Friday, 8 April 2011

Japanese Voyeurs / Troops of Mafeking / The Midnight Lycan Party @ The Sugarmill 6th April 2011

Review by Matthew Tilt

Seeing The Midnight Lycan Party open tonight with a mere seven tracks is a massive injustice to their genre bending ways. Even with Paul suffering from food poisoning and Lee feeling less than 100% both push themselves to the limit, their vocals complimenting each other to create the dark and brooding atmosphere while Matt creates the varied drum patterns behind them. Playing Howl, Down by the River, Eye of a Gun and Chapters of Carrie Black from their recent E.P., and, in a testament to their writing skills, they blast out three new tracks including a hardcore whirlwind the shape of Horses, all of which makes their set a brilliant watch for the few that are here this early.

More people have moved their way in for the QOTSA/We Are Scientists indie pop of Troops of Mafeking who have plenty of energy but fail to grab the audience with their cynically written, made to dance tunes. It’s not that their bad, but they lack the atmosphere of the bands sandwiching them and the crowd make it clear that, apart from the odd wriggle, they don’t plan on really moving for anyone tonight.

When I say anyone, I mean anyone, because not even Japanese Voyeurs raise the mood. Sure they get a lot more cheers when they hit the stage, and each song is met more rapturous applause but for the majority everyone stands still, blankly staring at the band. It’s a shame because while the Voyeurs might not be the most original band on the planet, with most of their neo-grunge tracks blending into the next, they play well and deserve a more receptive crowd. Romily’s marmite vocals sound great in a live setting while the rest band rock hard enough to make you honestly think its 1992 again, but the atmosphere is lost during to the air of “meh” (God I love tweenie speak) that fills the venue.

It’s a shame because the band have waited since February to come back, after Romily lost her voice before the original date and what could have been so good has ended as an average night thanks to the apathetic crowd.

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