Blackrock / Shallow / Josia

Nottingham Old Angel

October 27 2000

"You've got to check Josia out, they're mint!". At least 3 people said this to me before the start of the gig. Unfortunately the name Jimi Hendrix was thrown in as well, and to be honest, I've never been a Jimi person - over indulgent and basically crap. So 'twas with a sense of curiosity and apprehension that I climb the stairs. And the first half of the set wasn't bad. They can play, they've got a good grove and vibe maaaaaaan. But around half way through the set we part company. It seems to go into a bit of a self indulgent overload, and the guitarist falls to his knees. It's over stretched, over played and over long. Restraint needs to be learnt, sometimes less, is more.

Shallow are a weird breed. Or is it just me. The album is one that just sits there at home, yet everytime they play live, they seem to capture a far more engaging vibe. Maaaaaaan. The set hasn't really varied much over the months, but they still lock into some great grooves, and smooth guitar. I really should sit down with the album a bit more, because live, they're one of the best bands of their ilk in the country.

I say one of, because the best remain Blackrock. Where Josia may be cool to those totally and utterly into their style, Blackrock can crossover, because they've got a grip on great songwriting and knowing when to bring things to an end. They play a bunch of new songs which initially feel as if they're going to be a whole lot punkier than you'd expect, before eventually settling into that massive Blackrock groove. The likes of Downer and Dr Satan's Robot still manage to make you just close your eyes and totally loose yourself in the music. "I didn't expect there to be this many people here. I made a pact with myself to strip if there was more than 50 people, but I'm not going to" says Sean, which is a bit of relief really. Well to me at any rate. The cries of "show us your arse" that permeate the rest of the set suggest that others may have been more disappointed than me. Or more sarcastic.