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Stapleton, The X-Certs, Bedford Falls, Deladus
Moshulu Back Room, Windmill Brae, Aberdeen on 24th April 2004
Reviewed by Michael on 25th April 2004
The back room of Moshulu is an interesting venue for gigs - it's fairly large as far as floor space goes, but the actual size of the room is fairly small due to furniture and the layout of the place. It's not quite as intimate as Drakes (or indeed, of the now-legendary Lock Up gig), but at the same time, it's not quite as impersonal as Kef can be.
Speak about hooking you in with the first song and leaving you mesmerised until the end - this band were simply dream like, yet powerful enough to keep you listening until the end. I hadn't expected much from them from their appearance, apart from your average, run of the mill indie music, but they were to prove me completely wrong. Their music was described as 'Dream-like Muse' by one critic that attended, and to be completely fair, I wouldn't argue. I'd definitely like to hear more of them - especially if they keep playing like they did tonight. My only fault is that the bass wasn't quite punchy enough, but the strong guitar managed to more than compensate for it. With their final song, the amount of sheer power coming through was incredible - each time when you thought 'they can't get any louder', they kept raising the tempo and the sound until you too were hooked into their dream like state.
If they keep going, keep playing and keep sight of the end goal, then they may just find themselves being important. Until then, I recommend that you catch them.
I'm of very mixed opinion about these guys - I couldn't hear the vocals very well, which was one major gripe, but at the same time, some of their songs were downright infectious. I kept turning my back, only to be drawn back round to watch, which could be a sign of many things.
I'd have to see more of them to properly rate them, and indeed say what I think of them - but as a touring band, I have to say that I'd expect more of them. They sounded like a good local band, trying to work out what to keep and what to get rid of in their set list - not a band that knew what was good and what to play.
I think I'll sit on the fence regarding them. Extra point for them coming all the way from Cardiff to play for us, though.
This is absolutely impossible. I've ran out of things to say about them - so I'm going to comment on the one thing that really impressed me.
They were playing with a stand in drummer (who they stole/borrowed/whatever for the gig from My Minds Weapon) - and only had one practice with him before the gig. Despite that, and despite the minor hiccups they had, they still managed to show exactly why they're so inspirational. Their songs were as flawless as ever, and the vocals came through clearer than ever. The bass was particularly punchy tonight - and along with the guitar, it went straight through your heart in terms of sheer emotion. The drumming was also of a high quality - despite the obvious problems in only having had one practice with him.
The fact that they are now at a level where people can sing along with their songs shows just how excellent the songwriting is. As far as I see it, they're Aberdeen's jewel in the crown that outsiders just seem unwilling to wear.
I think with every gig, I enjoy them more and more, and as I've said in other reviews, they are very, very versatile. Despite the problems, despite having a stand in drummer, they were still very, very good. Most bands would just fall to pieces after the first hiccup, but they took it in their stride, moved forward and really showed them who the boss is.
As for the rating, well, they don't deserve any less.
Described as "Scotland's best band" by some, I would be tempted to partially agree - they appeared to be far better than that other export of late, Franz Ferdinand. They're from the same city (Glasgow), but what kind of city allows mediocre art rock to make it and not allow mature, talented individuals like this to make it?
I don't personally think they deserve the title as Scotland's best band, but they're a type of band that deserve to be heard. Most people won't give them a chance unless there's hype behind them, and sadly to say, I think the boat has left without them. Their performance was good, their attitude was good, but they just seem slightly dated.
If they can come back with the feeling that they're slightly fresher and slightly newer, then someone will take notice. They appear to be putting in the effort, but as always, it's not always about effort in this game.
Otherwise, they were definitely someone that I'd consider going to see again - they aren't bad, yet the revolution seems to have passed them by.
They still have a chance, so I hope that they seize it with both hands and go forward from here.
All in all, an enjoyable night. Worthy of the £5 admission - but the biggest shock of the night has to be the credentials of the back room at Moshulu. I wouldn't have wanted to miss this, but truthfully speaking, that was more because of the local representatives than the touring bands.
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