Handsome / Midget

Wolverhampton Varsity

June 18

Surprisingly disappointing turnout, given that Handsome have the backing of the mighty Kerrang! Or maybe that was the cause. Or maybe people are lazy. Doesn't really matter.

Midget. Don't you just hate it when bands get so young. Makes me feel like an old bastard, and not just because I am one. Anyway, first time I'd seen or heard them, so initial impressions are of another in the line of Wildhearts through 3 Colours Red through Symposium line, ie, heavish but melodic, and getting younger all the time. Another in the long line of Britrock contenders. The music seemed reasonable enough, maybe a bit light in the vocals, and the second single is, always has been and always will be called Camoflauge. Seemed to be on the wrong bill to me though.

Handsome. Well, the album is pretty good, although the masterpiece it's being proclaimed, I'm not quite sure about. But they must've been disappointed in the turn out and crowd. Having to encourage people to move to the front, and thanking those that stuck around at the end of a 45 minute set, is not a good thing. Still, Needles kicks things off and it is one of their best moments. My Minds Eye was next, I think, and by the time we got to the superb Left of Heaven, technical difficulties are setting in. First time I've ever seen a guitarist go through 4 guitars in 1 song. Which is a shame, cos it is an excellent dity. Dim the Lights is dedicated to Midget and is another fine moment. In fact, the entire gig made me rethink about the album. It's been a fairly slow grower on me, but after this showing, I think it's due a few more plays.

A short set, but it seemed obvious the band was disappointed in the turnout, which I can understand, although to be fair, being pigeonholed in the hardcore category means that initial visit's here are going to be met with reservation. Hardcore means Sick of it All, Agnostic Front, Gorilla Biscuits. This isn't. Sure, it has more in common with Quicksand, as well it should given the circumstances, but this is the melodic side of hardcore. It's not all this one dimensional form of music that some people see, there are different sides to it all, and Handsome are another. Not anywhere near as exciting as Sick of it All in the live situation, and that's where a potential problem is, as the majority of initial fans maybe looking for that style of intensity. Still, if they can overcome nights like tonight, then they've certainly got a good future. Just would've been nice to see a few more people there.