Call me Russ L

I could crush a grape, I really could.

Posted in Music by Russ L on 2 February, 2006

I’ll take a deep breath and try to relax, because I’m going to attempt to be as polite and non-offensive as possible in this post.

We don’t live in the happiest of times, it has to be said. This age is one in which nobody says ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ anymore, Hammas have been elected in Palestine, there’s litter everywhere and you hardly get any jam in a donut.

I am, by nature, a fairly irritable person, and there are many things in life that cause me to have to conceal my grinding of teeth. You can’t walk through the world being pissed off all of the time, though – concessions to civility have to be made. I went to a gig at Scruffy Murphy’s on Friday the 27th of January which annoyed me hugely, but I think I hid it quite well.

Organisation, it must be said, was poor. Quite apart from people going unchallenged as they wandered in and out without paying (and obviously so, too. I hope the bands got something in the way of petrol money) there was extensive confusion regarding the running order. An extra band were added to the start of the bill, their identity still unknown to me. I only arrived in time to hear the last half-a-song by them, which sounded fairly pub-rock but obviously that’s not enough to make a judgement.

Life Denied were next. No! Mothertrucker were next. Re-no! Life Denied again, after a bit of shuffling about on stage. I didn’t really think a fat lot of them, sounding very much the ordinary blasty death/grind with nothing in particular standing out. A fair few people in the audience seemed to enjoy them, though, and a few folk banged their heads in front of the stage. They played for a decent length of time. The last two sentences will become important later.

Mothertrucker only got to play for three (count ’em, three) songs. Admittedly their songs are quite long, but their set was still less than twenty minutes. I fumed. Such as it was, their set was fantastic – the shoddy circumstances probably actually helped the quality of their music to shine through a bit more. They are possessed of an almost elemental power and capable of sounding like a force of nature at work. This is in sharp, sharp, oh so sharp contrast to a lot of the very pedestrian bands knocking about the place.

They finished. I shouted ‘encore,’ to no avail. People applauded fulsomely and approached the stage to shake hands with bandmembers. All was well. Then the room half-emptied. Then Sonic Lord came on.

I didn’t think they were very good at all, to put it as nicely as I can. They play stoner rock-ish stuff, but I couldn’t hear anything worthwhile whatsoever in them – songs, riffs, energy, grooves, anything. Their singer asked me what I thought afterwards and I believe I used the words ‘generic’ and ‘plodding,’ which sums it all up fairly succinctly. I don’t think I was alone in this, either, with the majority of those remaining downstairs not seeming to care a great deal. They did, however, get a long set.

Irrespective of my own qualitative opinions, it’s bloody frustrating that we had two bands typically ‘of their type’ (dare I say pub-metal? Y’know, I think I dare) and one band forward-thinking and original, and it was the latter who got the shaft due to crappy organisation. It doesn’t bother me particularly with Life Denied, since there were (as I’ve said) a fair few folk enjoying them and seemingly there to see them specificaly. Half of the crowd vanished after Mothertrucker, though, and most of those left didn’t pay very much in the way of mind to Sonic Lord.

Bloody galling.

Oh well. Congratulate me on my reserve, because I think I’ve been fairly polite with this.

~ Russ L

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30 Responses

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  1. James said, on 3 February, 2006 at 7:18 pm

    “They are possessed of an almost elemental power and capable of sounding like a force of nature at work.” – That’s a beautiful thing to say. I might let you win at Scrabble now. Oh wait, fuck it, I’ll demolish you ;0)

  2. Russ L said, on 4 February, 2006 at 8:27 am

    Fantastic. I’m trying to spoil things.

    Tsk. Caught playah-hatin’ again.

  3. James said, on 4 February, 2006 at 11:04 am

    Crikey. That’s a bit personal.

  4. Russ L said, on 4 February, 2006 at 1:17 pm

    Ephemeraly amusing, I would say.

    I’ve had it before and I’ll have it again. Some people think the world ain’t right if every single soul on the planet doesn’t like their band. Given the number of gigs I go to, the idea that I don’t support live music is laughable.

  5. James said, on 5 February, 2006 at 12:57 am

    I don’t know what ephemeraly but I’m guess it means very. So yes, it’s not pleasant as it’s only your view of their band!!!

  6. Russ L said, on 5 February, 2006 at 7:46 am

    ‘Ephemeral’ means ‘peripheral’ or ‘unimportant.’ I will never understand how you beat me at Scrabble last time.

  7. James said, on 5 February, 2006 at 3:58 pm

    And this time!!

