Paradise Lost / Soundisciples
Nottingham Rock City (The Rig)
June 10 1999
Been almost a fortnight since the last gig due to one thing and another, including the "interesting" concept of driving that Greek taxi drivers seem to use. But anyway, it's a gig again, and shortly before it the interview took place. And so, at 8 o'clock, only half and hour late, the doors open.
And at 8.05, Soundisciples are shoved on stage to about 20 people as everyone else is still wandering in. They're a strange experience at the moment. One of those instances where the album works a damn site better than live. At the moment, it's only the mid set coupling of Withdraw From Life and Heroin that really grab the attention. The rest just kind of vanishes over the head. Which is a shame because there's potential there. They seem to be fighting a losing battle, with the cries of "let's see some more movement" resulting in pretty much no movement at all. And it seems to bring a hint of frustration to the band. Though by the end of the set the crowd has filled out nicely and they receive a fairly warm round of applause. Looks like it's going to be the long haul for this band. Strange in a way, because the style of music they play fits in well with the current style of the Lost.
Ah yes, the current style. What a metamorphosis. Or some word spelt something like that. It has been a change, no doubt about it. Now, I'm not the biggest fan of Paradise Lost. In the past, they've often bored me, both on album and live. But in a way, that's helpful here. I feel I can appreciate the change more, because I'm not so entrenched with the band. Plus I hope that I've expanded my tastes over the years so that I can appreciate music more for the songs and the music and less for it having to have a particular style or guitar tone. And an open mind is probably what you need at the moment for the Lost.They start up with Say Just Words from the watershed One Second album. Watershed in that it paved the way for Host, from which opening track All Hope Is Lost is next up. And as a pair of songs, it's a good start. I'd forgotten how good SJW sounded. But, it's a different sound. The set is heavily biased towards those two albums, and even the older tracks that are played, such as Forever Failure (introduced as being "the story of my life") and Enchantment from the Draconian Times album have had the vocal line modified to suit Nick's new singing style.
And in that respect, it makes it easier to see the change.I wouldn't say the new material is harder or heavier live, it's louder, and I think that often gets mistaken for harder. From the new album we get Nothing Sacred, which is a great song. It's got an oh so familiar keyboard sound to it (I guess that's where those that know their Depeche Mode's will point the finger) and just works well. In All Honesty is preceeded by the much more talkative than before Nick saying "we've been spoilt the last few years and forgotten just how shitty these clubs sound is". Ah yes, the clubs. The rig is a great sized venue to see bands, tiny, but the stage is too low. Well, it has to be, there's no headspace. It means that from where I am, I can't see the band, you just have to allow yourself to be absorbed into the music. Which is maybe no bad thing. Permanent Solution sees Nick berating those that throw the sold out sign. "For those that think we sold out, clean out your fucking ears". Made The Same is one of the classy catchy songs from the album, and there's also Harbour, Ordinary Days and probably a few more. And I realise that suddenly, although I've only had chance to listen to the album for a few days, the songs are settling into the brain more than I realised. It's mixed up with the likes of Soul Courageous ("the best song Iggy Pop never wrote"), Disappear, Lydia, Mercy and others from One Second. Eternal makes an appearance from Gothic, and we're treated to "the jazz remix" of As I Die. It kinda makes more sense to me maybe, but like I said, I'm not a diehard. Though of course I'd have liked to have heard at least Shadowkings and The Last Time.
In front of me was a scene that maybe summed it up. The young lady danced gently all night to everything. Her boyfriend nodded appreciatively a few times, but only released the hair for a bit of a bang during eternal. And next to them, their friend's jaw kept hitting the floor each time the keyboard enfused new material started up. And there was a look of disbelief as As I Die unwound. Three reactions of varying degrees, which sum up possibly what the Lost have in front of them.
At the end, I ask Matt his verdict. "Some of the new stuff was ok, but a lot was bland. And it all started with a keyboard bit, then some vocals, then a break. Too predictable". Which mirrored thoughts I'd had about half way through. Until you familiarise, if you decide to that is, there is a lot of new material which has a similar feeling structure. It's an argument that you can level at most bands or genres. Time will tell whether the Lost fans decide to familiarise or, er, get Lost.