Mexicolas – Fibbers, 12/03/08

…and two take a very mid-week trip to Fibbers for a four-band line-up.

First up were Kid Gloves, a five piece from York. Their first two songs, musically, had a hint of something that I could only pin down to Black Sabbath, but I have no idea why. Third was a King’s of Leon cover and was the best song of the set. Unfortunately, their own songs consisted of repetitive lyrics which were, for the most part, shouted rather than sung. Fairly average, I’m afraid.

Next on stage – Red Chevrons, again from York and, again, with five members. They had a generic guitar sound and the lead singer was about as sullen as they come. Personally, I thought the drums were too loud and drowned out the vocals, but the set did get better as it went on, ending on a high note with the final song which had one of those epic live feels to it.

Continuing the York theme, although this time with only four members, were Manifesto. Now this lot were a vast improvement, with much more passion in their performance. By the time their set had started, we had moved slightly closer to the stage, in part due to the group who were gradually pushing us further back from our normal position next to the bar. In our new location, I experienced that pleasant feeling where the vibrations from the drums pluck at your clothes and ping off the edges of your body, rather than pounding you in the chest. Adam’s vocals reminded me of something which I eventually decided was a beefed-up Robert Smith of The Cure, which sounded ridiculous when I said it out loud. However, a quick look at Manifesto’s MySpace page shows that they allegedly sound like The Cure. I must be getting better at recognising influences… I’d certainly be happy to see these guys again.

Finally, the band we were there to see. The Mexicolas‘ debut album, “X” got a rave review from fellow blogger and Fibbers regular, Roj, a few weeks ago and it was on the basis of this that I bought a ticket to see them. I wasn’t disappointed. This three-piece from Birmingham have a big, loud sound (bigger than any of tonight’s other bands) and there is plenty of power-stanced guitar playing in their live set and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody play bass as aggressively as Del Carter. Much more professional than tonight’s other acts, the Mexicolas were a joy to watch. Unfortunately their forty-five minute set was over way too quickly, ending with an extended instrumental, including a section of blues guitars, showing how versatile these guys could be. (Is there any truth in the saying that all guitar players want to play the blues…?)

On the back of that performance, I shelled out hard cash for a copy of the album and, while it has a much cleaner sound than the live performance, it is as good as the review said. As far as I can remember, all the live songs but one come from the album, which also includes a couple of much quieter tracks. There’s nothing quite like this album anywhere else in my collection and, except for two tracks whose introductions reminded me of Sweet Child of Mine (Guns ‘n’ Roses) and Imagine (John Lennon), there’s nothing I can pin down as influences. Favourite tracks are We All Fall Down and the wonderfully atmospheric Skin Tight, but the whole album is excellent. Hopefully they won’t have been put off by the very small, but appreciative, crowd and will return to York soon.

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About Ian

Regular gig-goer in York, both to see local and touring bands. Huge music fan, with more CDs than my wife thinks any one person should own. I also collect American comics, read a lot of SF and fantasy and am a season-ticket holder at Leeds United.
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