Easyworld - Delays - Atlas
UCLU, London on 17th July 2003
Reviewed by Rall on 22nd July 2003
To look at the nerves Atlas had as they appeared on stage, you would have been forgiven for thinking it was one of their first ever gigs. As it happens it wasn't, but I'm sure they haven't embarked on a tour like this before. ULU may be a small venue, but there were a good couple of hundred people packed in, all eager to see Easyworld pimping their new album for all its worth. The fear of an unresponsive crowd must have been plaguing the band all day, but by the time they were a couple of songs in, they were noticeably more relaxed.
Describing the sound of Atlas is something that I've found troublesome... The singers voice instantly reminded me of Martina Topley-Bird, yet the music itself is far more indie sounding. In a good way. Lyrically, Atlas sound like they've lived in the city too long, with countless references to the traffic and concrete.
Atlas definately show promise but they need to add a bit of fire to what they're doing if they want people to take a listen. Some songs are quite outstanding and show a lot of maturity, however after the mere 25 minutes or so they played, the tracks all seemed to merge into one. Atlas definately have a sound. A good one at that. But lets hope they dont think its the only one they can create.
I'm not sure about this band... and I dont think they're sure either. While they almost look and sound like yet another "The" band, their posters and flyer's seem to avoid that word at all costs. As would I. The fatal mistake being that the website is "www.thedelays.co.uk".
There's a lot of people who will love the Delays. However, I was immediately disinterested by this band. The rest of the crowd seemed quite into them, probably because they were more energetic than Atlas, and the singer had a similar voice to Dav Ford from Easyworld (i.e, high-pitched). Which is just what the audience wanted. Personally I would prefer to be seeing bands that are making slightly more interesting music compared to the Delays who sound just like a hundred other bands you care to name, most of whom are probably stuck in the support band slot for the rest of their careers (or until they find out that getting a "real job" earns them more money). This isn't to say that the Delays are untalented. They have talent. What they need is a bit of originality.
I love Easyworld. There is little they can do very wrong. This is the fifth time I've seen them live. The reason I've made the effort to see them so many times is due to their ability to keep the show fresh on each tour. Maybe if I went to see them a few times on the same tour, then yes, it probably would get tedious. Especially with this tour being aimed at whoring the new album. but tonight was yet another new experience. First off Jo (Taylor, bass) was a vision in black PVC. A black PVC catsuit no less. And Dav (Ford, Vocals, guitar) was wearing a very fetching white stetson. Glenn (Hooper) was just Glenn, the ever enthusiastic drummer.
Musically, the new tracks are noticeably less upbeat than songs from the debut album This Is Where I Stand, with the noticeable exception being Other Man which is definately one to jump around and/or swing your hips to the bass. Dav admitted to going "a bit Bob Dylan on (us)" playing the new single 2nd Amendment on acoustic guitar, and harmonica (busker chic). It fitted in comfortably with the song, with a folk-ish edge, practically doing what it says on the tin (sounding more about the war in Iraq than it really is, it's about "the right of the people to keep and bear arms").
The newer material definately has a more mature sound, yet stays true to Easyworld, fitting in well with earlier tracks such as You & Me and Bleach, although noticeable exceptions from the setlist being Try Not To Think and 100 Weight, considering how short the gig felt, they could have slotted them easily.
One surprising track was their cover of Elton Johns I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues. It didn't have the rest of the crowd going. But Then again, I was probably one of the few that knew all the words. It was probably their only lull during the set, only due to the audience mystifying at the choice of cover. Who cares. I loved it.
Easyworld know where they're going. And they know how to get there. If they keep on giving us what we want like they did tonight, then (if there's anything right with the world) they're going to be very big, very soon. Hopefully their support slot with Kelly Osbourne next month will open them up to a whole other audience who will no doubt love them. How couldn't they?!
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