It's the M42, about half way between Nottingham and Birmingham. I can barely see a thing cos of the rain, and there's an almight bolt of lightning. Why do I do these things? And then, a strange thing happens. As I get to Birmingham, the sun breaks through, there's blue sky, and it stops raining. How often do things brighten up as you get to Birmingham. Talk about rare! Sorry Birmingham, you and I both know you rawwwwwwwwk!!!!!!!
So anyway, I eventually find the place, and remember why it is I do these things. Cos 2 of my favourite bands at the moment are playing at the same gig. On paper, it's not an ideal pairing. I love them both, but they have differnet styles and you need a different approach and attitude for them. But still, that shouldn't be something that requires different nights or gigs to be able to achieve. But before we get to them, there's the other 2 bands.
First ones up and I don't know their name. Now, how should I describe them? Well, let's go with the singer. Now, either they should've taken the mirror away from him when he was younger, so that he could stop doing all the rock god poses imaginable, or the guy borders on that type they call eccentric. Yeah. Not very good really, there's a bunch of riffs going on that sound ok, because they sound unoriginal, but as songs, they don't gel and they don't stay in the mind. And then our singer grabs a guitar, plays without plugging in (yeah, it could've been wireless), and promptly drops it as he goes to put it back. Mmmmm. There again, he was seen to be led away while Medulla played for playing the guitar on the dance floor. Would've said in the crowd, but there wasn't one, so I couldn't say that. Next.
Next are S8N. Oh, did I mention the venue. Yeah, uh, a working man's club, which means the bingo's probably on downstairs. The tables are left out, it's a big place, and there's maybe 20 people here. Scattered around at the tables. It's an utterly depressing sight really. Apparently the concept of advertising the gig might not have reached these parts. Which may go some way to explaining why, to be honest, S8N don't look overly keen. I've seen them once before, and I'm still trying to work them out. See, it goes like this. There's 2 bassists. A guitarist stood centre, and a guy doing vocals to his right. And so it's rappy kind of new metal thing. Then half way through, he picks up a guitar and the center guitarist takes over on vocals. So now we're two guitarists, two bassists, and suddenly we're full on metal. "Old Kreator" are the words uttered by Colin. Sepultura like I'm thinking. Along with identity crisis. There's one song, Piece of Shit, and it maybe sums up how it looks like they feel tonight. It's hard in such circumstances, but there's no sense of togetherness and presence. Mind yuo, Paul from Medulla announces they were ace cos they were full on metal.
And now we turn to Milque. Yeah, I know, I mention them and Medulla all the time. I should change the record. I mean, some magazines go on about bands with the initial's CC or K or LB all the time, and I whinge. But until these bands get that sort of coverage, I'm going to keep on. Anyway, this was simply the best I've seen them yet. No mean feat, especially given that they can leave out songs like Target, Deal With It and Nightmare. Indeed, there's only two tracks inthe 7 songs set that are on the mini-album. It bodes well for the future that the new material such as Old Man, Squealer, and HeadHunter is strong enough to have such an impact. There's more variety going on here than say the demo hinted at, and there seems to be an air of confidence growing with the band. But that's to be expected with tracks such as Dynamo that opens and Shifter and that Zoe really can sing. And Kaye's bass still hit's overdrive and then some when she switches to distortion. Not sure that we needed to know that Colin's cock had made an appearance, but there you go. And even if Colin did extend the opening riff on one of the tracks, it doesn't matter, cos it's a 'kin excellent riff. Very familiar. Do you need me to tell you how good this band are again? Ok, well how about Paul from Medulla, who towards the end of their set thanks the bands and especially Milque. What a splendid band And he's not lying. Why should he. Get them back in the studio, good producer, bit of money, and then watch them rip.
And finally Medulla. Paul had said how he was happy to go back to doing this after their last gig opening for Soulfly. Keeps the feet on the ground sort of thing. Maybe, but they deserve better than this. Still, it doesn't stop them. "We're the cabaret for tonight" and they're off. It's the same set they've been peddling for a while now, but those two new songs are really begining to make an impact. The music has progressed, Paul's singing, and the comparison that was made recently in Kerrang! of him being the hardcore Mike Patton looks pretty close to the mark. Choking On Dirt makes a rare appearance, and Paul's claim to be able to empty the entire place by the end of the set doesn't quite come to fruition. It's kind of scary how professional and tight they are. I know bands that would be faced with this, do 3 songs and then say "fuck it". Not Medulla. To use an old cliche, they play like their lives depend on it. And they deserve so much more than this. And closer All That I Ask is the song Machine Head wishes they could write. Mind you, we won't mention that t-shirt eh Paul.
A night that was well worth it again, in spite of the rain. But then, most of you just won't have any idea will you. It really would be nice to see some of these venues full on occassions. But hey, I'm sure the club or pub that most people will have spent the evening in was great as well. Shame it wasn't as great as this though. It's my last one for about a week and a half, as I'm off to Greece for a few days. In the name of work you understand.