Dog Fashion Disco / DaiLo / Big Sister

Nottingam Rock City

June 5 2001

Finger on the pulse of the music world as ever, it wasn't until talking to Mr Pike at the end of the gig that I realised that Diasphere had split up and I guess from the ashes, Big Sister have emerged. At least in that 3/4 of them used to be in Diasphere. Tonight I believe was their first outing, slipped on the bill at the last moment (2 of them have been helping out on the DFD tour) and with a setlist that lasts about 4 or maybe 5 songs. And it has to be said, even on first listen, it's much better than Diasphere in so much as there's more of an identity in their music. Less predictable, certainly less nu than before (though the final song kind of runs through that ground and was the least inspiring for me.) Instead it's replaced by a slightly funkier, janglier (more technical knowledge steamrollering through) sound, that hints at Incubus. Though that could be because I've still got them on the brain a bit from last night, I have limited musical knowledge and I'm crap at describing how bands sound. Or quite possibly all three of those things. Being critical, there's a tendancy for the songs to follow the same pattern - hit a riff, repeat x times kind of thing, but they're young and these are rough edges that can be ironed out in time. What stood out was the proficiency and the fact that there's pretty big hints at good songs to come. Going to have to wait until September before anything else, but it could be a worthwhile wait. Impressive.

Tonight sees possibly the quickest changeovers known to man. I've barely managed to get a drink from the bar after Big Sister have finished, when Dai Lo hit the stage uttering the disappointing words that "we're only playing 3 songs tonight because we've got to get Dog Fashion Disco on". Which means that the set is kind of all over the place, there's Misery Machine, Close and a new one(?) One Man Standing(????). Misery Machine is kind of fairly typical Dai Lo bluster, whereas Close is the more melancholic side. Again, they're bringing to mind elements of Incubus for me, though with a heavy more gutsy guitar sound, and Shaun's vocals tonight were mixed too low, so that he's not as able to impose his presence.

And so the stage is given over 5 minutes later to Dog Fashion Disco. Saturday it didn't really click for me, tonight it did. Maybe it's the smaller venue, everything is more closed in. Maybe it's just the frame of mind I'm in. Maybe it's that the video screen is only half visible due to the size of the stage, and unless you want to watch a video on a drummer, then your focus is more clearly drawn to the band and the music. Who knows? Who cares? All that matters is that tonight it works. Vocalist Todd has foregone the Elvis look for the baby in pink nightdress look. As they start, he encourages everyone to move a bit closer for that better view. The set is the same as Saturday night I think, (which of course means I still can't remember the names of the songs), but tonight the full on Bungleness of it really hits home. There's also plenty of verbal sparring with the members of Dai Lo and Big Sister indicating the potential for some er, lurrrve action later that evening. Reuben from Blank Canvas Records / Subvert has also made the trip from Norwich, and deems that they don't sound quite as good as they did there a couple of days earlier. But they still sound damn good. Those keyboards really help. Er yeah, crap review I know. It was good, it cost 2 quid for 3 bands. Can't really argue with that at all.