Diasphere / Blockade / Some band whose name I don't know / Skinflik

Nottingham Old Angel

March 1 2000

Well, I think it's about time that I started to introduce a rating system to reviews. For no reason other than my own protection. Sick of having to explain myself.

So, this is a "I'm a bit pissed off and stressed out and working too hard at the moment. I'm feeling in a pretty sarcastic mood and there is material contained within that may offend" rating. Yeah, so those film classification ones are simpler but tough. So there you have it. No need to tell me I'm a wanker cos of the review, I already know that.

So Skinflik are actually worse tonight than the other time I saw them. That was a first impression time, now it's more than that. There's nothing wrong in that they're competant enough, but it's generic bordering on the boring. They have the moves, the frontman is confident enough in himself, does some big leg splaying jumps and whatever, but there's nothing new there. The defining moment of this is that they do a cover of SOAD's Suite Pee. A great song full of vibrancy and energy, it's rendered pointless here. Highlights exactly where they're coming from - Nottingham via LA and for godsake, if you're going to pick a cover to do, either do something obscure or at least go a bit further back in musical history than under two years ago. The DJ geezer goes and has a bit of a kiss and cuddle with his girlfriend during one part of a song where he's not required. Kind of says a lot really.

Next were a band whose name I don't know, was told, but seemed to be really way too long for me to remember for any longer than the time it actually took to say. Plenty of hair flailing, which is actually a welcome enough sight these days, it's nothing new again, but a level heavier than Skinflik. I must be honest and say I can't say much about them, cos I spent most of their set putting the world to rights from a musical perspective at the bar. The kind of "I'm right and the rest of you are wrong" sort of thing. Well you know it's true.

Blockade have come all the way from France. Seems like they've self-financed things and done four or five gigs, something which as far as I'm concerned immediately gains an element of my respect. And what are they greeted with? The sight of more people trooping in as they play - yaaay. To find them all bring chairs to sit on, or sit on the floor - boooo. Fair play, it doesn't deter them, and the vocalist spends most of the evening leaping off the stage into the middle of the floor. Their music is a little generic in places, kind of metal touching on the hardcore door, but it's competant enough. Maybe it tweaks my interest because they're French, and you don't normally expect that sort of music from the country. I spent 3 months out there a few years back, and the only gigs I managed during that time were Maiden, Metallica and Poison Idea. Metal is not in abundance there. But the people are nice, and it's a great country, so it's nice to see this sort of thing happening. And there are a few moments during some of their songs where they're trying something different. Forget the name of the song now, but apparently it's one off their second demo, and it has a middle section where everything breaks down totally - very spartan. In this case it doesn't really work very well, it's a bit ham-fisted, but at least there's the variety. And saying that you love Nottingham is always going to help with the locals of course. Bit of buttering up never did anyone any harm.

Diasphere. Well, it has to be said they should stop playing so many gigs now in Nottingham. They're improving all the time live, but they need to take a break, get something out for people to listen to or gig elsewhere, because at the moment they're on too often. People will either get bored or almost non-plussed by it all. And I mean tonight everyone is sitting. Everyone. Well apart from those standing by the soundbooth. Everyone else sits. I'm stood just in front of the glass of the sound booth. There's no-one else stood. Lazy bunch of fuckwits. Yeah, harsh. I refer you to the review rating given at the start. I mean come on, at least a few people could stand. I thought everyone was young and vibrant and I was the only old bitter bastard. It's not until the final song and a plea for people to move forward that anyone actually does. Then a few people get up and dance, and you know what - startling revelation approaching - it actually looks better. The sooner they introduce a no-sitting ban at gigs the better. Includes the floor as well as chairs.

Suppose I'd better go and lie down now then. It's 3pm, and I've been in work since before 9. Better have a rest you know. Life can drain you. Maybe the energy is being saved for Slipknot.