[First appeared in Black Harvest issue #6 October 2003]
Live @ University of Bradford
29-31 August 2003
Tarantella Serpentine – erm, missed them – think was in the bar. Oops.
Scrap.edx – these guys were superb, and I for one am certainly looking forward to the new album. Nerves appeared to have got the better of them to start with, as the set started very slowly. But as the pace quickened and atmosphere built it became clear that they knew exactly what they were doing. One of the talking points of the weekend, and rightly so.
Cut.rate.box – well, I liked them! Not too much difference to the stuff on record, but pretty good. Opinion seemed to be divided on these guys, they generally edge towards the harder end of EBM, but there is enough variety to keep interest.
Implant DJ Matt gets an honourable mention for his set late on Friday night – a full dancefloor all the way through and a great danceable mix of noise and industrial. Hats off to you mate.
Je$us Loves Amerika – wasn’t keen on their album before I saw them, but I am now – they were great, in a mid-90s style industrial way. Slamming beats and angry vocals – oh, and a fabulous cover of NWA’s Fuck tha Police. Top track though was the first one – Dogma (Verse Two).
Culture Kultur – oh dear. A poor mans Hocico without the tunes. Not much else to say about them really – the vocals were really quite flat, sounding like he couldn’t really be arsed. And if they can’t why should we?
Tarmvred – missed these guys somehow?!?
Seabound – the one big disappointment of the weekend. The vocals sounded a bit crap, to be frank (arf), and all was not good. On the bright side, Hooked was still wonderful, and the new single Contact is rather good too. Not sure exactly what was wrong, but they just didn’t click. Real shame, that. Still looking forward to the new album though.
Needle Sharing – without question the best act of the weekend. Ace drum’n’noise, and Roland is one of the scariest, most imposing looking people I have ever seen on a stage. With him gurning at the front of the stage, you kinda feel compelled to dance – which everyone did. The beats rained down like a hailstorm, with all kinds of odd effects slithering in and out – each track seemed to evolve as it went along.
God Module – not bad, but nothing to write home about. Standard issue American Electro, that just plodded on and on….
Arkam Asylum – hmm. next. Not that I have a thing against Wasp Factory bands, they just all seem to stick to a similar template that doesn’t float my boat whatsoever. There always seems to be a “we’re funny, us” kinda thing going on. And it just doesn’t rub.
Resurrection Eve – oh dear. A Goth Synth Pop yawnathon, with the vocalist in a rather *ahem* fetching purple pvc getup.
[:SITD:] – these guys were enthusiastic, at least – and weren’t bad either. However Snuff Machinery, that they played to finish, still towers over the rest of their output.
Hypnoskull – better live than on record (and a second Gangsta rap reference for the weekend – who’dve thunk it!? Bodycounts in tha house!!!!), but still, at the end of the day, “one man and his effectsbox (or whatever)”, that isn’t really much to look at.
VNV Nation – those that know me will know i’ve never been a VNV fan – and this did nothing to convert me, really. Undisputedly the stars of the show (and the only real headline act of the weekend, to be fair), they put on a great show – and if Ronan ever gets bored with playing the frontman, he could always take up stand-up comedy – and had the crowd in the palm of his hand within seconds. Highlight was without a doubt the closing cover of Nitzer Ebb’s Getting Closer.