Showcase with Spread Out, Al, Skinflik, Diasphere

Nottingham Old Angel

February 16 2000

Warning: Should you choose to read this review, you may encounter some cases of sarcasm. The doctor is trying to cure me, but at the moment the pills are not working.

I probably shouldn't review this, just cos I shouldn't. But I am, and I tried to be oh so professional. I even wrote down the names of all the bands. Course I can't find that bit of paper now, so I may have got the names wrong or the spellings. Sue me.

So yeah, Spread Out were the first band I think. Loose marks straight away for the hat that the guitarist is wearing and the singer holding a can of Stella but barely drinking from it. You got to drink it if you hold it. The music isn't exactly inspiring, it's played competantly enough, and there's some nice bass work, but it just doesn't have any real inspiration. Probably a bit too indie / jangly for me.

Next are Al. I think that's what they're called. Kind of feel a bit bad for them in a way playing to next to nobody must be pretty disheartening. But do we really need a Manic Street Preachers tribute band? I think not. All the moves, everything is there, even in the way the bass and the drums are played, the faces pulled by the singing aping those of James Dean Bradfield. They throw in covers of In Gods Country by U2, and Twist and Shake at the end, and somehow manage to make those sound like the Manics doing covers. Oh yeah, lose marks definitely for the singer reverting to a flying V guitar after breaking a string. Gain marks for inciting gloriously bad drunken dancing by the few people there. And maybe a mark for at least wearing the Clash t-shirt that the Manics should've worn but didn't.

Skinflik now. Gain marks for actually getting a crowd to come upstairs. Loose marks for the inelegance of the start, as the turntables don't work. The vocalist is a little cocksure of himself as well. There's a fine line between engaging the audience and just being annoying. Cross the line. When they do get going, there's some ok stuff there, but it's all a little predictable. There's some hip-hopy things amidst the nu-metal sort of punky leanings. These different styles aren't as easily distinguished as you might want to believe. The turntables don't really add anything to the equation either.

Diasphere. Add marks for the guitarists hair. Loose marks for making the crowd bump into me just as I'm about to take a sup from my pint and so spilling Guiness onto my neck. But they're the first band to look like they're all into what they're doing. It's a small stage but there's some elements of movement going on from everyone. The vocals are heading more and more towards my line of things. The shout can still be shouted, but there's some singing in there that ever more reminds me of Keith Caputo, and there's more assuredness and confidence going on. Marks added for the decent twisting jump off the stage that heralded the start of Fracture.

So, when we tot up the marks, or the comments, Diasphere come out on top tonight. Mind you, it's free entry, so everyones a winner in that respect.

Thankyou for reading. Sarcasm has left the building.