The launch party seems to be the current 'must have' for every band treading the boards these days.
The latest that I attended was for self proclaimed post grunge act Shelf:Life in Nice and Sleazy - more about that post grunge tag later - who were looking to promote their debut ep.
First there was the supports to get out of the way though, and while both UrbanMyth and The Aviators feature talented members they seemed to be at a level that falls short of playing for a paying audience.
There's a quality bar that has to be attained and that doesn't just mean that the musicianship is up to scratch, but that the band has a clear direction that they are all pulling in.
Neither Urban Myth or The Aviators are there yet.
At the moment Urban Myth look, and sound like, a class project with five random people being grouped together and told to form a band.
It's all a bit haphazard.
There's no faulting the talent that they individually have, but they could all fit more comfortably in other bands rather than in this one together.
The Aviators have half a set of songs and bolstered it with covers.
A very good 'My Generation', a very poor 'Last Night' that lacked all the laissez faire fuck you of the original, and a passable 'Come Together'.
Highlight was when they swapped the vocal lead for an original song called 'Tell Me' that hinted at a sound that they could all use as a template to work forward from.
All together a disappointing beginning to a night.
Thankfully Shelf:Life were pretty much everything that the supports weren't.
The post grunge description may have been apt at a point in the past, but they have left it far behind them as a genre box that could hold them.
There's still hints of it, and even some post US hardcore sounds, but there's also a great deal of little aural snippets from multiple genres that they have dipped into and grabbed bits and bobs from to create the Shelf:Life sound.
At one point there was some Futureheads kitchen sink acapella harmonies that they borrowed from The Housemartins making an appearance, but even then its a blink and you will miss it blast of just one little touch in among many more.
In fact it's all pretty much a downhill sans brakes performance with the whole band pushing hard at delivering a show that can't be ignored, or even dismissed as just another indie rock band doing their thing on a Thursday night.
There's an aspect of them that reminded me of Biffy Clyro.
Not in sound, but in that you could see and hear that they could move up the ladder quickly, and possible even bypass those who are currently considered to be the ones to watch out for.
It doesn't take a great deal of imagination to jump to thinking that they would be entirely comfortable in stalking the SECC stage, or possibly making a main stage festival appearance.
Hopefully by early 2013 their name will deservedly start to fall from the lips of some movers and shakers as the next step for them is to spread the word.
Everything else is pretty much in place.
Definitely a headlining band in waiting that I would comfortably recommend to everyone to check out.