Pitchshifter / earthtone9

Birmingham Academy

February 6 2001

First time in Birmingham for ages, and a combination of late finish in work and not really know where the venue is meant that as I got in the venue, the stage was being reset and I'd missed Lost Prophets. Still, if the wind blows in the right direction and the car passes its MOT, there's maybe another 2 opportunities on this tour to actually catch them.

So first up tonight are earthtone9. And so shocked am I that they walk on to applause that I have to put earplugs in to dull the sensation. Can't have other people liking them, the sellouts. Sounds like they've re-arranged the start to p.r.d. chaos a bit, either that or they messed up well early in the set. The place is pretty big, and seems half full at the time. As the gentle opening of p.r.d unfolds, a lot of people don't seem ready to get it, but as soon as the chorus hits in, and they realise they can bounce along, then bounce they do. Nothing quite like the challenge live music poses. It's straight into tat twam asi then, still the finest song out there at the moments, and with the middle section benefitting from the addition of a phased guitar sound. People recognise it. One guy don't like it. In that age old tradition of demonstrating disapproval in an intelligent form, he throws a plastic glass at Karl, which hits home. He wanders away, Oz glaring. I smirk on the inside as moments later he wanders past again. This time escorted by 2 people of the bouncer variety on his way to the exit. Ok, plastic glass, as Karl states later when another arrives on stage "oh plastic, that's going to scar me" it's not going to do damage. But I reckon that he wouldn't like the band throwing a punch at him, so why throw something at the band. Ah, I forgot. He's a twat.

"Be prepared to be underwhelmed" assures Karl as star damage is next. Obvioulsy this song has major bounce potential, and features the more primeval vocal style, so big reaction. As the tape leads in to binary 101, the power cuts out completely. To help people understand this, Karl says "we appear to have lost power." Not helped by the following "that's what you get for letting Welsh people into the country". Oi Mr M. we'll have less of that. Instead we're regalled by a couple of mini-solo moments, providing the shock revelation that the man can actually sing, and should probably leave the band and join the Popstars. "Take a break, go to the bar. We'll be back shortly." The plastic container arrives on stage, Karl makes his statement, along with "you're shit, we're shit, we're all shit together." Finally power is restored, they manage to pick up momentum, straight into binary 101 which curiously sees some people attempting to start some kind of circle pit. Something which would seem more suited to Grind & Click which follows on, before the slow grinding monster of Yellow Fever. "You know this one" reckons Karl as they start final track Evil Crawling I, and they leave to more applause than they arrived to. Who'd have thought it.

Pitchshifter of course have recently been dropped. By the time they take the stage the place looks healthily full. Probably not as full as last week when Papa Roach apparently sold it out, but hey, y'know. Now, I've been involved in discussions about the whole nu-metal thing, and more precisely the way UK bands seem to have to fight to get any kind of recognition in this country. And a lot of poeple seem to think it's a bit of an elitist attitude, maybe ageist where old gits like me are condescending to they younger generation. It's not age. It's apathy, and apathy occurs regardless of age. But just to say, that probably most of the people here tonight were at a guess here last week for Papa Roach. And it's a young, young crowd. There's few of us old people around. Which shows that actually if it wasn't for the youngsters that everyone apparently is trying to slag off, gigs like this would be virtually empty, cos all the old farts like myself can't be arsed to go any more. See, apathy doesn't discriminate on age. Oh, yeah, that was praise for the fact that there's a healthy number of youngsters here - I don't want any flak ok.

To a visual engaging projection show, that completely dominates the background and has the ability to totally envelope everything, Pitchshifter start out with Wafer Thin. JS performs one of those trademark jumpywhileturninginmidair kicks, which if I was to ever do I'd fall and make a complete arse of myself, and the crowd starts to bounce.

The set is fairly well dominated by material from the latest Deviant album, with Condescension, Dead Battery and Scene This all rearing their heads. Keep It Clean is introduced by saying "this used to be about boy bands, but now it's for those Popstars. I hope they all die". Good job Karl didn't join them then. They dip back into the past for Virus, Triad and Underachiever, and Genius, thrown in fairly early in the set seals victory for them. Microwaved is introduced as "the only good fucking song we ever wrote." Ah no sir, you also have Please Sir, the best song they ever wrote, though that's disputed as JS reckons that set closer WYSIWYG is the best song they ever wrote. Ah opinions. Always fun, always entertaining. Though of course everyone else is always wrong. WYSIWYG also sees the customary stage dive and Un-United Kingdom sees what is probably the customary "fuck off" from someone in the crowd due to a probable misinterpretation of the meaning of song. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have brought things down to that level, meaning of songs in a live review. What was I thinking of.

Oh, and they also announce that "we're going to go away, write a new album and find a lable. This band is not splitting up". Which is probably out of the entire gig, all you really need to know.