Thursday, 7 May 2009

Love Music Hate Racism Heat 2 The People Involved / The Control / The Seconds / Jo-ee-T May 2009

Review by Lisa Wilding

Photo by Maffi

The second night of the Road to Britannia Heats started with a modest sized audience. In spite of this, the first band up; The People Involved, were not deterred. This Leek based band took to the stage from the start with a solid, tight sound. The fact that they have been together since 2005 was glaringly obvious in the skill and co-ordination of all the band members who produce a well rounded sound that has been in the past compared to Coldplay, Foo-Fighters and Mansun. Similarities aside, this band performed with an enthusiasm that was catching as the audience warmed to the performance. From punchy, rock with hints of Metallica guitar to slower tempo tracks, this band showed that they are not a one trick pony but have a diversity and maturity that most bands can only hope to aspire to. Dark, brooding basslines, soaring guitars, solid drums driving the rhythm and a frontman, who as well as provoking allusions to Coldplay's Chris Martin, provided a strong, melodic vocal and great interaction with the crowd. These guys rocked...end of.

After a short break, during which the crowd had swelled considerably, The Control took to the stage. From the enthusiasm that greeted the band, it was clear that they have a loyal following who quickly turned the dancefloor into a mosh pit with stage diving from one particularly brave member of the audience. Having seen front man Joe limping his way through the audience with the aid of a crutch earlier in the evening (a broken leg apparently!), it was with much amazement that I watched him strut and twitch his way across the stage. Comparisons to Joy Division's Ian Curtis were not difficult to see. The simplicity of their songs is deceptive; common chords reminiscent of the punk era were entwined with quirky phrasing and a great use of space as well as the full blown guitar laden tracks. The performance was awash with energy, as apparent in the music as well as the members. All in all, a watertight set provided by a confident and highly entertaining band.

Following The Control was never going to be easy, primarily as the crowds that attended their performance left to seek cigarettes and alcohol on the rooftop terrace. However, this didn't deter The Seconds from putting in a credible and authentic performance for their set. Where The People Involved and The Control bounded about the stage, this band left the performance to their music. Likewise, the stillness of vocalist Matt Walker commanded attention, not boredom. Comparisons to the Arctics and Oasis are unavoidable, but combining those influences with their own composing skills and performance produces a band that were more than able to stand up and be counted beside their competitors. As more people returned to watch the band, the energy of the performance lifted and was much appreciated by the audience. There's a lot of potential and room for growth with this band as I'm sure time will tell.

The final act of the night couldn't have been more different to the three indie/rock bands that preceded it. Jo-ee-T arrived on stage with only a laptop, two synths and a microphone for company. His music is a mad combination of acid house and electronica (a very convincing cover of Kraftwerk's Computer Love stood up to the original) and is created courtesy of said laptop and synths. His energy and movement on the stage was that of five men easily. As though knowing that he had to engage the crowd in a different manner to the previous acts, he cajoled and hollered at the audience which echoed his cheers and whoops with more of their own. His partner in crime, DJ Fresh (whose influences are the old skool dance from “back in the day”) took to the stage for the last two tracks of the set; Embers of Entropy and I Am the Law resulting in a powerful combination of rap (courtesy of Fresh) and hyperactive acid beats courtesy of Jo-ee-T. With this performance, the concept of live music is turned on its head as Jo-ee-T and Fresh proved you don't need a guitar and band members to entertain the masses. He made some new fans that night.

The end of the evening saw The People Involved announced as the winners of this heat. Jo-ee-T also came out on top with the promise of a set on the dance stage in Delilah's bar at the Love Music Hate Racism event on 30th May.


The People Involved
The Control
The Seconds


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