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Monday 28th April 2003, 1500 BST
Unsigned Showcase rocks at the Fez
I'm seeing red - Joski singer Ben eyeballing the crowd at the Reading Fez.

If you weren't at the Reading Fez for the latest Unsigned Showcase gig then boy did you miss out.
Local musical talent came seething out of every pore.
But fear not, we have a review and tonnes of fab photos!



Gig listings

Have your say: is the local music scene any good?


Reading Fez


Static Rain

Three Litre

Sonic Undermind

Ant Salon


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Unsigned Showcase @ The Litten Tree kicks of in style on Tuesday 29th April with FLIPCYCLE, HECKLER, RADIATE and EXIT-10.
With a late licence, DJ Dickie till 2am, flexible door staff, cheap drinks and a great pa/sound engineer, it should be the first of many…

View a printable version of this page.

Unsigned Showcase Magazine kicked off their new live music night to a sizeable and appreciative crowd at Reading Fez on Wednesday 23rd April.

Following the venue's decision to focus primarily on touring bands from now on, this gig was the last local-band night that will be held at the venue, and Unsigned Showcase marked the occasion in style with a main-stage rock extravaganza accompanied by a mellower acoustic evening in the downstairs bar.

The acoustic show downstairs featured a variety of local acts, and provided a nice counterpoint to the rock being served on the main stage.

Performers included regular acoustic acts such as Aden Pearce and Andy Stedman alongside bands more usually seen at the loud end of an electrical cable - including Static Rain, Three Litre (who's cover of 'Ace of Spades' went down a storm), Sonic Undermind and Ant Salon.

There was definitely a different atmosphere downstairs to the ones usually found at the Fez club, and the acoustic stage also provided the gig with a festival air as it allowed the guests to choose between which acts they wanted to see at a certain time.

It would be safe to say that the experiment of having an acoustic stage downstairs was a success.

The Main Stage upstairs was an all out rockfest. Compered with panache by the estimable Jim Bowes, the evening got off to a good start and just kept going.

First onstage upstairs were Windsor's DrSid. A band that is very hard to pigeonhole, DrSid try to incorporate a mix of genres in their music to create 'the ultimate sound'. As usual their set was hard, fast and very very loud.

Belying their quiet offstage personas, the band produced screaming guitars and heartfelt vocals in an eclectic mix of metal, grunge, emo and blues that whipped the crowd up nicely for the acts that were to follow.

Second up were Joski and they were, simply, fantastic. Joski are Unsigned Showcase's tip for greatness in 2003, and on this performance it was hard to disagree with that assessment.

Their songs are layered with huge, crashing guitar riffs over subtler melodies that get in your head, whilst hugely sing-alongable choruses threaten to carry you away with the moment.

Sounding at times like a rawer and more raucous version of Feeder, Joski took an already excited crowd and turned them into madmen. It was intoxicating stuff. The band release a new single entitled "Chorus" on June 2nd through Casket Music, and you'd be well advised to go and buy it.

The third act of the evening were local favourites Obiat. Featuring a truly multi-national line-up, Obiat were playing tonight as a warm up for the Finnish Summer Festival where they are due to play in front of 8000 screaming rockers.

Another hard-to-define act, Obiat offer up a cross between heavy metal and hypno-trance. Swirling guitars meld with metal guitars and frontman Laz's screaming vocals to produce an effect not quite like anything you've ever seen before.

Throw into the mix a hurdy-gurdy accompaniment and a videoscreen and you end up with a truly idiosyncratic performance. The crowd loved it, rocking-out enthusiastically at the front as Laz hurled his microphone-stand around the stage. Good stuff.

Headlining the evening were Days Of Worth, capping off a highly successful week in which they were signed to Lostprophets label, Visible Noise.

Just a couple of minutes of Days Of Worth were enough to see exactly why they're considered one of the country's best new acts.

Tight as a bankrupt miser with constipation, the band exudes confidence, competence and charisma in abundance. Their rock is thoughtful and yet carefree, lavish and yet simple, heavy without being overpowering.

The vocalist has a powerful voice, able to carry both screams and melody with an ease that is remarkable in its apparent lack of effort. All in all, Days Of Worth rocked, and they should be huge in the near future.

As first nights go then this was a belter. If promoter/editor Lu Seacroft can keep providing gigs of this quality then we've all got a lot to look forward to.

The next Unsigned Showcase gig is at the Litten Tree in Reading on Tuesday 29 April. My advice would be to get along there for yourself and see what all the fuss is about - you won't be disappointed.

Unsigned Showcase @ The Litten Tree kicks of in style on Tuesday 29th April with FLIPCYCLE, HECKLER, RADIATE and EXIT-10. With a late licence, DJ Dickie till 2am, flexible door staff, cheap drinks and a great pa/sound engineer, it should be the first of many…

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