Last Saturday I went along to The Globe in Roath, accompanied by my excellent musical companion Ms. Jones (and joined later on by our token northener Mark) to watch a number of bands that we’d seen before, but in a new setting. This is a review of that what happened there.
Let’s start with the venue, The Globe. The Globe is not the worst venue in Cardiff (Bogiez/Barfly, The SU Great Hall). It’s tucked out of the way in the corner of Roath, so anyone going to a gig there is meant to be there, which is nice. It’s an old cinema and has a lovely balcony, meaning a great view of the bands, and most importantly the sound in the place is not terrible. The only bad thing about the venue this week was that they’d sold out of tolerable ale, which is no great problem. We arrived about twenty minutes after doors were due to open, and unsurprisingly the doors were not open yet. For some reason The Globe exists in a timezone that is about 45 minutes behind the rest of Cardiff, so don’t ever bother getting there on time, it’s just not going to happen. Rubbish timekeeping and crappy beer selection aside, it’s a decent venue in which to watch a band and on this night there were three on offer.
I’m fairly sure I’ve seen these guys a number of times before, at least once or twice at the SWN festival, maybe somewhere else as well. They’re a decent band rocking a mid-late 90’s vibe that marks them out as guys that grew up with grunge and late 90’s indie and decided the best thing to do when they started a band was to emulate that. Unfortunately you sometimes feel that they forgot to really add anything to that era, and haven’t quite managed to push things on. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a totally bad thing - they play well, they put effort into what they do, and their songs have a catchy uptempo feel. I enjoyed watching them, they were having fun and playing well, with some good riffs, tight playing and a good overall feel to the music. There are some interesting things going on with their songs, but it just feels like they need to push things a little bit further out of a safe zone and do something a bit more interesting. That all being said, they’re well worth a watch, especially if you’re like me and you grew up with grunge and late 90’s indie and enjoy that kind of thing.
This is a recent track that seems in parts to show more development, it’s got more going on:
Overall they were enjoyable, played well, and I’ll give them 4 out of some.
Again, I’ve seen Gallops a number of times before, mainly at SWN. On paper they’re not my thing, focusing fairly heavily on electronic sounds, but in reality I really love them. They’re an awesome live act and every time I see them they have something new to show. The main driving force behind them is the thundering and perfect drums; their drummer is an absolute animal, arrogant and agressive and with every right to sit behind the drumkit with the knowledge that he’s almost certainly the most talented guy with a set of drumsticks in the room. He almost imbalances the band, as with his drumming there’s not a lot the other band members can do to match his talent, which is probably one of their only weak points. The only other glaring weak point would be the guy with the mac. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, a laptop is not an instrument. If your job could be replaced with someone pressing play on a tape deck you’re superfluous, get the fuck off the stage. That aside, this band have grown massively in the two/three years I’ve been watching them, and I’m looking forward to their album in the next couple of months to see where they’re going next.
Once again these guys were great live. They clearly spend a lot of time practising getting it right, and it pays off. I’ll give them six out of some.
Truckers of Husk
Ah, the main event. A band that I first saw at the 2nd SWN Festival, in whatever Y Fuwch Goch was before it was that (and then failed to be that and became the Moon Bar). A band that have swiftly become one of my favourite live acts in Cardiff, a band who I love going to see. Their post-rock math vibes are great, and they are another band (like Gallops) who continue to grow and push stuff forward. Their first album, (released last year) is on permanent rotation in my Spotify playlist, and I still can’t get enough of it. In case you didn’t get it, I love this band.
Today’s gig was exceptional, the band presenting themselves along with the 1924 documentary ‘The Great White Silence’, the fairly harrowing documentary about Scott’s ill fated voyage to the South Pole. Dressed all in white the band played their songs along with the film, fitting the tracks to the projection behind them, timing things beautifully to coincide with the action. I’m fairly certain they’d put the effort in to trim songs here and there to make them fit, cutting some noise here, adding some there and it all paid off. They presented themselves on stage as a band having fun and doing well doing it, but you could tell that they recognised this was (one of?) their biggest gig to date and had put the effort in to make it something special. The songs flew by and by the time the movie drew to a close, with our intrepid arctic explorers dead in the arctic wasteland and the band themselves moving the drumkit down into the crowd for the last flour covered intense burst, we were all thoroughly sated. Plus the saxophonist kept his shirt on.
I give them 8 out of some.
All in all, a thoroughly excellent night of entertainment. Top marks.