So. This is the first time I have been asked by someone to come along and review a gig. I got free entry and a free pint. I am now technically a semi-pro writer. BANG! I am on the scene. Look out.
My little brother Sam is visiting this weekend so I dragged him down to the Cowley Club too. He technically had a choice, but he couldn’t really use it. He was wing man tonight. He was required to watch bands with his progressively drunker older brother and soberly smile as I got more boring. He maintained his cool very well. That’s 10.5 points to Sam.
So. We arrive. 8:30 on the dot, that is the time I was told it all started, and as my first “semi-pro” job I just had to be prompt: that’s my vibe, big style. Always prompt.
I like the Cowley Club, it’s got the cheapest pints in Brighton and there’s never any bravado, and you always feel like the money you are giving to the busty barmaid is going to someone other than the billy BIG balls fat cat, and that’s nice. There’s no mustachioed brandy swiller at the top of the food chain buying a Mercedes Benz from the proceeds of your expensive habit. Good. Good on you.
So, anyways, we arrive on time, but it turns out there is some delay on the onslaught. Not a problem. Turn out is low so I decided to re-text pals I had texted earlier to come along. These are the two texts I recieved in the original format I recieved them, warts and all:
This one is from Pauly:
“Sorry Babs, still got taste of sick in my mouth from last night. Love.you x”
This beauty is from Stuart:
“Can’t make it, getting ill n don’t want to expose self to the Cowley…!stoned instead. definately instead.Fare well, braver man!! x”
I know this is all an aside, but I am writing this now, after the gig, listening to Admiral Angry. And maybe a touch worse for wear. You have to expect these things from a semi-pro: I’m not there yet, I’m still in the self doubting stage. Very much dependent on alcohol to give me the courage to present myself. Someone today said I should write the review whilst I was still smashed from the gig and then just publish it. I like that idea but I think I will need to edit it before hand for things like CAPS LOCK AND OTHER things that CAN HAPPEN WHILE typing drunk.
So anyway, the gig started with——
TOE: but before they came on we were pleasantly subjected to Choral, Opera and 20’s music. It was a welcome change from the sorts of nonsense you often get between bands. But the vibes made me a bit uneasy as for some unknown reason I felt nervous that I was there to review a few bands. Like as if my opinion suddenly counted, which of course it doesn’t. Funny business. So anyway. At this stage Sam told me the difference between True North and Magnetic North, which I enjoyed.
TOE. They consist of a man with a Mac, a bedredlocked drummer and a bassist. I know it’s my problem, but I just don’t get on with noise music. I know it’s my fault. I know I know. But I don’t get it. I always feel that the complexity of the nob noodling is lost in the sea of the sound produced. Just like Death Metal, there’s a lot going on but all you hear live is… “GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG
Either way it’s good to see the bemused faces of middle aged guys as this sort of thing comes on, and then their slow and embaressed walk outside for a cigarette, desperatley trying to tell the rest of the crowd with their eyes that they just want a fag and they really are down with this shizzle, they’re just a bit tired or wotevs. I don’t think there had been any drug taking by the band on this particular occasion but at somepoint in the past, between one and three members of this band have taken some/ all of the drugs.
RAGWEED graced the stage next, and I always appreciate a band that looks like they are enjoying themselves. Tom on guitar was stood in a wet patch on the stage so this added an extra dimension of excitement as we wondered whether he would be able to maintain an upright stature as he squirmed and writhed around the arena. They played a Bleachesque set with gusto. The drummer was a stand in drummer apparently, and a very good one, he played tight without apparently being able to hear the guitar at all. That’s a tough position for a drummer to be in, but he nailed it good. So high five for him. The guitar could have done with being louder, but that’s often the way in small venues and the thundering bass sound made up for it. Also they had a song about a dead cat. Who doesn’t like that sort of thing? It was a shame that there weren’t too many people in the audience as I think that would have heightened the ballsy performance, but you just can’t rely on Brightonians to come out of their houses on a chilly October evening I suppose.
CAUTIONHORSES were last up. They had great onstage banter, one snapshot conversation went like this:
Bassist – “Are you wearing eye shadow?”
Guitarist – “I was a Zombie earlier”
Bassist – “A very pretty Zombie”
The songs weren’t half bad too, kind of a rocky post punky math thing I suppose you would say with some twinges of the Pixies and maybe even the occasional whiff of Rage Against the Machine in one of the numbers as the Guitar man pointed out. All three of them had a go on the vocals but it wasn’t too much which is a skill in its self. Caution’s drummer was another fine one, he didn’t have a ride cymbal but that didn’t phase him at all, he smashed away at them none the less. The guitarist busied himself moving tipey toed around the space where the crowd should have been like a puma looking for a packet of biscuits in the noon day sun. Maybe I’m biased because they’ve got Horse in their band name, but I liked these guys. One song had the lyrics “jungle primates” in I think? I may have misheard, but I’m a sucker for nature lyrics, so there’s another 8.5 points for them. There was an ace breakdown in the song called “Sex” and in my opinion they should have done that for longer coz it was fresh… but who am I to judge?
All in all, to summarise, at the end of the day, it’s a game of two halves.