Midway Still, Rews, I Plead Irony – The Star, Guildford, 21st October 2016

I think that this was the first time I’ve been along to a Jasta 11 gig.  I’ll be paying them more attention in future.

I missed I Plead Irony.  Bit gutted – any band who feature two people who the GODLIKE (I really really do not use that word lightly) Wiz from the GODLIKE (I really really do not use that word lightly) Mega City Four deigned good enough to play with him have every right to be heard.

I missed the start of Rews.  Bits were a bit cringe.  They are a female two piece, drums/vox and guitar/vox.  They are a mainstream pop-rock act who clearly want a career.  So far so bad.  But they are also a pretty formidable hard rock act who veer towards Gossip-like punk-funk genius at times (though it has to be said neither of Rews are one of about three people on the planet who can compete vocally with Beth Ditto.  They can sing but they are not GODLIKE (I really really do not use that word lightly) singers like old BD is).  Are they an ACM band?  I don’t think so but it would not surprise me – they’re professional sounding and they sound like a band who wanna go places… but whilst that’s a compliment I think they should check out Kamikaze Girls and develop a bit more of an edge.  Good though, damn good.

Midway Still eh?  A band from back in the day who I never knew.  I imagined them as a grungy, alt-rock, indie band, nothing special.  A couple of friends saw them back in the day, neither particularly remembered them.  Maybe I saw them back then as well?

I like originality.  I like bands that push boundaries and experiment.  I can be very dismissive of bands that I think of as derivative.  But then again there are certain types of band that I like.  Husker Du are a band I love.  They started off as a hardcore punk band and then played a massive part in the mid to late 80s emergence of college / alt-rock in the State.  Everything they did was genius.

Midway Still’s set was basically two thirds Husker Du-like hardcore punk, and one third Husker Du-style alt-rock.  Rounded off with a cover of You Made Me Realise, which is a superb song by a superb band.  I really wouldn’t want to make too many claims about Midway Still’s genius, but I absolutely loved the set from start to finish.  Totally took me by surprise that they did something I love so much, and did it so well.  Real shame they’re (probably) calling it a day.  I would definitely go see them again, and have to hold my head in shame at some of the utter dross I was listening to in the early 90s when I could have been listening to Midway Still.  I don’t want to spend ages naming and shaming but the abominable Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and the uber pretentious / simply shite Levitation spring to mind.

Must go check ’em out on record now…

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