Circle Again/ Out For The Count / Diasphere

October 26

Nottingham Bunkers Hill

Chairs should not be allowed at gigs. Not unless I'm sitting on them. They're taking up nearly half the space here, and so you've got some people sat nice and comfy towards the stage, while people are standing at the back. Shouldn't be allowed really now should it? Specially not at a hardcore gig. This is about getting close to the action isn't it?

Oh and pass me the walking stick. How much younger are bands going to get. I mean, it's not me getting old, I know that much. Diasphere are young. And with the youth comes good and bad. Good in that you do what you want, and everyone else knows shit and are wrong even if they do know shit. The bad is exactly the same, in that as you get older, you realise that some things have a grain of truth to them, even if you'd rather they didn't. And for the first couple of songs it's the bad side which is evident. There's energy and a decent racket coming from the stage, but it's too similar to everyone else doing the same thing. The moves are there, all the shapes are right, and they'll do ok with it. But it's no different. From the third song in though (you weren't expecting titles now were you?) things get way better. There's a cracking riff, and suddenly there's a glimmer of a more mature style and sound. Mature this time meant to mean they're own sound. A nice bass riff runs through things, where some of the moments perhaps slip into predictable there's just a little something that drags it back out of there. I remember one point just being a little time change, the drums pick up the tempo and it stands out a mile. As with life, as you get older you get paths to follow and choices to make. I really hope they choose to go with their own sound, because it's much better.

Out For The Count are next. I'm a bit more sceptical than most, so Steve may have bought the CD before they play, but me, I'm going to wait first. I'd heard they play a Sick Of It All style, and given my undoubted hardcore pedigree (I'm not some long haird metaller hanging on the shirt tails of hardcore for some credibility, oh no, not me. I'm like the short haired metal kids hanging on the shirt tails of hardcore, I loooove it), if it's like SOIA then there's two things. One: it's a good thing, cos I still reckon SOIA are the best HC band around and Two: it's a bad thing cos you ain't going to be as good as SOIA.

But anyway, that's definitely the thought that runs through the mind. And it is damn impressive, though the lugholes could've done with them turning the guitar down between tracks instead of gleefully enjoying the feedback that wailed everytime the guitarist wandered in front of the amp. Not big, not clever. Some of us are old and with dodgy hearing y'know! I did buy the CD at the end, so when I've listend to it I can maybe give you titles, but for now, tough. There are a few songs that really stand out with a total shoutalong anthem style feel to them. There's maybe a bit too much of the HC posturing, that bass playing maybe hardcore, but put the same bass in a different musical style, and it's got completely different overtones. Anyway, I'm off to have a listen to the CD now, but if you like SOIA and get the chance to, then check out Out For The Count.

I love hardcore, I really do. I think it's the unity of the whole scene you know. I mean the togetherness. You never get half the crowd disappering after the local bands have finished and your mates are trooping off home. No, never. It's us versus them to the end. And we'll stand united. Won't we? I mean, Circle Again announce they're from Dublin. They're obviously not the headline band, and it would be better for them to place them in the middle of the set. At least it guarrantees a decent audience. They're straight-edge, which I'm increasingly finding a bit of a yawn, but they've got a decent sense of humour and humility about them. And I love the way the vocalist when talking to everyone between songs doesn't bother with the microphone. A nice touch. Musically it's pretty much straight down the line straight edge hardcore. Fast and frentic, but lacking the punch of Out For The Count. Still, I bought a demo at the end, so I'll probably have more to say somewhere sometime.