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Schism (The Not Katies, Five Cent Deposit, The Blow Ups)

The Forum, Tunbridge Wells on 8th August 2003
Reviewed by Vicki on 10th August 2003

Not being much of a punk fan, I was surprised how much I enjoyed this evening, which comprised of four pop-punk bands, playing to an audience with an average age of around 13. It was boiling hot, I felt like a geriatric, but on the whole, a good gig.

The Blow Ups

Young punk band the Blow Ups hails from South East London, and has a catchy sound with many varied influences. Their youth is made up for by an impressive stage-presence and singer/guitarist Kelly Bateman has a strong voice, slightly reminiscent of Debbie Harry at times. Their overall sound is fast, loud and fun, and despite being completely unknown to anyone in the crowd, they came across well and got everyone bouncing.

Worthy of more than a 3rd support slot, they were the best band of the evening in my opinion.

Rating: 9/10
Website: theblowups.com

Five Cent Deposit

This US band quickly became repetitive, and at times sounded like a poor imitation of The Offspring. Saying this, the crowd appeared to respond quite well to them, but it was a young audience, and they didn't appear to be the kind of band who would hold much appeal to anyone but the 12 - 15 year-old set.

Rating: 4/10
Website: 5centdeposit.com

The Not Katies

A Surrey punk-pop band with definite emo influences, Not Katies had a lot of support from the crowd, and with good reason. Think Bad Religion crossed with Jimmy Eat World, a fun punky sound with an original twist that works well.

Rating: 7/10
Website: notkaties.com

Schism

Heavy, fast punk with great stage-presence, Schism is a fun band. Great melodies, silly lyrics that appealed to the punk kids, this band were extremely popular with the audience, and obviously have a faithful following.

This being the band's first headlining tour, they gave an explosive performance, with a catchy set list, and no badly-chosen songs. With a singer who appears to have based his look on that of Dexter Holland from The Offspring, with a stage-presence to match, they hold the attention of the audience, and get the crowd bouncing up and down, despite the almost unbearable temperatures in the tiny venue.

Many of the heavier songs were reminiscent of American punk rock bands such as Good Charlotte, and early Sum 41 songs, and also a punk ballad, which was my favourite song of the evening, and strongly reminded me of Alkaline Trio.

With a great overall sound, and enthusiastic performances, including vibrant, energetic guitars, and a more than competent drummer that drove the performance along, they deserve their popularity.

Rating: 8/10
Website: schismweb.co.uk

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