm writing this a few days later in Helsinki, cos I didn't have the time immediately after the gig, so 'scuse the memory. It's bloody cold here n'all, and snowy. Brrr.
Cracking gig, bit of a shame about the crowd I reckon.