GDFAF #1: Sweet Seduction/The Lowlifes/King Nothing (6/10/7)
Aaaaaaand… They’re off!
My Going Deaf For A Fortnight 2007 began with a visit to The Flapper, which may well be the venue I’ve seen the most gigs at over the course of my life (one day I may count to verify this. Looky here if you want to do it for me). Having said that, though, I haven’t been for nearly a year (since GDFAF 2006), and in the intervening time the place temporarily closed down before re-opening under new management.
This gig was billed as “The Flapper Presents…” and this intrigued me. Formerly, Zoot Promotions had every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night until The Beast returned to Earth block-booked. This was a fact that caused a lot of handwringing and plantpot-throwing from many otherwise resolutely un-angsty and un-aggressive people. Now, according to their MyShizzle, Zoot are no longer promoting at The Flapper. The ever-increasing rumours of an acrimonious break-up involving fistfights should probably be ignored due to lack of verification. In an ideal world I wouldn’t start any more of ‘em, but I just get so lonely sometimes.
I got there to find that the place hadn’t really changed much at all. The upstairs had been given a lick of paint (well, it certainly looked brighter than I remembered), some of the clutter removed and those horrible over-chilled pumps added (yet another pub where Guinness has become undrinkable. On the upside, the beer had gone from bad to worse under the old regime but seems OK now). The downstairs was much the same (apart from the sticking-out bit of the stage being replaced or repaired. It looked different, anyway), which is good. It’s an absolute dump down there but really has a lot of character, definitely one of my favourite local venues. I didn’t want a “But Moe, the dank! The dank!” situation.
It was sleazy cheesy glam metal night, anyway. I was very surprised to find that it was only a pound on the door, and one wonders if the bands actually saw any petrol money (between that and the pizza laid on for them), but it did turn fairly busy. King Nothing from Leeds were on first, and apparently someone passed out in the ladies toilets while they were playing. Whether that was a co-incidence or a particularly inspired piece of gonzo music criticism is something I will (sadly) never know. A beefier version of Ratt/Poison-y sleaze-metal, anyway, with (what seemed to me) to be a tiny tiny touch of an Iron Maiden influence here and there (rhythm section gallops and so on). No songs I’ve remembered (or ever seemed likely to), but they seemed to have a little bit of charisma about them. Not entirely bad, I’ll say, and they definitely seemed to have their followers in spite of being away from home. I suspect if I’d seen ‘em towards the end of the fortnight when I’m fed up of this lark I would have hated them, but that’s the great thing about popular music. It’s completely context dependant. There are no absolutes, and that’s why I love it. That’s a separate rant, though and the Basic Melodic Rock Bands (so bemoaned last year) will certainly provoke my ire at some point.
Some point aroundabout… now. Well, not really, but I didn’t especially rate The Lowlifes. Still your glammy metal, but leaning a lot more towards a Wildhearts-y sort of pop-rock version of it. The songs seemed to stick around for longer than necessary to make their mark (which wasn’t always worth the effort to begin with), and… I dunno. I wasn’t feeling ‘em, that’ll suffice. It’s too early in the fortnight for vitriol. I’m still warming up.
I’d seen our headliners Sweet Seduction twice before. The first time (when they were still called The Wild Stall… Roses) I found them absolutely amazing. The second time… alright-ish. This was somewhere between the two. The feeling seems to hang above them that they are trying to be the sort of band they’re trying to be above all other considerations. I know that’s vaguely expressed, but the notion rarely forms itself beyond mentalese. It’s there, though, lurking just out of view.
They are, of course, a good version. AC/DC meeting The Backyard Babies and a bottle of jack. Sometimes a bit more bluesy and sometimes a bit more high-energy, but always rocking. I enjoyed ‘em.
So, that’s GDFAF #1. No massive thrills or spills yet, but there’s plenty of time.