earthtone9 / Linea 77

Dudley JBs

April 24 2000

Ah, it must be a bank holiday mustn't it? Driving back from Wales, I decided to stop off en-route for this one. And it's bloody pissing it down. Still, I manage to get there just in time for Linea77. What a difference a couple of days makes eh? Welcome to the Great British reserve. Saturday they manage to invoke a response from people. Monday, well there's one girl moving at the front. Oki, I still think they're a better live band than song band, they've got all the moves etc. But as they're working damn hard on that stage, a little bit of you thinks it would just be nice if people actually showed some interest. Oh people are watching. But it's about time some band made the decision to set up with the drummer on stage and the rest of the band at the back of the venue, or one each at each of the doors. Hem the crowd in. Make them have to listen. Make them show some interests. Herd them to the middle of the venue. Not even the cover of Walk Like An Egyptian can entice much out of people. On saturday as they ended singing "you're wonderful", it felt sincere, because they'd got a reaction, tonight it must've felt hollow. Must be the bank holiday. That's it, it's got to be the bank holiday.

Jammer from Medulla Nocte is walking round with a huge grin on his face, the result of being somewhat pleased it seems with the recording of the new Nocte album. Apparently due for release either the last week in May or the first week in June, if his reports of the reactions of the people that have heard it are anything to go by, then that time should see the release of one of the most brutally intense albums in recent years.

So yet another earthtone9 gig (there's almost a zine title in there for the nicking), and still they manage to retain my interest. Tonight the set is rearranged again, this time they open with Off Kilter before hitting in with three new songs in a row. First is the Indian flavoured one as it's currently known to me. They did say the name afterwards, but hey, it's an earthtone9 title, I've got no chance of remembering it. It's the third time I've heard the song now, and it's begining to settle in. The wah guitar offset by powerchords, and then the chant in the middle, during which Karl sounds more confident than he has done previously with the new melodies and vocal harmonies. As the tour progresses, so it seems does the voice. It's then followed by the one two of Tat Twam Asi and Alpha Hi. It's funny at least to me, to notice that Alpha Hi seems to go don better, even though I think Tat Twam is the better song. Maybe Alpha Hi has the more suitable parts for people, because it seems noticeable that challenge british people and we all go and cower in the corner. It's what's going on at the moment. There's a few people dancing at the front, but most of the impressive turnout appear to be cowering towards the back. The ones dancing are challenged as well though. There's a fast or heavy part they can do the shuffle to, then a more esoteric element is thrown in which just throws everyone off kilter (sorry!) and it all stops. People look around bewildered. "Ohhh noooo, what can I do? .... Ah, good, here comes a fast moshy bit". Maybe it's why Tat Twam feels wasted on people tonight. There's a number of phases to the song, and that chorus just deserves more than to be received by an empty vacant void. There's an interesting delayed echo like effect tonight, which adds even more depth to it. And the reaction does at least mean that the Middleton acerbic tongue can be used to full effect. "I appreciate you all have good eyesight to see from back there ... but I don't know if you can hear this", and after one round of applause "stop it now, we all know it's a farce."

Of course you could lay the blame with the band for not actively participating in working a crowd, but the music is surely the most important and they let it do the talking. Grind & Click is thrown in as the obligatory "you've heard this one so do something" style of song, and it's got all those elements so that people can shuffle away, career into each other and all that malarky. Then another new track is thrown in, p.r.d. chaos with yet another rousing melodic chorus, "ask a question". Ok. No, no I won't. I don't want to get myself in trouble.

Zechariah rush is also given an airing tonight, highlighting the more textured side of the music. For me it means a superb set, one of the best I've seen them do, but of course it confuses and challenges people. No easy fixes here. And just in case everyone thinks that they're mellowing out, going for a more melodic approach, there's the return of the bottle played feedback solo which I first heard on Saturday. I can't describe it any other way. It's an anti-solo, played with a bottle based totally on feeback. Does exactly what it says on the tin. How do you follow that? I Nagual Eye of course, and it comes full circle with the return of the full on guitar scrape, the band leaving the stage on by one, bassist Dave leaned against the stage playing. They're almost rushed off stage by the roadies in the hurry to clear things away for Kill II This. Too many challenges for too many people. Don't you love being adventurous and British?