Right, well after that little lay off, I suppose itís time to start catching up with some of the packages that have been lying on the floor with CDs in them and do what Iím not paid to do. So Letís see what weíve got?


First up, ah, ok, this could be tricky. Iíve got one here called Fear by a band called Royal Hunt. Fortunately itís been designed by an idiot, which is just what I need now. The promo CD has no track listing on the cardboard sleeve, the CD or the biog that accompanies it. Clever. Nice concept. Guess it makes me focus on the music, but thereís a limit. Hmmm. 7 tracks. 45 minutes. The first one has spent best part of 10 minutes going nowhere. Itís very very melodic rock. I try to give everything a chance, but I can already see a few reviews of this in my mind which go something along the lines of "took this off after 30 seconds and never want to hear it again in my life". Itís like that, if you like very very melodic stuff, that reminds me of Rainbow, then you might like it. But it pushes the boundaries. Whereas this sort of music is best summed up in 3 minute melodic nuggets, this lot just push the boundary too far. Over long "epics". They keyboard parps, thereís some plod bass, you know bmp bmp bmp bmp. Very regular, too slow. They do lift the pace, but itís normally as we dive headlong into a guitar/keyboard solo dual. "Lies, never ending lies I see it in your eyes" goes the chorus on track 4 which at least has a bit of riffage going on there.


Sorry, but Rainbow really did do it so much better when they got it right. What you looking at me like that for? I was 10 when Rainbow were in the charts. I could lie and say I was a punk at the time, I wasnít. Fuck off if you canít accept that people listen to a variety of stuff. Stick your originality and credibility up your arse. Sorry, divergence, but Iíve just been reading another crop of bollocks letters in Kerrang complaining the Blink 182 got a shite review and crap like punks vs goths vs new metallers. Grow up you stupid fucks. Or if not, remember that others have gone through this. So if I throw in a few references that you want to chuckle at, well so be it. Accept music across the board, give it a chance, and stop saying what your friend wants. Having said that, this Royal Hunt thing is pushing that belief a bit. Not really my thing. Not really the way I wanted to start getting back into doing this thing. Ah well, things as they say, can only get better.


Available on :

Spirit Caravan / Hangnail / Shallow

Nottingham Old Angel

October 1 1999


Pretty much the first time I've stepped foot out of the house in the last few weeks for something other than going to work. Out of practice on all this, so don't expect anything insightful. Plus I'm still way too highly stressed and focussed at the moment. I need sleep. I need relaxation.

Shallow are already doing their thing as I arrive, and mighty fine it is. They appear to have the key to accessible stoner stylisms. Is there such a word as that? Well there is now. But yeah, that just means they keep the groove, the focus on the song without buggering off down arsewank avenue. Danny in particular is going for it, shaking that head, and there's a nicely sized and appreciative audience to witness it. So far so good.


Next is Hangnail, and as I've not got the CD handy, I've promptly forgotten the titles of all the songs they played. What I know is that most if not all are from the album, and where I'm a little indifferent to their studio output, live it worked much better. Again, time constraints mean they focus more, and it's a valuable aid. They drag some lady from the crowd to sing, forget the name now, and it certainly adds to the songs. There also some wonderfully cheesy raps by a drunk Harry Hangnail, cheese factor Biohazard would've been proud of. The hair is whipped, the vocals I've decided are definitely Chris Cornell in their style, and if they can just focus more in the studio and recapture that live thing, then I'd be a happier bunny.


Shows how much some people know doesn't it? Yeah. I spent the entire set watching this hulking bloke exhaling as he plays the guitar, thinking "he looks like Pete Steele and Lemmy combined". Then as Spirit Caravan end their set, the roar of "Wino Wino" goes up. Ah yeah of course, Stoner legend Wino. Some people. Anyway, that may account for the near capacity crowd that's turned out to pay homage. Never heard the band before meself, but Mr Marksound wanders past, AWOL from his place in the soundbooth with a big grin and shouting "what a band, what a dream of a band", and though on first listen that may be a bit much for me to agree with, they certainly but up a fight against the stiff UK opposition that's been playing here this evening. So, no song titles from me, what's that I said, out of practice? The ineptitude makes me feel like I've never been away. Or maybe that's the Newkie Browns. My they taste nice, I've missed 'em. The music churns away, there's a few times the eyes are drawn to just watching Wino play guitar, hating the fact that some people can make it look so easy, look like their playing such easy chords and notes, the sort that even I could play, and yet the sound that emanates is like nothing I could do in my wildest dreams. Bahoo, life sucks sort of thing. But some were made to play, and others ... weren't. Looks like Wino was. Things run more than a touch close to the time wire, and so there's no time for an encore. But hey, sometimes it's better that way.