Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Hasta La Vista. The Rebounds @ The Sugarmill, Hanley. July 11th.

Review by Danny Hill

Photo by Gig

When good bands go away, a question I almost always find myself asking is: Where is the ‘good’ in goodbye? These days, in the manic, heady world of a burgeoning music scene in Stoke, bands come and go almost every single week. Most of these bands, however, had hardly made any sort of impact in the first place, and their passing merely serves as a silent sigh, a statistical figure for music writers to muse upon. But when a good band passes, a band like The Rebounds - a band that has been together for five years - it raises questions - reservations, if you like, into the future of our current scene.

It was a spur-of-the moment decision that propelled me to The Sugarmill last Friday night (I had a last-minute cancellation from somebody I was about to be meeting) so unfortunately I missed the first two bands, La Dies and The Flying Colours. Many apologies for that. I shall serve myself several lashings as punishment.

The Rebounds are Cappy on vocals, Lee and Ian on guitar, Carl provides the basslines and backing vocals, while Matt handles the drums. The lads were already in full swing as I arrived, ejecting their own style of power-pop/punk with their trademark lack of inhibition. There was a lot of hustle-and-bustle in the packed-out Sugarmill, and the stage area was no-go zone, packed as it was with over-zealous fans keen to mark this gig with a front-stage vantage point.

I have seen The Rebounds perform on a few occasions. I know some of them quite well as friends and consider them very amiable lads to talk to. This amiability comes across onstage as well. The Rebounds are very comfortable with each other; very much in rapport; a sign that not only comes from being best friends, but also translates superbly well to their vast audience. Lead singer Cappy characteristically swaggers confidently across the stage, climbing amplifiers and swinging his mic, improvising superbly with the audience. The street-chant vocal choruses of The Rebounds are infectious, and the crowd sang back every word with strident aplomb.

As the night stretched on, The Rebounds belted out number after number from their repertoire; ‘Dealer’s Dealer’, ‘The Start’ and ‘Mr Zed Lister’, to name a few. With their angsty, urgent vocals and swirling Clash-esque rhythmic guitars, they earn massive cheers. The Rebounds’ sound evoke memories of Buzzcocks and Stooges records. And like their punk predecessors, they are a band whose lyrics provide political and cultural statements, particularly with the catchy ‘Opportunity’:

“I’ve been told a thousand times to get a job.

I have a chance to be myself,

I don’t wanna follow no-one else.

There’s so much more, can’t you see?

There’s so much more that I can be.”

As the performance drew to a close, the band started taking requests from the audience. For many, The Rebounds last ever gig was an emotional farewell, and the lads reserved one of their finest ever performances for last.

It’s a shame to see a band like The Rebounds, with their social and political expression, decide to call it a day. Nemo and The Vicious Toys may still be around, as well as The New Subterraneans - all great bands - but as one passes one tends only to focus on the negatives…

As for The Rebounds, all that is left is to say thank you for the last five years. It’s been one hell of a ride.

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