June 9th, 2005


Wow, good gig.

So yesterday afternoon we're just pottering around as you do, not plans for the evening as yet, when a mate of Mike's from Sheffield gets in touch. He's the sound chap for a couple of bands who are playing at the Portland that night, and do we want to go along. So we say yes, at which point we get incidentally asked for crash-space for said mate, four band members and manager, but hey, you always wanted a rock band sleeping in your living room right?

So I'm knackered and not feeling at my perkiest this week, and the name of the headliners "65 days of static" doesn't really make them sound like my cup of tea, but I thought I'd probably have an OK time. I was wrong: I had a *great* time. Arrived shortly after the first band of the night started playing.

I seem to be completely able to find the full line up and I can't remember their name. Something with "fuzzy" in I think. 2 piece band, viola and electric guitar, folk with electronics wizardry. Didn't pay very much attention but I enjoyed it anyway.

Next were Loop Hole (http://www.loophole-official.com/) who were indie rock done pretty well: good fun but nothing to blow you away. Might go look up their demo online.

Next up were the first of the two bands from Sheffield: The Mirimar Disaster (http://www.themirimardisaster.com/). Fitting a 5 piece band on that stage is pretty amusing, but they played some pretty loud metal which I got really into. Nice work from both guitarists, a really tight beat from the drummer. Some *fabulous* rock posturing from all of them, and some fun with a reverb pedal on the vocals. Singer was unusual in not also playing I guess, and that probably makes it hard to know what to do with yourself on stage, but he seemed to cope. Yeah, and him and the drummer had some nice friendly patter between tracks. We chatted a bit to them later while they were packing up, and the singer kindly went and found me and Mike copies of their demo CD - the 5 track version with tracknames hand scribbled because they only had sleeves for the 3 track one. They seemed like a really nice bunch.

And last but by no means least 65 Days of Static (http://www.65daysofstatic.com/). I've pottered about reading reviews earlier today and I'm not all that surprised to hear names like Aphex Twin bandied about, and comparisons of them with other bands: sounding like Mogwai playing over Squarepusher made me smile. Basically they have a laptop on stage playing a very electronic sound, which would probably stand on its own actually, lots of bleeps and clicks and things, and over the top of it an extremely tight fourpiece add live drums, guitar and bass. Wow! I have to say they did pretty much blow me away, which might have been the sheer *heat* in there, but was partly the music too. And the sheer energy they put into it. Afterwards drummer Rob wrang his tshirt out not once but twice, and it was making an impressive puddle. The patter was less bantering, but still friendly. The music was great. And the encore, with threat of jail, was greeted rapturously: and despite worries from the band the venue liked it too, gave them a bottle of whisky as thanks and asked for a track for the jukebox.

And so it ended and Mike and I hung around while they all packed up, The Mirimar lot got ready to head back up North, and 65Days piled their stuff and themselves and us into the van and pottered the 2 mins drive back to GR, where as promised they were quiet as church mice while they drank a few celebratory JD and cokes before crashing 3 to the sofas and 3 to the floor. Lovely lads the lot of them anyway, and I hope thy go far. And Johnny the sound guy I look forward to meeting again at Glasto and Reading.

[ oh yeah, they were on Radio 1 the previous night, live from Maida Vale, bit of a change to come to the Portland. Must use Listen Again to see what I missed. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/networks/radio1/aod.shtml?radio1/onemusic_huw ]