New Years Eve

The Old Angel, Nottingham

Guess the date.


Surely itís madness. Volunteering to do a gig on New Years Eve. Or at least the most sought after spot must be first on. Anyway, to clear something up. Am I "reviewing" on a night like this? No. Itís the same as any other time I happen to find myself at a gig. Iíll see what I can remember and write some words. No big deal.

So after a couple to relax the nerves in the afternoon, the first port of call means that by the time Iíve pegged it down the hill and got in, Iím greeted by the news that "theyíve played 2 1/2 songs and broken 3 strings." They being Dai Lo. Bugger. Still theyíre changing strings, still manage to play Target, Moths and one other. Was it Transmission? Canít remember. They still rocked like bastids anyway. As they leave in amongst the mayhem of words erupting from Sean is "thanks for putting up with us, being patient and waiting". Aye, couldíve waited for me to arrive though couldnít you! And as he walks by, Russ shakes his head, grins and mutters "and I didnít even have to stand on the guitar". Huge Baby gig reference.

But just how good were Blackrock tonight? Jesus, they were fucking immense, right from the start with Hercalaneum. Throwing a quick cover of Paranoid into the mix with the rest of the favourites, as Dr Satanís Robot ends it suddenly hits me that the guitar solo in there is fairly simple, but itís the best solo Iíve heard in years. At least since Mobyís Animal Rights album. I donít like solos, but that one is great, itís partly the guitar sound, so warm and embracing. Downer - ooh man what a song, what a groove. The whole thing is groove driven and ridden. If Iíd listened to them when I grew up, well the current stoner movement would be redundant, but I think that Iíd understand and enjoy that movement a hell of a lot more than I do. Theyíre simply the best band doing that sort of thing - bar none. Kind of fitting I guess that one of the best performances of the year is saved until the last night of the year. A privelige to watch. They rocked like bastids.

If weíre talking purely musical terms, no-one was going to top that. But this is New Years Eve, and it doesnít matter.

Next are Helvis, who it has to be said, rocked like bastids. Theyíre brand of scuzzy fucked up music makes much more sense at this point. Though itís getting hard to think too clearly. But theyíre gradually covered by the party poppers being aimed from the side of the stage. Theyíre followed immediately by a band whose name I forget but basically had one rehersal ever before this, and soon turn into a half Helvis half Hard To Swallow combo and rock like bastids. Tough bastids at that.

Things take a break for midnight and some rap or hip hop from a couple of guys. Donít know which it is at the best of times, let alone now. Bottles of champagne are handed out it seems to everyone, and within moments of the New Century starting Iím managing to think, and think "I wonder if I can catch champagne induced pneumonia." Bloody drowning in the stuff. Happy new year everyone. And a happy birthday to someone who knows who they is.

Schism have the task of playing the first set of the new year. They rock like bastids. Well not really, but at this point Iím not taking a lot of notice to be honest. Besides, the bars open again.

Element get the unenviable task of finishing things. They manage to rock like bastids, from the opening of their New York song, through the paradiddle less KY, the Steve assisted vocals on Tsunami. Possibly. To whatever finished things. I canít remember. I pity the people who had to clean the mess up at some stage though.

Happy new year all you muthafunsters. Howís the hangover? Iím going to lie down.

Fear Factory! You may not want to believe it, but I do try to be fair. So anyway, Iíve been talking to someone else whoís worked indirectly with Fear Factory at a gig, and he assures me that they donít use backing tapes. The drums are played live but then trigger samples. But the rest is live. So thatís two differing opinions on the whole thing. Thought I should just mention that before some people get too irate with me for what I wrote in the gig review. Donít want people having a go at me now do I? Donít think I could cope with that!