Rams' Pocket Radio, More Than Conquerors
Real Audio Picnic staged an impressive evening of comedy and hard rock. The main attraction is arguably the screening of Barry "The Blender" Henderson's final 'I Am Fighter' video, but my main focus is on the musical talent.
Opening up the evening is More Than Conquerors. Having spent the past year enjoying critical claim from across the board, there's not much that can be said for these young guys that hasn't already been mentioned. What can be said is that the band are really beginning to open up on stage; their songs are so well rehearsed they can play them in their sleep, which makes room for them to act a little goofy and really enjoy their time in the limelight.
Every time More Than Conquerors play, it's incredible to witness how rhythmically astute these guys actually are - once you think a song has settled into a particular rhythm, the band veers into an entirely different direction when you least expect, often several times during the same song. Guitarists Kris Platt and Danny Morgan Ball execute a heady blend of crushing riffing and sonic tremolo picking, which is perfectly capsulated in the climax of 'Go On, Go On, Get Out'. It's no wonder why so many people are getting behind these guys.
After an excruciating stint from a stand up comedian, this reviewer breathes a sigh of relief at the sight of Rams' Pocket Radio taking to the stage. From the opening bars of 'Dieter Rams Has Got The Pocket Radios', the hairs instantly shoot up on the back of your neck, where they remain for the rest of an awe inspiring set.
Frontman Peter McAuley completely absorbs himself into his performance, with a grin painted across his face, and frequently making gestures to his audience with sporadic arm movements.
With a boisterous crowd eagerly anticipating the screening of Barry The Blender's video, you'd expect a heartfelt ballad would be unbefitting to the evening's mix. You'd be wrong however in thinking so; McAuley takes a bold move and performs a delicate 2-minute piece, and while it doesn't quite manage to silence the rowdy audience, it's met with utter adulation.
Their rendition of Bodyrox 'Yeah Yeah', which is now a welcome staple in their set, goes to show the band's musical wisdom, turning a discordant house tune into a bombastic foot stomping anthem. The set ends with the confident swagger of signature song 'Dogs Run In Packs'.
In terms of originality, style and melodic sophistication, Rams' Pocket Radio are in a league a million miles away from their peers. With an enormous sound, and a rapidly growing fan base, small venues will not contain them for much longer. Their talent is undeniable, and their ascent to greatness will be unstoppable.
As for Barry The Blender? Sadly, the taxi home won't wait all night. Still, there's always you tube...