Posted on April 26, 2010 - by Emma Stone
Wednesday 14th April 2010
Having always had a soft spot for a band with a female singer, Dirty Revolution’s Reb Elle did not leave me disappointed, her voice a cross between Save Ferris’ Monique Powel and The Luchagors’ Lita Dumas. Her clear cut vocals with the slightest hint of a growl tackle modern social issues, not least the importance of being yourself. The bass intro to one tune reminds me of the opening riff to The Ruts “Babylon’s Burning”; if not openly inspired by them, Dirty Revolution certainly seem to draw influence from them and other punk-reggae greats such as The Clash. Cheesy as it might sound, a tour with the ladies from the underground scene (Sonic Boom Six, The Skints, Dirty Revolution, Girlfixer etc) would be a great inspiration for any lass
not wanting to pick up a guitar and make their stand in a male fronted music world.
Anyone who has seen Random Hand before will know them for their tight performances and crowd pleasing antics. I myself, in all the times I’ve seen them play, have never witnessed a bad performance. So they’d be forgiven for a slightly off night every once in a while. Still settling in with a new drummer could have contributed to a few missed chords and off notes and a ridiculously unresponsive crowd is a nightmare to a band who thrives off audience reaction. Towards the end of the set, however, they improve massively and decide to give more new tunes an airing. By their final song, they sound much more like the Random Hand I know and love, and certainly have more people skanking along. It’d be easy for someone who’d never seen these guys before to judge them poorly based on tonight, but I’d suggest to go see them somewhere else and make your decision only then. Tonight was a very rare one off.
Mustard Plug take to the stage and work their way through a set list of increasingly danceable tunes, and yet the crowd still aren’t bothering to get involved, as lethargic now as they were two hours ago for the support acts. Mustard Plug themselves don’t seem too enthusiastic; it’s as if they took note of how little people seemed to care and decided it wasn’t really worth the full effort. But, like true entertainers, they still play a range of up tempo songs for people to dance to if they want.
Had the gig been somewhere like Manchester Academy, and presumably with a lot more promotion, the gig would have been more enjoyable. Although about a third of “Mr Smiley” was simply played through the amps as the PA died, along with “You” were still the highlights for me, taking me back to being 13 years old again; listening to one of the bands that provided the foundations for my love
of the genre.
I’m left unsure as to what I thought of the night overall. I felt a little sorry for all the bands playing. I can’t imagine how it’d feel to have a room of people showing very little interest in what you do for a living, especially having travelled all the way from the States to do so. I think all the bands are amazing in their own right, I’m sure the rest of the tour will go better for them, and if anything, it just made me want to see them again in a venue that would do them justice.
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