They didn’t call this gig Four Faces Of Rock but it would have been apt. The venue was Milo on Call Lane in Leeds, not far from Oporto where I attended a gig earlier this year. There were four bands each representing a very different style although how deliberate this was isn’t clear. First up were Huddersfield band Relics who are very much in the metalcore category. This particular genre isn’t really my scene but it seemed very well done.
Which takes me on to Dead Frequency who – as Colt 45 have already had a write up on here – are the band I want to focus most on.
Dead Frequency (from Daventry, Northamptonshire) describe themselves as Glam Punk. Given how much Ziggy Stardust reset popular culture in 1972 and the enduring legacy of Freddie Mercury it’s curious how much performance and fantasy has dropped out of mainstream rock in recent years. I still feel a defining moment was when Oasis unexpectantly beat Suede to the top of the Britpop pile and the initially thrilling music of the Gallagher brothers gave way to a chugging blokeishness that produced a long slipstream of music that was at best beige and at worst thuggish and ignorant. Of course all acts are defined by their era (Mick Jagger put on a pink jacket during the glam years) and the Oasis effect meant that the Manic Street Preachers put socialism before eyeliner and even Elton John’s creative rebirth in 2001 saw the eccentric costumes of yore discarded in favour of singer songwriter earnestness.
It perhaps didn’t help that pop and rock diverged at a similar point (Pet Shops Boys and Erasure could hardly be called rock acts) and – something I was a bit hesitant to throw into the mix – maybe the one downside of a more tolerant society is that certain things aren’t as rebellious as they used to be.
But back to Dead Frequency who are Glam Punk and not afraid to flaunt it, right down to the cover of Ballroom Blitz. From the off they were looking to win over the audience and remind them that rock is about having a good time. Suffice to say that by the time a cannon of confetti was sprayed over the audience (Colt 45’s singer getting the brunt of it) they had succeeded. As a regular gig goer there are two marks of a good band and the first is how much you want to see them again (I’ll reveal the second shortly). I’m hoping Dead Frequency return to this neck of the woods soon.
Next up were Aberystwyth band My Favoruite Runner Up whose contribution to the evening was pop punk influenced. This band have two EPs and a full length album to their name and, while perhaps not offering anything out of the ordinary, are well worth investigating. I downloaded the Crossroads album tonight and there are some strong songs on there.
Which takes me on to Colt 45 and obviously I was fired up for seeing my favourite band of the moment again; judging by the enthusiasm of some other audience members I may not be alone. There wasn’t a tremendous difference between this show and the one they offered at the Royal Park so there’s little point in repeating what I said two blogs ago. Suffice to say it’s always a privilege to see this band and with Salt Water, I Thought I Knew Best and Chasing Yesterday (among others) present and correct it’s a case of great song after great song. Obviously Colt 45 offered a fourth sound of the night after metalcore, Glam Punk and Pop Punk and that sound was the brutal roar of simplicity and reality. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; there’s no great gimmicks with Colt 45 – they play and write songs better than almost all other bands.
Oh yes and the second mark of a great band? Well this only becomes apparent when a show overruns it’s scheduled times and it’s whether the band are worth missing the last train home for. Colt 45 definitely passed that test.