Nottingham Old Angel
November 4 1999
I need a week off. And I feel like shit. Hi flu, how are you, come on, make yourself at home for a few days.
But enough of me, what of this. Well, three local bands means that there's a big turnout this evening, which is how it should be of course. First up are Weim eshore. Or however the hell you spell it. Ah, WaimeaShorey. Just checked the web page. Bad name. Terrible name in terms of spelling. So there's no excuse for complaining when it is spelt incorrectly. It's a minor issue though. A new band, featuring yet another ex-3rd Stone vocalist. They deal in hardcore, but to my mind there's a little bit of a chug in there, and plenty more melody and variety than a lot of bands. Though I couldn't work out the lyrics, the vocals of Mark sound strong and confident. And don't you just love drummers? One song is introduced as being written by the drummer and being a love song, and it just happens to have the fastest intro of the night! Members of Element are encouraged, strangely against their will it seems to take to the stage to join in with the gang vocals to Betrayal, a real chantalong kind of song. "This is our last song, the shortest set in history" says Mark before their last song, surprisingly enough. It may be short, but at the moment it's pretty sweet. But, the shaped bass guitar. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Shaped guitars are evil. Shaped bass guitars should be banned in case they corrupt the youth.
And talking of shaped guitars, there's a terrible red one in Diasphere. Nooooo. They look crap when Max Cavalera plays them as well. The other thing for me that Diasphere have to drop, is the first two songs. Like last week when I first saw them, they strike as being nu metal by numbers. The music and the poses. From their third song in, when vocalist John starts to explore the notion of singing, the crowd are into it, and all the lights going in full effect makes it seem very professional. There's some good riffs and talent within the band, it just needs them to find their own path. It may be frustrating in the short term, but long term it could reap more rewards. Strange sight number 1 of the evening is when guitarist Dewar breaks a string and vocalist John changes it for him. What's going on with that. Still, it gives the drummer the chance to play intro to a Snot song, even if it sounded more like System of a Down to me, and Dewar is encouraged, to his apparent despair, to cut the hair off rather than go for dreads. The guitar gets fixed and the band finish off in fine style. They've definitely got ability. Depends where they want to look, short term or long.
Fortunately a load of people stick around for Element as well, a band I've not heard before, but who announce later that they will be supporting Earthtone9 here soon. How good is that one going to be! Element play nu metal. Very competently, and with a big sound. But it is too derivative at the moment. It's unfair to point it out, because from the musical perspective it makes absolutely no difference and is good to see, there's a female bassist, and it's going to invite comparisons with you know who. And in a way, they sound better than that. Though the new song that is introduced is both their best and worst moment. Best in that it's perfectly sound and competant, worst in that the vocals that open it are so much like so many American bands. They're note perfect, but they need that mark of their own sound to make a mark. And I reckon they've got the ability. It just depends if they want, have the confidence or are encouraged to explore it. Second bizarre sight of the night is that of the man Pike and his new bottle opener - the stage. It works. Eventually. To a cheer. But it's a night where you can see three bands with potential for 2 quid. You can't really argue with that. And in all the cases, the ability is there - it just needs to channel it the right way. Though of course my way may not be your way or their way.