After what seems like an age some of the gang get together as Roj, Lynn and I meet up at an incredibly warm Fibbers for three bands that are, I think, new to us all. I’ve even managed to convince friend/work-colleague/music-fan Richard to use some of his new found freedom to come along for a taste of something different.
I had been warned in advance that openers Panic Procedure’s line-up for this evening was slightly different to that listed on the link, with Antony Capstick stepping in on rhythm guitar at relatively short notice (two weeks and one rehearsal to learn four songs…) He started off looking a bit nervous (as you would) but soon seemed to loosen up and the fact that he only played two thirds of the set lent itself nicely to a hint of humour during our chat afterwards – “I’ve never seen a guitarist sacked halfway through a set before.” Also, looking slightly nervous was Hayley, and that might have been the reason that her vocals came across a bit flat to start with, although they did improve as the set went on. Musically, the band aim to play “rock with killer riffs” and they just about hit that mark. I didn’t catch many of the titles but those I did get (or guess) were Never Give Up On You, the slower and more atmospheric Get There In The End, which included a very nice guitar solo from Nick and something with the word “Drowned” in the title. The set’s fifth song that started out with much sparser guitars (that’ll be because Antony had left the stage…) and was more bass heavy and they ended with something that sounded much heavier. Musically, Panic Procedure are very good. Unfortunately tonight, for me anyway, the vocals were a bit weak. It may be that they improve with time and, let’s face it, the sound system at Fibbers doesn’t always do vocalists any favours. The band have two more gigs coming up on the 5th of May at Stereo, York and the 7th of May at Selby’s Riverside.
Despite an on-stage look of a much grungier Haircut 100, primarily due to their high strung guitars, Scarborough’s The Tiny Eyes bill themselves as “punk rock indie”. They certainly had a very generic indie sound to them, but that didn’t stop us all being impressed by their energy, strong vocals and overall performance. Again, failing to introduce the first song doesn’t help me with a set round-up, but second song Truth And Lies was followed by the radically different Mad Hatter. He Can Be Nice featured more spoken lyrics (think Blur’s Parklife), while This City Can Be Ours By The End Of The Night was an out and out rocker. The set ended with a slower song, featuring some excellent backing vocals from bass-player Mat. The band were a bit disjointed between songs, often taking quite long breaks where they seemed to be discussing what song to play next and there was little interaction with the audience (apart from Carl telling us that he liked York and liked it even more after winning a netbook at McDonalds earlier in the day) but the music was excellent and very tight in all the songs. Definitely worth seeing again.
And so to the headliners. Jeniferever hail from Uppsala, Sweden, are touring their third album Silesia and have been around for fifteen years, something which seems hard to believe given Kristofer Jonson’s university-age appearance. Likened to Sigur Ros, who I like, and Appleseed Cast, who I’ve never heard of, I would suggest a more apt link would be The Engineers (although I suspect fewer people will have heard of them than of Sigur Ros) with their ambient, shoegazing rock building to stunning crescendos, and rounded off with soaring although somewhat unclear vocals. I’m afraid I took no notes as to the song titles, partly because I could hear most of them through Jonson’s almost sullen tone and partly because I just like to let this sort of music wash over me. This is a multi-instrument band in the fullest sense of the word, with three sets of keyboards and a variety of guitars on stage, there was only drummer Frederik Aspelin who stuck to one instrument, if a drum kit can be said to be one instrument. The rest moved between the various pieces of kit and were, for at least one song, the only band I have ever seen feature two bass players and the second one even helped out on drums for another song. Rich harmonies and dense wall-of-sound music made this one of the best performances I’ve seen this year and I’m looking forward to finding time to really listen to the new album.