  8. Russ L said, on 5 February, 2006 at 4:26 pm

    Shut up.

  9. scott said, on 6 February, 2006 at 6:18 pm

    we thank you for your words on our ordinary blasty death/grind, grindcore if you want to , fair point not everyone can like your band, but also that night there were 4 very different bands and a selection of people into different styles of music, people came to see wild messiah life denied mother trucker and sonic lord and as i can gather theres only two people slagging the other bands off and yes i didnt think much of mother truckers ( we will go on second because theres alot of crowd at the moment) attitude, when clearly it was life denieds turn as arranged, seeing as we were the band supporting mother trucker and sonic lord, i do remember alot of the crowd leaving after we played cus i could actually get to the bar once i was off stage, lol, im not the moaning type, but i think your comments are harsh about sonic lord, im not bothered about the life denied comments because as you have said (a fair few folk enjoying them and seemingly there to see them specificaly) which was our whole plan, to have fun, which we did, we also continued to get pissed and to arrange radio play on kerrang, so the gig went well for us, as for the organisation, i agree it was a shambles, but thats gigging for ya, plus it wasnt a big gig either, im sure mother trucker will play a full set next time, not that i didnt know they hadnt this time cus i was upstairs when they were on,

    thanks for your support on live music, i dont think you should go to the very popular (napalm death ) shows lololol that would be better ordinary blasty death/grind

  10. scott said, on 6 February, 2006 at 6:23 pm

    but i do love you x

  11. Russ L said, on 6 February, 2006 at 6:38 pm

    I wouldn’t say Napalm Death were just ‘ordinary.’ That’s why I think they’re better. I’m really not sure how that’s relavent though.

  12. scott said, on 6 February, 2006 at 6:53 pm

    dude you shouldnt be so serious, lifes too short, is that all you could pick up on in that case?

  13. Hayley said, on 6 February, 2006 at 7:06 pm

    hmmm seems to me like you shouldnt even have been at the gig mate cause lets face it you obviously dont appreciate metal?
    May I ask…… do you know any of the band members in Mother Trucker because it wouldnt be fair to have a bias approach now would it…..

    Sound conditions at such gigs leave a lot to be desired at the best of times and lets face it the guys up there are loving it and just having a bit of fun while letting off steam. I d really like to see if you could do any better for only then would you be qualified to judge.

    Do me a favour mate….. get laid cause you obviously have some issues if you have to slag off young musicians for a bit of a self motivating kick xxx

  14. Russ L said, on 6 February, 2006 at 7:35 pm

    I do know the members of Mother Trucker to greater and lesser extents. I grant you this could easily look like bias. It’s not, I do genuinely feel they were the best band, but I can’t prove that so fair enough. Believe whatever you will. Amazingly, it won’t bother me.

    ‘Only then would you be qualified to judge.’ I always love that one – you can’t say whether or not you like a band if you’re not in one. Do you also believe that you can’t say whether or not you liked a film if you’re not a director, and that you can’t have a political opinion if you’re not prime minister? How simple that must make life.

    Basically, I had an opinion which I stated. If I’d have thought all three bands were fantastic I would have said so. As it was I didn’t like two of them, and said that instead. May all applicable deities forgive me for this sin.

  15. tony said, on 6 February, 2006 at 8:32 pm

    You should really be a lawyer or barister cus you always try to get out of things,

    Your meant to be a music and gig reviewer, but you slag off what YOU dont like instead of saying its not your cup of tea, and tell people stuff is the most amazing when its ONLY YOUR OPINION!

    At the end of the day you should be more equal and slag off your scrabble playing buddys band too for being unproffesional lol we see now james has been told off from his fellow bandmates for opening his big mouth and making them look like total dickheads he no longer speaks up

  16. Hayley said, on 6 February, 2006 at 8:46 pm

    what a perthetic little man…..

    I bet he has a big car ;)

  17. James said, on 6 February, 2006 at 9:15 pm

    “i didnt think much of mother truckers ( we will go on second because theres alot of crowd at the moment) attitude, when clearly it was life denieds turn as arranged, seeing as we were the band supporting mother trucker and sonic lord.”

    That is an extremely bad argument. The lady in charge of sound and the whole night it seemed told us we were on next. Thus why we went on stage. Then once you told us why you had to go on then we came off. We weren’t annoyed at this, nor were we “crowd jumping” or whatever you like to call it.

    If Russ didn’t like Mother Trucker he’d say so, I wouldn’t like him as a person any less and wouldn’t personally attack him for doing so. I know him well enough now to know he wouldn’t be bias.

