It was right at the start of the summer that I saw Dustball, and I know that that was ages ago, but I enjoyed them so much, and their album 'Quality But Hers' is such a superb collection of spiky punk tunes, that I thought I'd mention them. I can't remember the exact set order, but the band played nearly all of their album, as well as a couple of old singles. The sound was really good and the best songs off the album like 'Let Me Lie' and 'Talkback Back' were crisp and sharp. Some of their tracks sounded much better live with a bit of fuzz, such as 'Owe It All To...'. Dustball seem to play round here a lot, and next time they do make sure you're there.
I saw this band at Reading this year, and was pleasantly surprised by how good they were. They played a sort of melodic hard rock, and reminded me of Redwood. The crowd took to them well and they appear to have a small fanbase, with several people wearing Flight 16 T-shirts. The best song I can remember was 'If All The World Hated Me' which began with a blistering guitar riff, before mellowing out into a much more melodic affair. I must admit that they didn't have much originality, and probably don't sound as great on record, but live they completely rocked!
Watching Idlewild is a completely mesmerising experience. Not only do the band rock more than most of the audience, but their music is totally outstanding. You cannot help being absorbed by songs such as 'Annihilate Now!' and 'Captain' in all their melodic grunge glory. Then there's the punk tunes such as 'Last Night I Missed all The Fireworks'. Best of all though is the new material, which should be part of one of the albums of the year, 'Everyone Says That You're So Fragile' is a blinding song. Idlewild and their songs create an electric atmosphere, which the audience completely loves.
There was a time when hardly a week would go by without Inter playing a local gig. These days, what with being signed and writing and recording new material, their live appearances are far more rare. Still, Splatch! at the H.G Wells Suite is a better place than most to make a comeback, and the reception they got was really good, particularly because Inter were rather lightweight in sound compared to the metal bands on the bill.
The band played a couple of brand new songs which I'd never heard before, and they seemed pretty good. The tunes which I think are probably their strongest live are the forthcoming single 'National Paranoia' and the pulsating 'Speed Racer'. However, the songs which went down best were the classics that everyone knew the words to (or should have done by now!). 'Cherry Red, Electric Blue' and 'Happy Ending' are two of the most tuneful and brilliant songs ever. Inter are a terrific live band, as they proved once again.
THE SAMURAI SEVEN
I've seen this band a couple of times over the past couple of months, and although they are nothing new or original they do write some classy pop songs. The suits they wear on stage are appropriate because their sound is very smart and neat. The only songs I know of theirs well are the single 'Xeroxy Music' and it's B-side 'Bonnet' and they seem to be their best songs live as well. At Splatch! they didn't go down too well which was a shame because they're a fun band it's really easy to like.
I last saw Seafood at the Farnham Maltings, but saw them more recently again at Reading, and they were completely devastating both times. They play a cross between lo-fi pop and metal. Anyone who has heard 'Porchlight' will know it to be one of the most sonically challenging singles of the year and it sounds even better live, pumped full of feedback and distortion. They complement their heavy material with some more mellow songs however, such as the acoustic guitar only 'We Felt Maroon', and their softer earlier single 'Scorch Comfort'. At Reading, their guitarist had broken his arm, and so the band had to improvise upon their set with versions of the Pixies 'Wave Of Mutilation 'and 'Walking In The Air'! The latter was particularly interesting: choirboy vocals choked to death with a guitar assault. Go and see Seafood - they're not going to start a moshpit but they are without a doubt one of the most entertaining and furious bands out there.
This gig was at the Plantation Cafe in Guildford, and was completely packed out which shows there is demand for more bands to play in Guildford, even after Splatch! has left the town. Winner are a cool band and play light, tuneful punk. The crowd reacted to them really well, much better than the reception that they would get from an adult audience, especially during the fast songs. However, it was during the slower ones that the band created their best tunes. Winner are a lot of fun live, and worth turning up for early if they're playing a support slot.
Issue 1 Contents
Issue 1 Autumn '98 © Tim Bragger