Crud Fanzines PLC present...
Bar Blu, Rhyl
(review + pix by neil crud)
Gigs in summer always feel wrong. You're the first band on & the sun is shining outside! You should be on stage in a field as thousands of festival goers get stoned & chill/freak out to your music. So playing indoors in June July August always seems to me as a bit of an oddity. OK so I'm full of hayfever, can't hear properly cos my ears are blocked, can't see properly cos my eyes are stinging & my pint is lasting for ever cos my nose is continually running into it.
Didn't think I'd seen Zenith before as I've not reviewed them - but after the first song I realised I had, were they that forgettable the last time? Probably not, its just I see hundreds of bands. I remembered the rigid female singer (I said rigid, not frigid!) last time, who seemed a lot more relaxed this time with an on stage personality coming through, also recalled the animated drummer!
I could've been cruel & asked Dave Cox to review this set as if you look back to the last Lantern gig, you'll see that Dave & Johnny Lantern don't quite see eye to eye, even to the extent of writing defamatory songs about each other!
An off-shoot of Colwyn Bay band Lantern, Zenith must be another outlet for Johnny to ply his trade & lick his guitar. (And show off a ridculous goatee!). The style is like Fairground Attraction with distortion, no, sorry, too harsh as when they kick in, they really do kick in. Too much like 'rock' as in those classic rock albums you see on the TV adverts. Too much rock ballad stuff really in this punk rock age - don't let anyone fool you! Creamfields gets smaller every year. Bikers? Who the fuck are they? Punk is what its all about, take some speed Zenith please!!
Or watch Bootnic perhaps! They have the speed, but also the predictability, perhaps a combination of the Bootnic energy & the Zenith dynamics & you've found a new genre!
Anyway, I know I'm talking utter bollocks.
Last time I saw Bootnic I ran for the haven of a seat after the punk by numbers songbook of cover versions was opened & played from start to finish (almost). This time, it was thrown away & their own stuff was allowed to shine through. All topless (males) with bounds of energy. Yes I'm going to make the tired Green Day, Blink 182 comparisons now, but in Blaenau Ffestiniog you have a choice of vocation; you shag, bored frustrated housewives or you rehearse in a punk rock band. Fortunately, Bootnic chose the latter. They should've ended on the single Cae Dy Geg (Shut your Mouth) & perhaps outstayed their welcome (see previous reviews, whinges on bands playing too long).
Sonic State are making their 3rd, maybe 4th visit to Rhyl, but their first at Bar Blu. Being more used to the dingy grubby (yet homely) feel of the Dudley Arms, they made the short trek across the road to this venue (via Market Drayton). Think they opened with Urban Sun but it was hard to tell as their sound engineer was dogged with problems - a point should be made that you don't experiment with the sound in Blu, it took them 12 months to get it sorted in the first place! So sometimes the vocals were lost, either too quiet or in a wash of feedback. But regardless of that, Sonic State are loud, noisy & uncompromising. Bollocks to the Sigue Sigue Sputnik comparisons, Sonic State should be compared to Sonic State. They're still plugging the single Disco Detonation so a new release would be welcome.
Made the mistake (again) of getting a lift into town, left Blu with my feet not quite touching the ground… In fact I can't recall exactly how or when we left the venue… I'll raise my glass to Carling…. Again.
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