Hardly A Hero/ The Audiopilots & Tsienna
The Pack Horse on 2nd February 2007
Reviewed by HelenB on 3rd February 2007
I had been warned before going to The Pack Horse in Leeds for this gig, that it was a bit of a dive, but although when i got there, i could see it wasn't the classiest of venues, everyone seemed friendly and for three just getting going bands, it was an alright place to be.
Hardly A Hero
This is quite a shallow point to begin with, but i'll start with it anyway. Here goes: Hardly A Hero, with the exception of the singer, were not very pleasing on the eye. The majority of the members looked a little bit out of place playing musical instruments, and seemed like they would be more suited to working in a bank.
However, good things can sometimes come in strange packages, so i didn't let their odd look bias my judgement of their performance, which to be quite honest, was not great. They could all play reasonably well, but none of the songs stayed in my head once they'd finished playing them. They did a strange cover version of the Backstreet Boys song 'Larger Than Life', which did nothing to improve an already dire song. They also did a slow cover of a Ramones song, which i can only assume was slow, because they couldn't quite keep up with the pace of the original. I just wasn't very impressed.
The Audiopilots were seriously enjoyable to watch. It was a fun, impressive, first ever gig for them, with lead singer Micky Johnson jumping off objects (i'm gonna assume a speaker, but someone was restricting my view of that area, so i could be mistaken) and dancing around energetically. The band are clearly proud of their music, and that was clear from the obvious enjoyment they got from performing their songs.
The band seem very much together. The four members: Micky Johnson (vocals, keyboard), Martin Birks (drums), Phil Messenger (lead guitar), and Owen Allerton (bassist) all seem confident of eachother's abilities, and this was reflected in their performance.
The catchiest song was definitely the pop rock tune 'Date', which was very enjoyable, and got the few sitting members of the crowd onto their feet. it was a song that has huge comercial potential, as most people can relate to its subject matter of confused feelings and courtship.
The other songs all differed from eachother, which is good, as they say variety is the spice of life. The song 'Cross Your I's and dot your T's and drive it like you stole it' is about a prison break, and as i can still rember the tune this morning, i'm going to say is memorable, although remembering the title is pretty tricky, as it's a bit of a mouthful.
I feel quite bad that i can't really review this band properly, as i'm ashamed to say i was talking quite a lot during their performance, due to excessive amounts of alcohol consumed. However, i remember my friends saying they were 'pretty good' and the music was quite calming in the background of our discussion. The audience didn't seem to be loving them as mush as they had the Audiopilots, but nobody seemed to be displeased, and it looked like they had acquired a small fanbase at the front of the crowd who seemed to know their songs, which is generally a good sign.
Considering it was only £2 to see all three bands, it was definitely a worthwhile evening, and The Audiopilots were clearly the best of the three groups. I think they'd benefit from playing in a bigger venue though, as the smallness of The Pack Horse's music room does restrict stage antics and sound quality a little bit.
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