One Car Pile Up / Vanilla Pod / Someone Else
April 21 1999
And so it was, with a lighter bank balance having just authorised payment on the Yaz CD (ouch) that I head once more to Derby. Man Utd have just got back to 2-2 against Juventus, which is a bit of a shame really, and I've missed the first few songs by the first band, so I don't know their name and is why I've called them Someone Else. See, logic to everything!?! Which was a shame really (missing their name), because the few songs that I caught sounded pretty good. I was thinking it was another melodic punk band, which wouldn't be far off the truth, but there was also some added extras that might have taken them down that emo style path a bit. Sounded good. Shame I've no idea who they were.
Vanilla Pod are another in the long name of bands that I've heard about, or seen their name so many times, and yet never seen or heard. And that list is far longer than the list of bands I have seen. But that has now been rectified, and the next time they play, hopefully it will again. They were excellent. Simple as that really. Again, it's melodic punk, and it's not new, but that doesn't matter. It's played in a great way, with humour and a comedy show thrown in free. I don't know the names of the members of the band (well I will do when I look in the CD that I bought after the set), so let's call them Bass Pod, Guitar Pod ... can you see the pattern? Anyway, Bass Pod, and indeed the rest of the Pods rib guitar Pod about his alleged mullet, and rib OCPU about anything and everything. But well, it is 67 days into the tour (you had to be there!). In turn OCPU manage to counter with their own comebacks, and as a crowd, you feel like you're at a gig with a humour tennis match going on. Turning and watching from back to front as the quips fly over the net that is the crowd. And in between they play some songs including a cover of Happy Hour by the Housemartins. But the thing that stood out most for me, was Bass Pod. Simply that it was so great to see a bassist play with his fingers instead of a pick, and play some wonderful bass lines. As a frustrated bassist myself, amongst many other frustrations but we're not going there, it was great to watch. Made it look oh so simple. And the name Steve Harris ran through my mind loads. The low slung bass, the great fills. Ah sorry, had to get the token metal reference in there. Great set. Think I'll go and give that CD a spin now. Oh yeah, and some great "guitar hero" poses to finish the set. Basically, too many good things to remember. You shouldíve been there.
Anyway, metal, yeah, had to mention that. See, I saw OCPU here last year. I was in one of my moods at the time, getting a little annoyed that so few people were around for the gig following Green Day's sold out gig at Nottingham just before. And in the review I kinda bagged on about a few things. One of which was the "American accent" the guitarist used. The other was how NOFXy in my mind it was, the music and the humour etc. And also the metal references in the set. So anyway, since then I've been informed of a few things. Not least that the guitarist is Canadian, which gives a pretty good reason for him having an accent that sounded American to me. And of course, as far as the metal thing goes. Well, I've got no problems with bands taking the piss out of it. Because I can. As well as pretty much any other music that I listen to. You should be able to, because well, you have to lighten up at times in life. Music can help you with that. It can also be there for the grittier aspects. Cos there's different types, styles, moods and all that. Just like life.
My problem, if it is one, is that I don't like it when people just restrict themselves to one style, there's so many different flavours to try. And sometimes one style becomes bogged down, and also certain elements appear constantly. Like the melodic punk thing has a tendancy to "take the mickey out of metal." But maybe I should just lighten up. Alternatively I could do reviews in terms of "they came, they saw, they played, they threw some shapes." But to me that would be sooooo boring to read and to write.
Anyway, I also finished the review by saying that I'd enjoyed the gig and wanted to see all the bands again. Which was true. And as OCPU are playing here, then that's the reason I've popped over. And so, the burning question. What were they like? Bloody great again. Cos they were last time, just my mood wasnít. Though I could've done without being informed that Man U had actually won. I was taping it and hoping to watch them lose when I got home. Never mind, just taped over it with the Baseball instead. (Traitor Dave, that's American, you must watch UK sports!!!!). The music is coming from the FatWreckChords school, and there's nothing wrong in that, especially if it is played with the humour, fun and on top of everything else, quality songs as is the case with OCPU. A good measure of a band is when the gig is over and you're thinking "what, already", which happened here as the curfew was reached all too soon. Sorry, still don't know the titles of the songs, but I'm going to rectify that. Would help if they manage to get the album away from "the shops in our minds" to the shops in Nottingham. Because when it is, I'll be there buying it. But they restrained themselves in the metal department tonight. Which is a shame really. Cos although I whinge all the time, it's great to take the piss. And they've got a t-shirt with Heavier Than Metal on the back anyway.
See, this was another example of where in the UK, if you want to look, there is great stuff around. You still hear murmours of "the UK has no scene". What utter bollocks. Whatever you like, metal, punk, hardcore, melodic punk, alternative, techno-rock whatever, there are some great bands in all those areas. It's just a shame that the people that "keep it real" for whichever genre, fail to check out the UK bands. Where were all the Epitaph and FatWreckChords lovers in this instance? Do yourselves a favour. Check out different styles of music, and check out different bands. You missed a major treat tonight. Fun all the way. Enough to put a grin on even an old cynic like meself. The only downer really was that I walked away thinking "there's nothing really like those bands on the Yaz CD." Well there is to an extent, maybe next time eh! Hopefully thereíll be an interview soon with them as well. Oh yeah, and shame about Man U!
Capdown - Time For Change.
This isnít hardcore in the more NYHC sense, though I guess some will say itís old school especially on opener Time For Change, which has a lovely bass line, absolutely lovely and for a reason that is probably totally wrong, makes me think of the Bad Brains a bit. Itís also got some of those ska like tendancies on Stand My Ground, which though I like the sound, just feels like itís been done to death and is overly predicatable in many bands now. Still, for all that, I still like the track. Hypocrite. And thereís a sax break in that sounds good not like itís a novelty for novelties sake thing. That skanky feeling continues at the start of Yourself, Your Whole Self & Nothing But Yourself, but is soon joined by a much meatier guitar accompaniement. Throughout everything they manage to remember the songs. following more ska flavour in If Moneyís Your Life, final track, If We Donít Last Very Long is a more punky affair, featuring a Dead Kennedyísesque intro bass lick, and finishes a well promising affair.
Available on Household Name
Must go, the Yaz CDs have just turned up. 5 boxes of the little suckers. Iím excited .... Got emí. Looks good, and sounding good!!!!!!! Yes. Thereís a relief.