I went to this gig with a writer friend of mine. I was on a promise.
Well, he said he'd buy me drinks all night. On arrival your friends and mine, CrackTown
were sound checking so we moseyed along to the bar, as you do. He bought the drinks;
me a pint, him a coffee. Hmmm ..He's not drinking I thought, something's wrong here..
Half an hour later, he scarpered. Perhaps I had the wrong perfume on or something.
Anyway, I didn't see hide nor hair of him for the rest of the night.
So, to the night's entertainment. First up Chris Tomlinson. A lightly bearded singer/guitarist.
He was a new name to me and I was all ready to take him into my heart but oh, no, he sang too low.
His vocal merged with the guitar sounds and was indistinct and dirgey.
On the odd occasion he lifted his voice above the guitar to rather good effect.
This change in pitch made the audience turn and look his way briefly, then the dirge noise would begin again.
He played a Nick Cave sounding song but he would benefit from a band behind him to flesh out the sound
and maintain rhythm. He did a New Order cover, Confusion but he really shouldn't have.
I am a big fan of New Order but the first verse was out of key, out of synch and out of place in his set.
Ok, he eventually found an approximation of Barney Sumner's vocal and got better towards the end.
So he continues - but the ends to his songs are all too predictable and samey.
He didn't communicate to the audience and consequently no connection was made.
Then, at the end of his set, he walked off without a word.
In my book, you have to talk to your audience - make them feel involved. He just didn't.
Ten Men on stage next. I missed seeing most of their opening song, Scone but to their credit
I could hear them loud and clear whilst in the ladies. They played the crowd pleaser,
Road to Ruin and the certainly pleased the crowd who were singing along with gusto.
After some witty banterisms they played a new piece called Middle Man, a slow track
that I immediately feel I want to hear again. Dave Bernasconi's vocals were strong and powerful.
I think he is turning the corner on a very promising path.
The pair were smiling all the while, even when the odd note or more was misplaced.
Holiday, the title track of their EP came next. Another chance to hear those sublime harmonies
followed by Mr. Foolish.
In my opinion they look better when Dave opens his eyes while singing and to be fair,
he tried to do this a lot more tonight. This song incorporates beautiful finger picking and roving riffs.
Faker after that, which moved along at quite a lick. One Fine Day, not the Shangri-las followed
quickly by Man Made World.
This is a bluesy folk tune railing against an unjust world and highlighting the crisis of masculinity.
Although Chris obviously isn't in crisis. According to Monkey Boy, he was .. sexy like a young Rolling Stone.
So they ended with their party piece, Rosie Lea. Now I hadn't heard this one before, so perhaps
I don't get to enough parties (hint, hint).
Chris blew his harmonica like a toothless gold prospector from Wyoming.
Ah, the good old American Dream. But no, melancholy turns to mirth.
A tale is told of an over-sized ex-girlfriend from Pearson Park, about as far away from
'dem golden hills as you can get. Ten Men continue to go from strength to strength and
their debut album is eagerly awaited.
Finally, the moment you've all been waiting for. CrackTown.
They took to the stage and played the first few bars of the A Team theme tune. Get ready for action.
Then they launched into Love ME I'm a Liberal, a rousing tune off their debut album.
King Rat has a new hair style - ie. none. On his head, anyway.
He looks like a cross between a Tibetan monk and a slightly lost rookie marine.
They wrote the set list for that night on the back of an Adelphi flyer and
after inspecting this hallowed script they played Christians and Earthquakes. Good song.
Silver Fox is like a manic, crazed, loon; cavorting on the stage like a latter
day Jean Vincent.
He exaulted unto us Thou shalt not listen to third rate acoustic cabaret acts and grant approbation
unto their crass antics. Just like Moses on Mount Sinai. A band of biblical proportions.
Next, the chosen few i.e. those who had bothered to stay, were treated to tracks off the
eagerly awaited and much heralded second CrackTown album, There Must And Shall Be Midgets.
The deep throat of King Rat surprised me during Shipping Clerk, a painstaking
deconstruction of the white collar worker. Whereas Mr. Three Piece is an angry rant against corporate
criminality. I noticed a hint of bitterness during the lyric
..Give the cripples a few coins from your fund raising dinners ..- There's food for thought.
Then Boudoir Prison Blues with a truly inspired crescendo in the chorus.
I've written in my notes (because I always try to make notes) - political words, political world -
God knows what it means. I know, I'll ask Mr Bush.
The very popular Leaving Las Vegas, also from the soon to be released second disc, was beautifully delivered.
Only CrackTown could rhyme Phone Ya with California. Tis a sorry tale of loss and liquor
(the song, stupid, not CrackTown's history!). I believe they have grown emotional depth.
Tis a sorry tale of loss and liquor (the song, stupid, not CrackTown's history!).
I believe they have grown emotional depth.
During Prisoner 783 there was sweat dripping from their weary brows.
Occasionally the Silver Fox paused to wipe his forehead with a
handkerchief which he concealed about his person.
They ended their set with Best of British - a good way to go.
It had grown a new verse in response to the coming summer of Euro 2004 and
all that football malarkey. The beautiful game it ain't.
As always, CrackTown gave their all in omnipotent style and were warmly received by the crowd.
Catch CrackTown headlining at the Adelphi this Sunday - they will blow you off!
Music Reviews -
Headup and Pitiful Reign at The Ringside - Wednesday 19th May By Dick Spring
Goddamn! Has Wednesday come round again? Where do the days go? At least I have The Ringside
to give me a good midweek blast of quality music and environment.
I feel I must say that having been to many of the other pubs that have recently been trying their hand
at masquerading as venues
Music Reviews -
Infobia at The Ringside - Wednesday 12th May 2004 By Dick Spring
Wednesday night has come flying round again, and I find myself sashaying along to check out what's on this
week at Ringside.
Down to play tonight is a Hull band Infobia and what's this? An audience? Not
that I would have expected any less from an oft overlooked band but one that has quietly
been building it's own following since I
Music Reviews -
Thursday 26th May The Bonnitts at the Sesh Linnet and Lark
By special guest Reviewer Lee
The Linnet and Lark on Princes Ave always seems to come into those back in the day
conversations amongst my friends and its great to see that its made a major comeback as
an original music venue in the city.
This evening, The Sesh, masterminded by DJ and Promoter Mark, plays host to
The Bonnitts who are currently
Music Reviews -
Mark Joseph, The 59 Violets, Blue Sand, Pave - Hull Adelphi, May 28th 2004 By Nick Quantrill
It's undeniable that the Under The Influence nights have been a massive success at drawing new acts to the city. Dean really deserves credit for getting the bands of the moment into The Adelphi. Hull needs these kinds of gigs.
I also suspect Dean is a canny promoter. Having the support bills filled by the better bands in the city means