12 April 2013

Three Local Bands at the Fighting Cocks

I really like to see local bands play locally and so I was not going to miss the opportunity to see three of them at the Fighting Cocks.

Even better this was a fund-raising gig in aid of a campaign to protect the NHS which needs protecting from this pernicious government.

Scud Penguin were the organisers and the headline act.

I had only seen them once before and that was for only part of their set, though I had also seen the lead guitarist in his previous band, Random Acts of Blindness.

One of the reasons that band split was over whether to concentrate on covers or their own material and Scud Penguin play all their own stuff.

They have a classic power-trio line-up and play some classic power riffs though this is not all that they do and they are not heavy in the way that, say, Cream were heavy. They are also often funky, and often in the same song. These mood changes are a distinctive feature of their songs which, on a first listen, sounded just a little to similar for comfort.

Scud Penguin impressed by closing with two brand-new songs that were both delivered with the same casual professionalism as the rest of their set. These are really good musicians playing accessible rock made all the more interesting by being their own songs.

I will see them again.

Nutloaf I had seen before.

They play just covers and, as with any covers band, what I think of them tends to come down to whether I like the original songs or not. That is especially true if, as Nutloaf do, the band keeps fairly close to the originals.

Hence my mixed feelings about Nutloaf.

I was not stirred by some of their material, particularly anything vaguely redolent of 80's Hair Rock. Things like Whitesnake's Fool for Your Loving.

The two songs that really lifted me where The Osmonds' Crazy Horses and Python Lee Jackson's In a Broken Dream. Familiarity breeds contentment.

Nutloaf seem to be the most active of these bands locally so I am sure to see them again before too long.

Unclaimed Item in the Baggage Area opened the show.

They were completely new to me and were a very pleasant surprise. They were loud, raw and guttural. It was like a scream of anger set to music, in a good way.

For a young band their choice of music was surprising, not that I recognised much of it through the brash arrangements and coarse vocals. I did catch Iggy Pop's I Want to be Your Dog from 1969.

I most certainly recognised Hawkwind's Hassan-i Sabbah, from the 1977 album Quark, Strangeness And Charm, which was my highlight from their too-brief set. The energy and noise were infectious and almost got me dancing.

Unclaimed Item in the Baggage Area is a band that I really must see again. They opened the show and the stole it with a raucous riot of sound. Wonderful.

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