Gig Night 2012
@ Youth Action Centre Belfast 20/01/2012
featuring - VX, My Rebellion, Retired Flag, The Blips, Basic Translation & more....
(review & photos Caustic Pen)
Had my reservations about the size of the line up for this gig, 13 acts is far too many for any time restricted small venue show like this. It was clear to see from the start that all the acts were destined to be battling against the clock. I was right as each of them were given varying amounts of time in the spotlight, two nights would've made a lot more sense. But in the end all the acts made the most of whatever time they had been alloted by giving it 100%, and they all should be applauded as each and everyone of them did themselves proud. It takes guts to get up onstage and perform for an audience.
Minor moaning apart it was a charity fundraiser and there was a full house of around 200 + plus punters ,so a few quid should hopefully have found its way into the coffers of some very worthy causes.
And before I go any further with this review, I wasn't going to make the mistake again of giving every new act on this or any future multi band bill the little bit of much needed good publicity they need , as my own recent personal experience confirmed "sometimes its really not worth the hassle".Why ? because the less enlightened members of one particular new band I had previously reviewed proved themselves to be 'less than mature , naive and clueless' aswell as being driven by unfounded petty jealousy. And even though my review didn't slag them off in any way, they still couldn't take the mention as a positive nod in their bands direction , I had explained the situation to them but they still decided to take it forward one more step and whine and bitch about it in public while trying to discredit me and the superior performance of another band in the process .I thought the review was fair to every band involved in that show and was only based on their individual performances that day , plus in my opinion it was actually more than fair regarding that band. And what was this frankly embarrassing hissy fit about ?, it was all because they got two paragraphs of print less than that of another new band. So if you're included on a new band / solo bill and I inadvertently don't mention you at the time then 'sorry', but you can take comfort in the fact that the whingers who ruin the good vibe for everyone else will never be mentioned in any paragraphs of print by me ever again.
Thats enough of my ranting, so lets get back to the gig .
On my way in to the pretty impressive room I passed a person dressed in a full fox costume, turns out he was a representitive of the 'Belfast Animal Rights Campaign' and fair play to him he wore that faux fur suit all-night. The sweat was pissing out of the guy by the end of the evening, so let him know the heat stroke wasn't in vain and support this worthy cause.
Chloe Magee provided a very lightweight opening to tonights show ,and she was also the MC for the evening. She was so soft spoken I hadn't a clue what she was saying all night, probably due to my dodgey distortion ravaged oap hearing.
This mega bill covered a lot of genres, the Punk/ Rock/ Power Pop etc tribes were all represented in some form or the other. But there was way too many very similar acoustic solo acts included in this overetched line up. And yes! they were all very capable performers indeed , but they didn't get the individual attention they deserved because of the audience apathy caused by this booking over indulgence.
Basic Translation were a band who were thankfully prepared to give it some bollocks , they had a shakey start but they soon got into their stride. I really enjoyed their set, and they finally woke up the kids and got them jumping around.
There was more sweet relief from the endless serious indie warbling to come, namely "Retired Flag" who were my other favourite band of the night . They played a set of great old school punk sounding original tunes and their singer was a real character, he was pulling a variety of funny faces while singing throughout their 15 mins of fame. Really looking forward to seeing "Retired Flag" live again very soon, definitely another young band to watch out for in the future.
After a few more less abrasive acts, it seemed like someone had turned the electricity back on, and 'VX' had decided to go for it and tear the venue a new asshole.Yeah! The amps were now up to 11 and 'VX' were noisey, raw and a blur of activity, spending as much time on the dance floor getting in the faces of their fans as they did strutting their stuff on the stage. 'VX' were certainly not perfect , they threw caution to the wind while making their mistakes along the way .Their five man "look at us" adrenaline rush and who gives a fuck oblivious manner is what every teenager with attitude wants from their rockers and 'VX' delivered it with panache here tonight.
The change in 'VX' over the last couple of months has been amazing , gone are the nervous kids taking their first shakey steps within the local music scene , now replaced with a new found confident swagger and they're only going to get better through time, as will all of the young acts performing here tonight.
'VX' , Retired Flag & Basic Translation, now! that would be a triple header of new punk inspired rock n'roll talent well worth checking out at a venue near you soon!.
Caustic Pen 23/01/2012