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ETHERGY
GOTTI
MONKEY SHUFFLE
Bar Blu, Rhyl 31.03.04

(review by Bamber)

tell me why

Paul Simon wrote his classic song ‘Homeward Bound’ whilst sitting on the platform at Widnes railway station. He sang ‘Every day’s an endless stream of cigarettes and magazines, woo oo’ which is fair enough because that is probably all there was to do in Widnes in the 60’s. If Paul Simon was sat outside Rhyl railway station last Wednesday the song would have been very different. ‘Every night’s an endless stream of teenage bands and drama queens, woo ooo’. Well in my imagination that’s what I think.

Bar Blu, the place you visit and think you’ve gone colour blind thanks to the violet décor which to me feels like a futuristic version of the Bistro. People gather in groups, the Goths, the punks, the indie kids and the uncategorised. Andy Fatman swaying away to himself, blissfully out of time to the music. As a statement of the North Wales music culture of the new millennium you’d be hard pushed to find a better example. Tonight was a multi generational affair. Faces from the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s NW music scenes were all here together to watch the three bands chosen to entertain that evening.

 

First up was Monkey Shuffle (www.monkeyshuffle.co.uk), Macclesfield’s answer to Blink 182. What this band lacked in experience they more than made up for in energy. Admittedly their style of music reminds me of a pneumatic drill on a Sunday morning; they were confident and enjoyed what they were doing so good luck to them. Their set seemed to be never ending and I could see some people getting a little fed up and wanted something else. Still rough around the edges but with promise, Monkey Shuffle are sure to do well in the future.

 

Gotti were up next and were probably the strangest group to look at. Chris and Dyfed from Pocket Venus (which are defunct by the way in case you didn’t know. Well that’s what I was told on the night), the enigmatic Mauve from the Noel Redding school of bass players and Steve Flavell formerly of Keef on drums. Gotti are in it purely for a laugh. No expectations, no ego, they just want to play loud music and enjoy doing it. Admittedly they aren’t Pocket Venus but they were enjoyable and Chris Yates’ voice was as powerful as ever.

 

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 Finally Ethergy treated us to their set. Somebody behind me referred to them as lethargy which was a bit unkind! I had heard mixed reviews about this band so didn’t quite know what to expect. As a first reaction they are quite a tight unit with some solid tunes. The main feeling I got from this band and in fact all the bands that night was it was all too generic. I hate putting downers in reviews because I believe in supporting bands rather than knocking them down, but in many cases our local talent comes over as generic. Apart from this niggle they did perform an interesting version of Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick in the Wall Pt.2’ with some sleazy vocals. Nice one.

It seems the trick at Blu is to play in the middle as every seems to fade away after this set, so it doesn’t always pay to headline.

 

So my first visit to Bar Blu and enjoyed it a lot. There’s a good atmosphere in there and some talented bands. I hope it gathers pace and becomes a major music venue in time, we need something like that.

 

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