A Night at the Asylum - Hull Uni - 9th March 04
By Michelle Dee
The Asylum beckoned for three excited girls on a cold Tuesday night.
They were not mad, just crazy about Cracktown who were playing that night at the newly refurbished Asylum venue at Hull University.
Coming out of the Old Grey Mare we spotted our heroes, King Rat and The Silver Fox striding down Cottingham Road.
Overjoyed to be in the presence of greatness we quickly fell into step with the dynamic duo.
Perhaps it was our eager chatter or just our sheer beauty that distracted them but we ended up going to the wrong place, namely the McCarthy Bar next door which recently played host to the outstanding Riley and the Unforgettable Landau's.
Wasting no more time, we found the Asylum and were admitted after brandishing our highly sought-after tickets.
The name of the night strangely was The Box - the Asylum is anything but. It has a wide open feel with plenty of seating and standing room.
The bar selling inexpensive drinks i.e. a pound a pint is serviced by friendly, helpful staff.
Anyone who had been observing us may well have been slightly bemused by our movements during that first half hour.
We were approaching every slightly dishevelled twenty-something and inquiring as to whether he was Dean Shakespeare.
After quite a few negative responses we eventually found him. Those regular readers of the music pages on this site will recognise his name and we commend the work he does to promote local bands and artists.
It is also good, we felt, to meet our fellow reviewers for thisisUll.com.
Okay, Rock fans, the first band Windum Earl kicked off. The threesome more often than not sounded like the Cranberries.
Good, you might say but the Cranberries without the delectable Dolores O'Riordan and in her place the post-teenage warbling of chubby Nick.
My eyes fell on the drummer, Jamie, on loan from Punk monkeys, Freaks Union. He was wearing a black Joy Division t-shirt and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying his break from his usual role of bassist in the Union.
Windum Earl were well received but perhaps would have benefited from a later slot.
Cracktown were next and opened with the tour de force and crowd pleaser Charlton Heston. Fans lined up at the front of the dance floor within touching distance of the stage and the dynamic duo, Silver Fox and King Rat.
Foxy plays the harmonica like a man possessed and King Rat on guitar is the quintessential straight man with an Oh-so-cool approach to rival that of the keyboard player in Sparks.
Cracktown treated us to tracks from their debut album, Songs in the Key of F*ck Off (a snip at £6, folks) including a new verse on the Best of British (anthemic song that represents our grey and unpleasant land much better than some naval ditty with flag waving).
The also previewed tracks from their eagerly awaited follow-up album, There Must and Shall be Midgets including the memorable Leaving Las Vegas and Prisoner 783.
Look out for the release of this must-have disc at the end of May, eager beavers.
As always Cracktown showed immeasurable intellect and a wealth of healthy banter. They also furnished us with the full rules of the Catalogue Pose competition.
Sadly, they escape me now due to the vast quantities of alcohol since imbibed.
The most important thing to remember is that King Rat always wins, much like Paul Merton on the satirical show HIGNFY.
The crowd, which had now swelled to fifty or sixty strong, warmed to Cracktown and their outrageous shenanigans.
The hardcore group of fans who hadn't left the dance floor once during Cracktown's set bid farewell to their idols with a Mexican wave (largely unsuccessful) and bows and such usually associated with Mecca, not music.
Next came the Applewhites, a local band appreciated by the audience. A group of their fans lined the front of the dance floor to applaud and offer encouragement to this obviously talented and good looking group.
They were unfortunately, not to my liking, just another Indie band. They just didn't float my boat. It felt to me like they picked up their guitars five years too late …. sorry guys.
Lastly, Filo Radio from Manchester took to the stage. They are a threesome with a very attractive and vocal bassist who was wearing and oh-so-gorgeous top over her lithe, supine figure.
The drummer was loud banging the skins with impunity. They played heavy rock and at times sounded vaguely like Metallica. They included in their set an acoustic number which showed they had range as well as roar.
Unfortunately, the crowd didn't seem to appreciate them. Constant encouragement to the apathetic crowd to come and dance and show them some love fell on deaf ears.
It was left to a rather drunk reviewer and, even worse, D. Bernasconi of Ten Men fame to come to their rescue.
We did our best to fill the dance floor with a complicated set of dance moves that involved trying to be in three or four places at once (a dizzyfying experience, I might add).
If I had been Filo Radio I would have been quite disheartened by the response from the Hull crowd.
I, on the other hand, had a great night and the memory of my dance partner arcing across the dance floor like a dying duck on several occasions will be forever ingrained on my psyche.
As for her attempts to teach me the waltz, well let's just say a chair leg has a better sense of rhythm that I.
These nights organised by Asylum and other venues that line up three or four bands are well worth your hard earned coppers. there will always be at least one group that you fall in love with.
It's a great way to meet new people who believe music is a dish best served live.
Music Press Release - still life at Best Original Band Competition - 31st March
Springhead, Aston Road, Willerby
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Formed in 1998, still life consist of vocalist Paul Terry, bassist and vocalist James Paddison, drummer Phil Bean and guitarists Andy Clark and Mike Richmond.
Their music has been
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