Colenso Parade, Ablespacer
Colenso Parade, Ablespacer
Auntie Annie's, Belfast
23rd April 2008
It's midweek, and there's another pretty big gig on in Belfast, and this is reflected in the crowd, which is unfortunately a little small. But no matter as the bands blatter out the music as though it was a rammed arena.
Arriving late, the first band up are Ablespacer, opening up with title track of recent EP, ï¿½Butterfly Catch', which has its twisted surf punk grunge thing going on, with hints of Sugar and Sonic Youth, something that becomes a recurring theme. ï¿½Skyhook' has a slight stoner vibe to it, but underpinned by melody, reminiscent of early Snow Patrol in their punkier days, mixed with some Graham Coxon. And that's part of the problem, they are maybe a little too much in thrall to their influences, as though they haven't quite found their own style of intelligent post-rock, and are aping Sonic Youth and Radiohead at this stage, but the potential is there in the slightly looser edges. ï¿½Sun On Snow' is very much Hail To The Thief Radiohead with it's slightly sinister melody and feeling of spiralling in the vocals, but with it's great breakdown, there's nothing wrong with that. ï¿½Trigger For Your Head' shows that they are capable of this progression, based on pounding drums, and a defiant sneer in the vocal, like you're lying on the ground looking up at the person kicking you. Leaving us with the question ï¿½was that generic enough for you,ï¿½ it's like early Muse, where the accusation can be made of mimicking their inspirations, but there is the prospect of something in future.
Colenso Parade are topping the bill tonight, launching their new EP, with their intelligent indie pop-rock, with something a little bit different in there as well. It's that modern British sound, based on the great music of the 60s with touches of Merseybeat in there - ï¿½See The Smile' is a like a more laid-back The Coral, and following a dedication to their post-birthday hungover friend they batter out punky pop with bubblegum tinges. ï¿½Something Easy' shows they're a band who your parents would approve of, then, when Mum and Dad step out of the room, do what you want them to do. It's in the vein of the contemporary London sound, the likes of The Libertines, Razorlight, and Dirty Pretty Things, but they seem to be re-interpreting the same sources rather than copying the more modern bands, and ï¿½Loves' could easily come from Barat & co. They aren't just stuck in this style though, and are equally capable of MC5-esque garage rock or a brilliant Franz-Abba (trust me on this) hybrid with ï¿½As Good As It Gets', with it's cracking high bass and choppy drums. Unfortunately, despite this being their EP launch, their guitarist seems to fail to understand the concept of capitalism, and may be suggesting that their music is available in exchange for potatoes, rather than cash. Something to work on for the next show perhaps, but they finish off with more good-time fun indie pop, called ï¿½You Just Don't Know Me At All.' If you don't know them, then you're missing out.