Lock Up, Stock, And Three Smoking Bands
The Lock Up, Virginia Street, Aberdeen on 7th April 2004
Reviewed by Michael on 8th April 2004
I got there about 7pm, having successfully found the place with the aid of Dan from My Minds Weapon' directions. What can you really say about pre-gig in a 'venue' that holds about 50-60 people at most? The setting was very rough and ready, yet once filled, seemed like a fantastic place for a gig. The gig was conceived as a way to give The X-Certs a chance at playing live while they were all together, and at the last minute, Flight 19 were added to the bill.
I've written before about Flight 19 not being to my taste, but tonight, the rule book got torn up. They sounded absolutely fantastic in the setting (perhaps they're actually suited for this type of gig?), and the songs just came alive somehow. If I'd heard them for the first time here, then I'd probably think they were wonderful based on their performance. As with The X-Certs, they only get to play whenever all their members are in town, which is usually only around the holidays. Perhaps it's been their three month absence from the 'scene' that makes them sound so fresh, but at the end of they day, they didn't let anyone down with their appearance.
Wow. I don't think I can say much more than that. They absolutely flourished tonight - and proved beyond all doubt that they can perform on any stage at any venue - and yet somehow, it was oddly exciting seeing them perform somewhere so small. I've seen them enough times to be able to sing along to their songs, and a small, wonderful touch was the fact that they've kept to their promise never to play 'Into The Silence' again. On reflection, they don't even need to play it - songs like 'Monkey Solves Puzzle' more than replace it. Out of every Aberdeen band, The X-Certs show the most potential just based on the pure raw energy that they have - along with some of the best songwriting ever.
Their last song descended into anarchy, with Jamesy from My Minds Weapon grabbing a mic and screaming down it, with Murray screaming away on his knees. A perfect finale for a perfect band, perhaps. After it was all said and done, the most important thing was to remember to breathe.
The X-Certs do not let you down - indeed, they pick you up and throw you a mile high.
My Minds Weapon
Everyone has heard the hype about them, there's been endless arguments over them on Aberdeen-music, they've been praised and criticised in equal measures, usually with the 'emo!' tag that's used so often as an insult on these shores.
However, I have to say one thing - I would pay to see them again. They were horribly, horribly impressive. Ben's vocals were 'supposed' to be poor, yet they were decent. The guitars were loud and crunchy, the bass thundering, and they could almost match The X-Certs as far as intensity goes. I had heard their recorded tracks before, and wasn't expecting much, but I was blown away by the fact that they were much, much better in the flesh. The addition of twiddly solos just made the entire experience even better, and it's safe to say that they deserve the hype surrounding them. I have the feeling that most of their detractors haven't seen them in the flesh - so if this is the case, I suggest that you see them before putting them down in future.
All in all, they really surpassed my expectations. They sound as if they're at the level already where they could go out and tour and win fans, and it wouldn't surprise me if this indeed happens in the future.
I'm impressed. Very, very impressed with this night. Credit to Ben from MMW and Murray from The X-Certs for putting it together, and credit to the bands for managing to make it a very enjoyable experience. There might be more gigs like this in the future, there might not - but I'd definitely like to see more in a place like this. I don't think anything can compete with the stripped down, raw feeling about the entire organisation. All in all, yes, more, please.
Final word to Spoonie for his comments between bands and giving everyone a good laugh in the process.
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