    “At the end of the day you should be more equal and slag off your scrabble playing buddys band too for being unproffesional lol we see now james has been told off from his fellow bandmates for opening his big mouth and making them look like total dickheads he no longer speaks up.”

    Why would he slag us off. We weren’t unproffesional. You deem what I said unproffesional which is ludicrous. I mentioned I didn’t enjoy the other bands we played with, which is the truth. I wouldn’t listen to any of that music in my own time. So why get all ticket off about it?

    Anyway this is an internet argument. And everybody loses those.

  18. Ben said, on 7 February, 2006 at 8:53 am

    I’m from a ‘stoner-ish’ label and was invited to the gig by my Graphic Designer to watch SonicLord – they now have a distribution deal with us which covers The UK and various other places in Europe! And as Ive just found out they have a deal with Meltdown Records. Where I was standing, the crowd liked them and from what people tell me, everyone leaves for the last band at Scruffys because the only people in the audience are the band’s familys/friends! and once their band has played they leave!!! I liked Mother Trucker and they probably did play 3 songs (but they were verry long songs). Whilst I was standing talking to the band, they sold 8 shirts and 2 cds, for a near empty room, thats pretty good going! I dont normally waste my time with things like this but the guitarist sent me this review and really felt like I needed to reply! Cheers xxx

  19. James said, on 7 February, 2006 at 9:10 am

    I think Ben said some good things there. I’m happy you’re helping Sonic Lord. Good luck to them I say. I hope it sells well. Just because Russ, or whoever doesn’t enjoy the music doesn’t mean he or anyone wishes them ill will. I’ve not heard of Meltdown Records, are they based in the UK then? Glad you liked our set by the way, thanks.

  20. Russ L said, on 7 February, 2006 at 9:25 am

    I think Tony has hit it spot on with his capitalised ‘only your opinion,’ albeit possibly not in the way he meant. These things are my opinion, in my blog, with my name at the top and bottom. There’s no pretence of them being anything else and never has been. One wonders why people seem to want to read more into it.

    I haven’t been to many of the Friday night gigs at Scruff’s, so fair enough – it could well be the standard thing for a lot of people to leave before the last band. I hadn’t really thought about that, but fair enough. I retract the insinuation that a lot of people left because they weren’t interested in Sonic Lord, and such as it’s worth I apologise for that. That alone, though.

    I couldn’t hear anything I liked in Soniclord and I said so. I looked around at a few points in their set and from where I was standing (more or less in the dead centre of the room) not a lot of people seemed to be paying a fat lot of attention. If that looked different from other angles then fancy that.

  21. scott said, on 7 February, 2006 at 5:11 pm

    thank you

  22. scott said, on 7 February, 2006 at 5:47 pm

    now we are all friends again, what about a game of scrabble?

  23. James said, on 7 February, 2006 at 7:52 pm

    Sounds fair to me. I am reigning champion however. And I fear I will defeat you.

  24. Russ L said, on 7 February, 2006 at 8:05 pm

    I’m just confused now.

  25. scott said, on 8 February, 2006 at 12:24 am

    to fear me is to lose the battle already ;)

  26. James said, on 8 February, 2006 at 2:21 pm

    Ha ha. I’ll honestly play you if you’re up for it. We’re talking Scrabble here, nothing dodgy. ;0)

  27. Russ L said, on 18 February, 2006 at 8:03 pm

    Ten days since the last comment – is that it, then?

    The last thing I want to do is risk drawing this mini-drama out any more, but I really don’t understand. I had various opinions that people objected to, then proceed to retract one of them and that seems to be the end of it.

    Baffling.

    Never mind, I’m more than happy with it.

  28. Giles said, on 22 February, 2006 at 1:12 pm

    I think the original point had been lost somewhere along the way (your comments were never the issue, only the comments forwarded by James who whilst entitled fully to his opinion could’ve possibly been more tactful in his description of the other bands playing that night) and besides life is far too short to be continuing such futility. I think everyone are friends now :) and it’s Municipal Waste tonight so all should be happy.

  29. hootenanny said, on 1 September, 2006 at 12:18 pm

    quite like the point about not slagging off young bands. have you seen the life denied frontman? he looks like their grandad.

  30. Russ L said, on 1 September, 2006 at 6:23 pm

    I’d say Life Denied’s frontman was one of the best things about them – he did have some stage presence. Are you sure you’re not thinking of Sonic Lord?

    Whichever way up, I don’t think there’s any point in stirring it over six months after the fact. Are you someone I know?


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