Own Worst Enemy / Chasm / Crawll

Nottingham Old Angel

February 11 2000

Wooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaarghhhhhhhhhh reverberates down the stairs, as it sounds like Satan just took to the stage. "And that's a girl" says Dan. First band's on then. I think they're called Crawll, it's possibly their first ever gig, apparently they only found out 2 days before, and I'm thinking that if some American star sends messages telling me how shit I am when giving them a "bad" review, then judging by the sounds emanating from the young lady on stage at the moment, I'm probably going to have my head physically removed from my body if I give this lot a bad review. Fortunately they're not bad musically. There's a lot of the current nu-metal going on, but hey, guess what, they've got changes of pace, dynamics, it's not a one-dimensional bore fest. It's pretty good. In some respects they're also a cartoon band, my mind can't help but think you've got the 80s skatecore kid on guitar, ponytail and a baseball cap, Suicidal Tendancies, there's the goth like bassist with hair longer than mine, and a cartoon like nu-metal fiercly independant women unleashing the vocals. And a drummer. Sorry, the drummer wasn't bad, just couldn't come up with a condescending stereotype. But they're better than that, there's also some kind of performance, writhing bodies and everything. Only remember the name of one song, Bit My Lip, it's all sounding pretty good. If the singing element develops into anything like as fierce as the shouting, then it's going to be good. Totally new band to me, and unlike many others, they left a definite impression on the very first viewing. Not many do that. Impressive.

"Nottingham's a tough crowd", Caroline's words reverberate a week later as Chasm turn in the best performance I've seen from them to date. What, there's maybe 20 or 30 people here. I know, I know, I'm sad and everyone else has sooooo many better things to do with their time on a Friday evening. "Hey man, I've got the new Revelation records top band of the week going to be massssssive CD to listen to". Ah well, I've got Chasm to watch. Tonight is apparently the first time they've played in a couple of months, they also wisely keep it to 5 songs, and turn in a great performance. Biggest improvement is in Pete's vocals, which are showing signs of the control that's needed. 54 opens things, normally it's during the middle of the set, but it works well as an opener, setting out their stall and their sound, and providing the launch pad for the likes of Zen Lunacy, Almost There and closer Block. In some ways they stick out like a sore thumb tonight, more melodic and more obviously emotional than the other bands, but although it can be a tough crowd, they seem to earn the respect of those that have bothered to turn out and check it out. Earlier someone was saying to me about the fact that Nottingham bands are all playing the same circuit at the moment, as if perhaps they need to take a break for a bit. Which is possibly true. I mean, there's loads of bands who could come here and play, would love the opportunity I'm sure, but, it needs for there to be an audience to play to. For the bands and the promoters. Which is why you need to support the local bands. Chasm have only come over from Derby. I try to tell Chris that honest, it's a decent place to play when there's a crowd. One day they'll get the chance to believe me. But you know, keep on staying away. I mean, that's really the way to encourage other bands to come here. They're going to jump at the chance of playing to know one. "God she hit's those drums so hard" grins Steve shaking his head. But at least Gemma didn't drum straight through the snare tonight. A good band. And who knows, one day maybe some people will even take the opportunity to find that out for themselves.

I miss the first few songs of Own Worst Enemy's set trying to (drunkenly) tell Chasm that it's a decent place to play. Which it is. When I do make it in to see the band, it's disappointing to see that there's still not many people here. Still, doesn't stop the band turning in another good performance of extremely solid Sick Of It All like hardcore. They've got the riffs, the vocals are spot on for it, and it's tight. The highlight is final track, I'm Not A Murder. Maybe they should say "We're an obscure American old/new skool hardcore band" because if they do, they'll have hords of people clammering to take the microphone off them to sing the vocals in a display of pure and unadulterated unity to the hardcore cause. I spent years living in an area where there was no scene, few bands, no place to easily see live bands. Now it's like I'm having a second childhood, the chance to see all these bands. That's why it annoys me so much at some of the sheer apathy displayed. I've been guilty of it, and still am on many occassions, but some people have no idea exactly how lucky they are to have such a fertile scene on their doorstep. And they'll likely only find out when it's too late.