Sunday, 13 April 2008

Godless Magazine Launch Featuring Everything On Red and Bad Coma @ The Band Stand, Hanley. April 11th.

Review and photo by Simon Bamford

Godless magazine is a new publication from Godless Festival promoter Dan Peach. Describing itself as rock, alternative, horror and sci-fi, the mag comes with a cover-mounted compilation CD; issue one now on sale priced at £2. The content is a mixture of interviews, features, reviews and definitely has a metal/gothic theme. The rock as announced on the front cover is the kind that will make your ears (and possibly eyes) bleed. Anthrax, 69 Eyes, Burnt, Razorwire and The Wildhearts are amongst the blackly -clad bands that grace its black and white pages. Vampiress and Hellraiser film stills continue the theme. It all makes me wonder just how long the graveyard gates were left unlocked. I’m dusting off my old crucifix as we speak! That said, if you’re into this stuff, it provides a good read and excellent value for money.

Onto the gig. There seems to be a formula that applies to any performance that I attend these days; the smaller the venue, the better the gig. I like to feel that I’m attending a rehearsal. Although this effect can be obtained by standing as close to the stage as possible in a larger venue, inside the Bandstand’s live room, there’s really no need. To call this place intimate seems inadequate; a 40-strong crowd should more or less fill the place. Not so much like watching a band practice but more like having them practice in your living room. It’s a great room to watch a band in and my favourite in the area so far. First onstage, Everything on Red played a great set full of energy and commitment. I recently remarked to a local promoter that there were loads of good bands in the area. The sniffy reply swiftly came back that they weren’t professional enough. Rubbish! Take a look at these lads and tell me how they could possibly polish up their act any further. How do you get so good so young? Raw talent, I suspect. Their vibe reminds me of New York punk bands of the late seventies. The songs bounce around the room as do the members of band, aside from the drummer and we can’t hold that against him. After all, his backing vocals provide adequate compensation.

Next on are Bad Coma. Their sound is quite different to the opening act’s, but the contrast seems to work. They have a rapport with the audience and certainly didn’t take the occasion too seriously; having fun with the crowd and each other whilst coming across as very natural. I have to say I was relieved that there was only the tiniest amount of screaming voice-wise. Chris M was certainly enjoying himself up there on vocal duties and did a great job of fronting BC’s heavy, tight, rhythmic songs - 'I’m fine', 'She’s Not There', 'Dillusion' and Tool’s 'Stinkfist'. The impressive rhythm section of Sy and Swampi (yes, Swampi) pushed the songs forward and provide a solid backdrop for Big Dan’s distorted guitar; riffing away so fiercely that his glasses steamed up.

This young band gave a good account of themselves and I look forward to seeing them again and to watching them develop.

Godless is on at The George Hotel, Burslem May 17th. – an event featuring no less than 30 bands.

Everything on Red play The Glebe April 18th. with The 4ft Fingers

Bad Coma play The Glebe on April 29th.

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