So Reach The Sky were due to be the headliners at this gig, but due apparently to their plates being nicked from the van, they were instead enjoying the pleasure of customs in France!
There are some times I seriously doubt my ability or the sense to reviewing a gig. It's kind of akin to that moment in a conversation where some part kicks in and goes, "Dave, you're talking absolute bollocks mate". You know it, yet still you carry on. And before you say anything, it happens more when sober than drunk. Sometimes it's a similar feeling with music.
First were Shotgun I think. Now, it's kind of hard to judge in these circumstances, no soundcheck, apparently the bassist's bass packed in moments before, and all that malarky. So hard to judge. But they weren't very good. 3 piece punky sort of thing with no memorable riffs or hooks. The best part of the set was the mini destruction of equipment at the end. Which is a bit cliched and tired.
See, sometimes I wonder if, be it right or wrong, visual perception can actually affect what you think and hear. Take 3rd Stone. They've got in a way I guess your usual hardcore frontman - offstage in the actual delivery of the set, in the face though without the uncessary aggression, doing his best to engage the crowd. But behind him, there's a guitarist and bassist that with all best intentions in the world, don't look like your normal hardcore band. Now personally I think that's good, because it helps in my mind to cement the fact that you don't have to fit into a defined pidgeonhole in order to play or appreciate any particular style of music. But I also wonder if their presence, (maybe influence) actually affects the music as well, making it that little bit different. Certainly during their short 7 song set (did I say they appear to be tying with Waimeashorey for the shortest set ever award! well they are!!) there's plenty of old school stylings with the likes of Truth and Force My Hand being pushed along on the back of some uptempo drums, but there's just something that sounds a little different to me, a little non-hardcore. But that could be me. It could be my visual perception deceiving me, or it could be that I'm talking absolute bollocks and don't actually know what I'm on about. Whichever way it is, it's a short but impressive set, rounded off nicely by (I'm assured) a cover of Inside Out's No Spiritual Surrender.
And something a little different is the way that I've thought of Silencer 7 on the couple of occassions I've seen them previously. At least that's what I've thought. There's something different musically. Just little things, but they're important things. Each time they've struck me as a band that actually has some decent songs, some nice riffs, nice tempo changes. Isn't nice a really terrible word? Just struck me as I was typing it. The vocalist, as with 3rd Stone before, spends his time in front of the stage, but its relatively melodic vocals, no need to shred the throat. Very impressive. But like I said, maybe I'm talking bollocks. I mean, I'm sure the Kerrang! review of the album (which admittedly I've not heard), described them as very Sick Of It All like and a bit uninspiring. And that's a comparison that although I use it all too often for hardcore bands, has never actually struck me for Silencer 7. Yet the magazines employ people that probably do actually know something about music and what they're talking about (another reason I don't want to be labelled a journalist), so they must be right and I must be talking bollocks. Silencer 7 offer up a enjoyable slant on the hardcore thing, and for my money are one of the better more engaging bands out there. Although they had to take the step up to headline tonight at the last minute, they were more than capable of it.