Madball / Barcode / Capdown / In The Clear

Sheffield Corporation

May 23 1999

Really wasn't sure about going to this one and listening to all that unity hardcore bollocks that can tend to really get on your tits after a while. Or if you're not in the right mood for it. Pretty busy week coming up at work methinks, have to finish writing a paper, complete 2 chapters for the thesis, hold a network trial, come up with something to talk about for a presentation when all I've done in the last few months has been the thesis, and sort out a trip to Greece for a bloody meeting. So I should stay in and start doing some work. Besides, I'm not the biggest Madball fan. But I still end up going.

And once more I arrive as the first band, Sheffield's In The Clear are finishing. So no change there then. Except it's only about 6.25pm. I know it was supposed to start early, but I mean, come on!

Anyway, Capdown made it worthwhile. Coming on saying "we're about to commit music suicide" is a great start. Get in your defence before anyone can accuse you. I like that. I tend to do it alot. But it's totally unnecessary right? Because this is a hardcore gig. Unity. Open-mindedness. Togetherness. All that rhetoric, so the fact that Capdown lean more on the punk side with a very large side salad of ska should make no difference right? Yeah well, it does. Hey, I never claimed to actually understand all this stuff. Best band of the night though easily. Live they bring the name Rancid to my mind more than on the EP. But tracks such as Time For Change and the new untitled one have a heavyweight enough 'core to them to go over well. And when the saxophone comes out, well, we're all open minded here so it's not a problem. If Money's Your Life and Yourself, Your Whole Self and Nothing But Yourself are there from the EP and sound great. Apparently they used to be called Soap, and there's a song of the same name here, and as they leave after half an hour, I realise that maybe because of my mood, maybe my attitude, maybe my utter lack of "real" understanding of this whole hardcore thing, but I realise that I've just witnessed the band of the night.

And the next band pail significantly by comparison. Barcode it turns out are from Denmark, and yet I had them down as American due to the American accent the singer seemed to have. Anyway, very standard metal hardcore that really did nothing for me on this occassion. It's all precise and whatever, but it's just crying out for something to make it stand out, something to make it interesting, something to grab you and shake you. Nothing does. The final song introduced as a track they wrote 20 years ago is the best. The song? Judas Priests' Breaking The Law. Even though it's mutilated, it's still the best thing they played. Bzzzt. Next.

Well, next I thought would be Imbalance. Due in part to having been advertised, and one of the reasons I decided to actually come to the gig tonight. But as it turns out, the fact that they didn't take to the stage makes me think they weren't there for some reason.

And so it was, at 8.30pm, Madball come on. I mean, 8.30!!!!!! Why were the first band on so goddamn early. Anyway, they come on, and for 40 minutes run through a set that ultimately feels very hollow. Maybe it was me, but it really felt like a going through the motions. Maybe it's the turnout. A standard Sheffield turnout, which means there's a fair few here, but you're hardly battling for your own space. They play some old shit, and some older shit. Face To Face. Moment Of Truth. And others that I only know from the names given to them onstage and have once more forgotten. Maybe that summed it up. Though there was a song "dedicated to the metalheads". Ah, I can feel loved and wanted if only for a few minutes. It's ok though, cos it's passed now. There's announcments that a new album will be out before the end of the year, it won't be on RoadRunner, and their old guitarist has "officially retired from hardcore". So I guess there's new shit to look forward to. As it would perhaps be put. But after only 40 minutes it's over. To be honest, the whole evening is a bit of a major disappointment. It's over by 9.10 and it's still daylight outside. Bit of a letdown all round really. Well, apart from Capdown.

And just in case I need to piss off the purist anymore, I listened to Garbage, Hero and Sophia on the way home. And it sounded good to me. Some melody that I enjoyed.

Woah there boy. Apparently I've been told that Imbalance actually headlined. Probably as I was driving back to Nottingham. Bollocks, wanted to see them again. But what the fuck is the point in advertising a show as being Madball, having nothing about Imbalance on the ticket, and then have the band that aren't even mentioned on the ticket headline over the band whose name is in big screaming hardcore we're from Noooooo Yoooik letters on everything. Huh? No sense. Should give a partial refund to people like me that were duped. Whaddayamean I was the only one stupid enough? That's besides the point. (mumble mumble whinge whinge groan).