Vandals / Assorted Jelly Beans / Someone else

Birmingham Foundry

August 11 1998

Phew, what a scorcher! Sorry, felt a need to descend to that level then. Or is it ascend? You decide. Anyway, bloody hot day all round, so after almost melting in work, I decide to do the decent thing and melt in the car all the way to Birmingham. And when I get there, did I melt at the sight of the first band on?

Nope. They were ok in that "yet another melodic punk band blah di blah" sort of way. Though they did have a song which sounded suspiciously like "I love your tits". Which is nice. But they didn't stand out. Not even when the singer broke a string on his very James Hetfield guitar, and was reduced to just singing the last 2 songs. Not bad. Existential.

Assorted Jelly Beans. Well, I guess it is a crap name. I had visions of a brass led ska band from the little I'd heard about these, and instead it was a 3 piece punk with ska style band. Which wasn't bad, but to be honest, you have to wonder if everyone that suddenly decided to pogo for them had actually heard them before. Or was it simply another case of, "ah lad, they be American, so they be good, so I be dancing." Not bad, but ultimately there's many a band around just as good and worthy as them, but who don't get that reception. There was a song that I made a mental note to remember, but I'd forgotten it by the end of the next one. Maybe that summed it all up.

Or maybe it was just the heat. Phew, it was a scorcher. Did I tell you that already? Well it was.

And so The Vandals. Ambling on stage, they take a few minutes to chat, grin, talk about being in BirmingHAM. That bloody HAM emphasis again. The second largest city in England. Here's to number 2. It may be the second largest city, but it's not a bloody joint of HAM. God. Sorry, heatstroke alert. Do you think we should play some songs now?. And they do. And it sounds great. A real fun show, a band that seemed to enjoy what they are doing. I'm only familiar with the latest album, Hitler Bad Vandals Good, so potentially incorrect songs titles again. Diorrehea or whoever the hell you spell it, some Birthday song, along with gems such as My Girlfriends Dead, Some People Are Going to Hell and of course, Ape Drape. Which is such a classic. An absolute shedload of banter, most of which I made a mental note of to remember, and promptly forgot by the time I hit the motorway. The song with the long name from Mary Poppins, I’m not even going to attempt to spell it. You know it or you don’t. And the guitarist ends up singing the last song from the top of the PA with his one leg behind his head. Don't feel sorry for him, he's having an even better time than the rest of us. Which would have been difficult, cos I think everyone had a great time. If you like the melodic punk thing, do yourselves a favour and check them out. Even if you don't like that stuff normally, check them out. You may just end up enjoying yourselves.

Wish I'd taken the stuff to do an interview now, though I wouldn't have known what to ask on this one, so maybe it was better that way. Besides, it was so hot the tape would've melted. Well no it wouldn't have, but I just had to get another Phew, what a scorcher in there somehow. Duly done. And you'll be pleased to know that I thought of a few more rants this evening for future YAZs. Must've been the heat. Did I mention that?