The Cuckoo Club
2. The Sand Creek Massacre
***For photos click on the right-hand links***
Every time I write a review I'm glad to see that others disagree or agree in the 'have your say' box at the bottom. Nothing like a good debate. Never however have so many felt the need to write about their thoughts on The Sand Creek Massacre (see links on the right).
Indeed the alt rock quintet seem to take over each band night, a great hunk of audience disappearing as soon as they leave the stage. This was the case with the last Colorz night on Thursday 20th January, which they didn't even headline.
A sizeable crowd had arrived early however to see the debut gig of Müf, pronounced like Inspector Clouseau would say it. The fierce epic rock comes at the hands of former Sonic Undermind guitarist Michael Hefferan and former Yankee 99er Alex Kaupa, two prominent muscians whose teaming up is clearly a success.
Despite first-time nerves, they deliver a blistering sound that thrusts energetic riffage in everyone's faces. Kaupa's vocals may be a little shakey at times, but last song Schmindy, a languidly dark slow burner, more than makes up for this.
Second on are the aforementioned Sand Creek lads, who the week before didn't play to standard at Colorz. This time they are mind-blowingly brilliant. The distinctive high rasp of singer Matt is in tune this time and in full throttle, each note and each word delivered with a strength, sometimes explosive, other times achingly delicate.
The band gels tonight, each song is exciting. The band is exciting. The haunting Feeling It Once Again, (perhaps better known as You're Going To Save Me) and Won't Let Us Down are the best examples of this band's immense talent for not only performing but also composing fluid melodies. Textured songs rise and fall, harnessing both ambience and rabble-rousing rock with equal panache.
Rebus start as they mean to go on: by playing their first and upcoming single Daylight Fading, a throbbing blast of disco-cum-garage-punk that magically attaches strings to your feet and makes them dance. Lashings of guitar fly in the face of infectious synth bleeps and a funky bopping bass.
It's also never a dull moment with three singers taking turns to roar out adrenalin-pumped vocals. This band, about to embark on a tour of northern England, are serious-minded but at the same time clearly having fun rocking out. Rebus strip away the angrier elements of their testosterone-fuelled genre, replacing it with a pogo-jumping high-energy ruddy good time. Dare to disco everyone.
Finally it's time for Off The Radar, a band that blends melodic grace and harmonic singing with monolithic rocky riffs. The trio evince a warmth in both their singing and performing, which is as tight as Dafydd the only gay in the village's PVC pants.
Co-frontman Daz can't resist jumping around with his guitar midway through the set and who can blame him, each song has bounce and flair - no wonder they're such a hit in New York, where they've played with Aluminum Babe. Playing pop rock, they somehow steer clear of sounding too slick or commercial. Here It Is especially is a favourite with it's feel-good charm. Having a boring party? Your friends standing around looking fed up? Just call Off The Radar to get things livened up.
P.S. For those of you who helped Unsigned Showcase's Luisa Seacroft celebrate her 30th birthday, click on the photo gallery to see the exceedingly large bruise she mysteriously acquired while gracefully falling out of a cab. Go girl!