Pitchshifter / Janus Stark / Soundisciples

Nottingham Rock City

April 10 1999

By the time that I arrived at the stupidly early hour of 7.30, Soundisciples were already about 10 minutes into their set as of course, RC has to resort to being a club at 10pm. Hmmm. Anyway, I managed to basically catch the last three songs of their set. Heroin, as on the album is the absolute highlight, but somehow it's not all working tonight. It doesn't help that no-one seems to have heard anything by them, but it just didn't gel. It was much lighter and breezier than the dark gloom and despondancy of the album suggests, and the potential is there, but tonight was patchy.

Janus Stark apparently were close to splitting up. You wonder why. Then you wonder why not. See, watching this trio, that expanded to a quartet half way through their set, there's a feeling of "they're pretty bland and unexciting." Then there's a bit of "ooh, that one sounded Wildheart's like" and finally a "it's not that far removed from Green Day" Which begs the question of why they've struggled. Gizz Butt has the cheeky chappy approach to things, they play songs such as Hypermania and Clique, and some new stuff and it just simply exists. Caught in the in between. Gizz mentions the Janus Stark Groove a lot of times. Must groove like me. Which is not at all.

I knew what Pitchshifter were going to be like. I've seen them probably close on 10 times in the last year, and after that many, you know what it's going to be. The new album dominates. There's a couple of oldies. JS is the genial hospitable frontman, and they're in front of a home crowd. Boringly predictable. Yet somehow, they still manage to pull it off. There's an enthusiasm about what they do, the songs are great, and it pulls it out of the fire. Not that it was anywhere near the fire for most other people. Triad is introduced with a message from JS about the stupidity of racial hatred. It extends further than that. Everyone is born equal, no matter what sex, colour or ability. But everyone is also different, an individual and unique. There's no need to go and try to be different. WYSIWYG is introduced as being JS' fave Pitchshifter song, though everyone knows that set closer Please Sir is their greatest. We get the XTC cover in Making Plans For Nigel, and a remix of Underachiever. But best of all, tonight there are two new songs. Everything Sucks Again and Un-united Kingdom. The former is ok, though not their best, the latter a punky little thing that bodes well for the future, and contains the line of "Fuck the system, I'm going to work for Nissan".

So somehow they managed to do it and impress yet again. But they deserve it, and they've put in a shit load of work over the last year especially touring the current album to death. But now it's about time to look forward to the new one.