3 Colours Red / Llama Farmers

Wolves Wulfrun November 6 1998

Never let it be said that I am judgmental (cos you’d all be wrong and what do you know anyway?!?) or not prepared to give bands a chance (once bad always bad!?!). Nah, anyway, I’ve seen both these bands before and had different levels of “not that special are they” for both. But time to give them a chance again.

So the Llama Farmers I saw support Green Day the other month. Nothing stood out, but there were the obvious and lazy Nirvana comparisons thrown in. But, like I said, give em a chance before you hang em high. “The bass sounds like Placebo” and “the vocals sound like Cold”. Not my words but those of Vickie. Can’t really comment as I’ve not listened to Placebo much (his voice is too whiny) and I’m still trying to blot out the memory of Cold. “They’re a bit well, dull aren’t they” was another comment. And as they finished there was a resounding “fuck off” from someone behind. Anyway, who am I to argue when I can’t think of anything more constructive to say. It may have been summed up for me when I was accused of not committing on a view of them “just cos they’ve got a female in the band”. “They have?” comes my reply. Ooops. Not making a good impression.

3 Colours Red on the other hand did make an impression the times I saw them. First time was supporting Anthrax at Rock City, where at the end of the set, a resounding “fuck off” came from behind. Which means the Llama Farmers then will be headlining this place soon. Next few times I saw 3CR was, I think, supporting The Wildhearts. And I couldn’t shake the “just a pale imitation” tag from my mind. Plus the way they were portrayed in the press just meant I didn’t take them to my heart. But, time to give it a go again. And the surprising thing is, I recognised most of the songs even though I’ve never heard the album. So maybe that does say something to me about the strength of the material, or that my subconscious is operating at a different level to my fickle surface. They opened up with Paralyse, from the new EP, in front of a KISS style 3CR light thingie. Er yeah. It had a problem with its E, and made for fun during the rest of the gig as I tried to put together all the combinations of words that it seemed to spell out cos the letters joined or whatever. Like 3 EOLOUBS RID. No, I’ve no idea what eoloubs or rid is.You had to be there.

Anyway, the tracks came, and it was like the old material sounded pretty good, but unshakeable still was the thought of the Wildhearts in my mind. This Is My Hollywood, 60 Mile Smile, plus more, and Cooper Girl (their best song), Aniseed (Wildhearts singing to Kids In America), Pure, Hate Slick in the encores. Still, the place was sold out, and people seemed to suitably enjoy it. Though it has to be said, Chris McCormack may be a wild and crazy man of rock according to the music press. But all he does is play the guitar on stage. Nothing wild and crazy about that. Which is maybe the one problem with the band. Judging by the performance tonight, they have dreams of more grand and bigger things. For me though, they need something that is more focal in order to get them there. Besides, I felt like a right old bastard here tonight. The kids are into it, but is there enough of them to make that move. Cos it seemed like the older brigade such as myself weren’t really there in abundance. Maybe they do have some unfair barriers, such as the ones I present, to overcome.

The new material didn’t sound like the WH, but one airing wasn’t enough for me to make a judgement, or condemn, the likes of Paranoid People and Beautiful Something (the next single) complete with it’s orchestration and lighters in the air effect. Good job 3CR are a punk or britrock band. If they were Metal Erberts, they’d be laughed off the planet for that song, irrespective of the fact that it actually sounded pretty good.

The main set was about 35-40 minutes which is a bit short. Though they come back for 2 encores, which take it up to about an hour. But,a final encore of Anarchy In The Uk is not good. Sure, it sounded good. But, bands that claim to be punk covering what is almost the definitive punk standard in such a cliched manner is not a clever move. It totally nullifies everything that it was about in the first place in my opinion. If there wasn’t such a level of worship and importance placed upon that song, then fair enough. But it’s one that no band claiming to be punk should touch with a barge pole. Megadeth destroyed it. And, according to Vickie, Motley Crue’s version is horrible. It just shouldn’t be done. Especially by a band claiming 2 encores. That’s like just a tad on the side of majorly egotistical. Was that what punk was?