Sunday, 27 September 2009

Paint It Black/Ceremony

Le Pub Newport
27th September 2009

This gig was unmissable. It promised so much and it delivered. Two bands who have taken different styles to the limit and still show signs of stretching further and taking hardcore to new places. Complete contrasts too. Paint It Black have intent that is crystal clear, directed, to the point. Ceremony are like a natural disaster, a flood, an earthquake, awesome natural power that takes its own course. Both sets were delivered with honesty, energy, passion and precision. They are bands at the height of their powers and this gig (and probably the tour too) felt like the end of something. They will definitely launch into something new next time. They cannot be tamed. There is too much to be contained, too much going on.
It was announced that this would be the last Paint It Black gig for a while because Dan is going to be a father within the next fortnight. It is inevitable that this will have an effect and I hope that he continues to share his new experiences in his writing. This would add a fascinating new dimension to his lyrics. He has the wit and intelligence to bring reality to all situations and, as a father of two, I look forward to his response to this new chapter in his life. Paint It Black communicate so well and show great unity as a band. They will surely return when the time is right, when the right things need to be said in the right way.
Ceremony, on the other hand, could explode at any moment. They seem totally unpredictable. They are essential and pure. They are pushing the hardcore formula to extremes and seem catastrophic but deliver their songs with such skill. Their energy is focused and their voice is so distinct. They are mesmerising. So many hardcore bands lack their danger, their edge, their rage.
These bands have to be seen. They are both far beyond just being bands. They give you more than music. Wake up and live.

What's life without love? What's love without hate? (Troubled Waters)

Now I try to give more than I take. But there's more at stake... (Sacred)

Friday, 18 September 2009


Le Pub Newport
17th September 2009

It's a very subtle wind that has brought ON together. With the pedigree that they have (Go It Alone, Champion, Blue Monday), it is surprising that they still are uncertain of the response that they will get as they drift into new territories, driving through the night to whatever awaits them. It seems that they are living in the moment and, from the way that they play and the passionate way that they talk, they are taking nothing for granted. Musically they are still talking about where they will be lead and it's the same open hearts that have found packed venues in Eastern Europe and a few curious glances on the west coast of Ireland. But ON's beauty is they treat them just the same. There's a real maturity to their slowburn approach, using contacts and friends for tours and releases so they can keep in full touch with and possession of what they are. They met through the west coast community, which they report has a reliable network of venues, but don't seem offended by being seen as Seattle in character. Their city suits them well. Like it, they show talent with restraint. But what is obvious is that ON are intent on finding something within themselves that will maybe give new breath to the music that we all love.

We've come here to make our mark (Generations).

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Bane/Down To Nothing/Lewd Acts/Gold Kids/Losing Sight/All Will Suffer

The Golden Cross Coventry
30th August 2009

This is the gig where the idea for the blog started...squeezed into a tiny upstairs room in one of the oldest pubs in Britain with some of the hardest working bands on the scene today. This is more than entertainment when bands of such standing (esp. Bane and Down To Nothing) play in a place like this...their philosophies and motivations need to be collected for the wider community.

Also there's the issue of how these people are together from different perspectives: EC/WC US, Italy, the Midlands UK...what's the same, what's different? How is hc local and global?
It is more than music, as we all know...

So this blog is an accompaniment to my experience of seeing and talking to bands about the hc community and its many perspectives...