Angus Abranson (angusabranson) wrote,
Angus Abranson

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Saturday Night Gigging

The evening started off with a few drinks with daver2323  pond823  and serpentstar  in The Famous Cock just next to Highbury & Islington underground. pond823 (aka Sasha) tried to convince us that the pub was named after him as he used to drink there in his student days. It was too early in the night to fool us though - we'd need at least another twenty pints to fall for that Sash! Try again next week ;-p

We wandered over to Upstairs at The Garage a while later. I've never been to 'Upstairs' before and was quite surprised at how small it was. It reminded me of a number of venues I used to haunt ten years ago though so I wasn't complaining. It also filled up pretty quick which was a good sign for the bands on. Something else that amused me was that the ticket stubs they were handing out to prove you'd paid were Skeletal Family tickets from last October. I guess that wasn't a sell out gig then....

I didn't know the bands playing apart from Voices of Masada which sinbadsilk  is the singer of and Faces of Sarah who I'd heard before but hadn't seen. I presumed (incorrectly) that all the bands would be goth. This delusion was shattered by the first act - Automation.

Automation were a very pleasent surprise and were my second favourite band of the night. They are also the band I'd tip most to 'make it' out of those on show due to their musical style. They seemed pretty tight as a band and the music was in a very Cramps-influenced vein. With bands such as The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and White Stripes doing commercially well at present I can imagine Automation picking up a decent following and getting signed up. I hope they do as I'd certainly like to see more of them. I'll have to Google them later and see what I can find....

Voices of Masada were next up. The last time I saw these guys was in Sinbads basement last summer after a BBQ. They played three or four tracks to those present and at the time we were the largest (and first) audience they had played live to. I'd been meaning to catch them again as I really liked the music and also because Sinbad is a good friend and would have kicked my ass if I didn't turn up to one of his gigs sooner or later :-) Anyway, Voices definitely had the largest crowd of all the bands present and were also my favourite act of the night. Despite the lack of sound-checking (all the bands had this problem. I don't know the reasons why but something/one screwed up earlier in the day) and this effecting one of the guitars sporadically during the set they put on a very good show. Voices... are very trad-goth in style but do it well. I've seen hundreds of 'goth' bands over my gigging life and many of them fail to impress. Voices certainly have talent and I hope they manage to carve a name for themselves in the scene. They already have started to (I was chatting to someone last week about up-and-coming goth bands and they brought them up in the conversation...) but they will have to back up their EP with a good albumn and also more live gigs and a festival appearence or two. They're playing GOTHAM at the end of May which is a step in the right direction. The only thing that may harm them is that, whilst being very good,  they are maybe a bit 'too' trad-goth and that may end up limiting their audience and appeal. They were the only band to get an encore which says something....

Third band to hit the stage were a rock band from Dunstable. Now I'm not really into rock as such anymore but I can see Surefire's appeal if I were. They were musically very together (something that impressed me with all of the bands on the bill. For such a small gig everyone who performed was remarkably good) and reminded me of a whole host of other rock bands of the past - especially early Bon Jovi for some reason? Not a band I'd neccessarily go and see again but they had the second biggest crowd and if they can get a couple of good support slots I can see them doing fairly well for themselves. Not a break through act though.

Brother Orchid were added late to the bill. I'd heard of them in the past and serpentstar had been on the same bill as them a few years ago so was keen on seeing how they'd developed. I'm not sure how they have developed but I personally found them rather tiresome. The stage presence didn't come through and the music was, in my mind, rather uninspired. I may very well be doing them an injustice though and did buy a compilation album yesterday with one of their tracks on which I'm planning on listening to. I hope to eat my words but would only see them again if they were supporting a band I liked and I happened to be in the venue anyway.

Faces of Sarah were, I think, very good fun but by the time they came on stage I was pretty gone. I'd also been enjoying dancing to Soft Cell, Tears For Fears, etc which had been playing between sets. We even managed to get a few people dancing along and I felt slightly cheated when one of songs got cut short so the band could start playing.... oh well..... From my recollections they performed a good set and wrapped it up with a Nine Inch Nails cover which certainly pleased my alcohol riddled mind. I'd certainly catch them again and hope to be in a slightly more sober state so I could remember them better.

After that everyone else ran away to the Slimelight and I had to go home. I really wanted to Slime last night but with an early start this morning because of the British Toy Fair at ExCel I couldn't afford to stay out. The others sounded like they had fun though. Bastards.


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