Dieppe came on first… I liked them when they were at their funkiest and their most experimental (which were not always at the same time). I liked it when there were hints and prog and metal.
The Tens rock. Properly rock. A bit classic rock, a bit punk rock, a bit hard rock. They rock. The trouble is they can’t decide whether they are an indie band or or a rock n roll band. Top Tip for The Tens. You are not an indie band. Go to your record collections, bin the Oasis shit, dig out the Motorhead (its in there somewhere) and play it on repeat. Then listen to Manhunt by Winnebago Deal, and use that as a template for every single thing you do as a band going forward. Anyone in the band have an issue with this? Sack ’em. I should say that they had the biggest crowd of all bands on the night. I won’t but I should. OK, I will.
Following Foxes… are not my thing on any level really, but I couldn’t help but like them. Basically they’re a guitar pop band. They don’t sound dated but they seem to owe a lot to the 70s and 80s (that is not a criticism.) They have a singer who can sing (something this polished would be appalling if he couldn’t). I can imagine playing them to someone who was born in 1955, who doesn’t believe that a single decent record has been made in the last 30 years, and them thinking ‘Following Foxes are perfect for my coffee table’. Any other band and that last sentence would be my way of saying ‘they’re fucking shit’, but I repeat, I liked them. I could be wrong but I’d put it down massively to the guitarist who oozed class and musicianship whilst making it all seem effortless and resisting the temptation to wank himself stupid (musically, not literally, I have no insights into his masturbatory habits you, and him for that matter, will be pleased to know.)
Yearbook. According to undersong back in 2012… “an incredible blend of pop based indie with hints of hardcore mathy goodness thrown in for good measure”. Incredible is pushing it*, sorry boys, but apart from that a pretty good description. Damn fine, well worth seeing. I’d like to see a little bit less of the quiet bit fades to silence than all comes crashing back in, tick box, what should a band like us sound like element. Up your game boys. You know what the fuck you are doing. Get a bit looser, edgier, grungier, punkier, funkier set your sights higher, put yourself up against the best bands of the last 50 years, not just your idols of the last 15.
4 bands. 0 women. A shame. I want interesting, challenging music that presents a variety of ideas and points of view. Shamefully we still live in a world where a simple way of increasing the variety of points of view on stage that night would be to stick a few women up there. I’m not criticising the bands for not having women in them. I’m not criticising GU1 PUNX for not putting on bands with women in them (that night). I am saying I wish it was normal to go to a gig and see a wider cross-section of society up there, with women being one, obvious, starting point.
GU1 PUNX – cheers for putting on live music with a bit of attitude in Guildford.
* If we work on the god-given truth that Manhunt by Winnebago Deal is incredible, and that all music is less good than Manhunt by Winnebago Deal, then Yearbook are, by definition, less than incredible.