Think I need to re-introduce the Mood rating for this gig : Bit pissed off with music in general, hard to get excited about it.
Unortunately King Prawn were playing their last track as I arrived, so nothing about them.
Sona Fariq, the names been mentioned quite a bit recently. They were fairly impressive, must admit the songs didn't really do much for me on first listen, how many ever do? But they manage to work the small body of people who seemed interested, trying to bait those that weren't. Kind of melodic, jangly in places, bit punky, couldn't help but think a few times that it was the wrong bill for them. Like to see them again in their own setting.
Whole host of things you can say about OMS. Let's get the general stuff out of the way. As ever they're one of the more energetic bands onstage, Ed the drummer may be one of the more intelligent ones out there, but even when he tries to get the crowd to do a circle pit, it gets lost somewhere and ends up more a shape with many small sides. And he's wearing his hair in those Oz from E9 like twin pony tails - which means it's all going to be cut off real soon now.
The music is a fair mix from both the albums, with even the new stuff going down as well as the old. They even throw in a brand new track, despite Yap explaining that they nearly had to cancel due to his throat - "we played some venue the other week with shitty monitors and I strained my vocal chords".
But the most interesting parts of the night were when the music stopped. Two places. The first sees Yap launch into a tirade. As many will have read, they got booed off stage in America. "It's ok, I lost no sleep" he says, before going on "but what worried me was they wanted to put a cap in my head. America, the land of the free, where they wanted to kill me because of my music. If you hate our band and music that's fine, that's up to you, but these people wanted to kill me for it. These people who talk about freedom of speech, wanted to stop me doing what I love, playing the music I love. Just because I'm wearing this sarong they don't like it". He rants for a few minutes. Unfortunately there's even people here who seem narrow minded about it, as a few plastic beakers are launched towards the stage. It does seem a bit strange, so many people want to claim to be unique, individuals, freaks, whatever, yet they simply won't allow others to be themselves if it falls outside of their own narrow definition.
The other moment occurs when Yap stops to talk about their reputation. "we did an interview with a magazine, and one thing I never wanted to be was to be in a band labelled as mysoginistic" he starts, with reference to the infamous article from Amsterdam. "What can I say, it follows us around. There's nothing wrong with sex, everyone does it, everyone enjoys it, but when interviewed, no-one talks to us about the lyrics, it's always this story follows us around the world. Look in our lyrics, we've never abused women in them, we don't do that, we don't get asked about issues. What can I say, I apologise to all the women, I'm sorry, I apologise". With Yap's voice being a bit dodgy, there's some moments as he talks where it almosts cracks. It's a moment I'm glad he did. I remembered back to when I did an interview with the band, they acted the fools quite a bit, the usual OMS talk, but, as I hoped I tried to point out in it, look a bit closer and there's more to them than that. They were at pains to point out that they never abuse women, that no means no and all these sorts of things. And it was during those moments that there was a real serious element, you could hear it in the voice, in the look being given. They tread a fine line, and the way they've been reported since hasn't helped them. I've been getting a little bit wary, the interviews all focus on the same thing, the interesting ones are usually with Ed where there's more focus on actually saying something. But it's good to see Yap finally fighting back with this. Yes, they can sloganeer, you may not agree with their political opinions and say it's armchair politics or whatever, but ultimately, that's what it is for pretty much all the political bands. There's actually more to OMS than the media hyped sex machine, and it's good to see the band are finally realising that.