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Sunday, 17 April 2011

CD/EX and Johnny Reb - Bar Bloc - Glasgow (15/4/11)

Post Michael Monroe in the Garage and I'm heading to BarBloc. This will be the third gig in the one night and I'm drunk.
I'm just getting that out there so people know the score.
In fact I was drunk an hour ago.
So more accurately I'm beyond drunk. Probably too drunk to contemplate another gig, but I'm greedy and want more. More drink, more music.
Some band is already playing when we arrive and it's confusing me because I was told it was Steven Milne and I was expecting one person, but maybe like Glasgow's Annie Stevenson, Steven Milne is a band.
Anyway he, or they, are all right.
Indie kid stuff and not something that I usually gravitate towards, but it's inoffensive enough, but that's like damning it with faint praise.
Who wants to be all right? Everyone should be aspiring to be much more.
Next is the much better Johnny Reb.
They've been building up a bit of a buzz. Especially as the managed to get Boz Boorer on board to record their album.
Someone mentioned that they are like a band paying homage to the postcard scene, and while I can get on board with that there's a lot more going on.
These are young guys who have years and years of different bands to soak up influences from and then they've tried to wrestle the sounds into something that they can call their own.
To a certain extent they done it.
There's echoes of The Smiths, Joy Division, Orange Juice, The Libertines and so much more in what they do, but all the influences just flavour the music and fail to overpower what they are attempting to achieve.
I've mentioned this before about certain bands.
About the fine balance, the tightrope they walk, that allows them to either traverse their influences or stumble and fall into them.
Johnny Reb are a band I'm going to keep an eye on as they just might provide a few surprises in the coming year.
They were the first of the two bands that were were there to see, but the main players for us were Chris Devotion and the Expectations or CD/EX for short.
The opened up with a burst of Ramones-eque power chords and although the sound wasn't doing them many favours they managed to keep on top of it.
Second track in and I decided it was time for a drunken dance.
I managed to press gang Kel into being pulled about in something that may, or may not, have resembled actual dancing.
No one else was cool enough to join us.
The loose translation of that is no one else was up for making a fool of themselves at this point.
The band are furiously urgent in the deliver of their brand of rock and punk and they deserve to be playing in front of a more demonstratively appreciative audience.
That might sound like I'm highlighting a lack of response due to a possible disinterest, but that's not the case at all.
The problem seems to be in how people show their appreciation.
I don't mind clapping, whooping and a hollering or even bustin' a move as da kids would say.
Sadly most people seem to think that polite applause conveys enough appreciation.
Well I'll tell you that some of the best shows I've seen is when people let themselves go and the band feed off the excitement.
It becomes more of a symbiotic experience with band and audience feeding off of each other.
This is what I keep going and seeing bands to experience. That communal feeling of excitement.
So the deal in BarBloc was a lot of polite applause and smiling faces.
A real sense of enjoying the band, but a reluctance to let loose.
Now that's a shame as I want to see CD/EX riding a wave of excitement. They already push at it hard, but I think that with a crowd pushing them onwards they could really let rip and provide them with a gig that they could talk about for months to come.
It's all over too soon for me.
Kel is flagging and as she is driving I accept that we aren't going to hang around for Helsinki Seven.
Maybe someone else reading this can fill us in on how they went.
Excuse the shaky pictures. Blame the drink and the DT's.
Next time I hope I can do the band more justice with a more coherent review.

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