Turn and Hundred ReasonsEdit this event
When it rains it pours. That was really evident stood beside a mix of goths, trendies and greenday kidz; waiting patiently and moist for the doors to open for tonight’s threesome.
First up, 100 REASONS, currently praised in just about every piece of mainstream music press, they have a lot to live up to. To be fair they have a few moments early on, where I can feel what I've been reading has been vaguely true. The majority of their set however, seems blatantly influenced by the Deftones, Rage Against the Machine and probably a few unknown arty-farty-noisy-lo-fi bands. On paper that does not sound too bad (esp. if you’re into that kinda thang). What I'm yet to mention is the combination of incoherent screaming from the frontman and the same quiet/v.loud formula for just about every song in their set, except the set closer. The last track sounded similar enough to KoRn ‘a.d.i.d.a.s.’ that there could be cause for legal concern - if, of course, the band get in a tip-top studio, wither a producer capable of making them sound good and then release it, ready for publishing intervention.
Personally, this “original” new group of “hopefuls” stereotypically and predictablly doing the Skater Metal demur, really didn’t impress me much. Maybe I totally missed the point and I should be content that 100 Reasons are a sub-standard version of Glassjaw or possibly a much lesser version of the amazing At the Drive-In. No really, I should of been happy about that, it's not like there are another 500 or so bands that sound like that releasing records at the moment. In all honesty, they sounds so similar to things that have gone before that their sound, in my ickle cynical ear, sounded incredibly uninspired (praps a little inspiration came from anger about something or other, except I couldn’t honestly tell you a single lyric - maybe blame the age-old support bands get the dodgy pa set-up thingy). What's the point of being in a band if you're going to do something that's been done before? Why not experiment a little, bend a few rules and at the same time make music that people wanna hear. If you ask me, anyone who likes 100 Reasons should go out and get some Incubus, Deftones 'Adrenaline' (as all da kidz are the big sellers), At the Drive-In, Twist's debut 'Magenta' and some Deus; if of course you haven't already got them!
Next up are TURN, a Dublin band I’ve personally been a fan of for nearly a year now. It wouldn’t be too hard to reiterate words written about Muse, about Turn because they are also: emotional, honest and they have an amazing way of sounding similar to a lot of other bands, though they sound like a snowball of greatness in the best way possible; a fresh, nearly indescribable way.
Tonight’s set consisted of their past four singles, each with their own charming plateful of poetic reflection entwined with instantly loveable riffs for the bouncing front five rows. Turn also threw in a few tracks from their new album including the incredible title-track ‘Antisocial’ which reminds me a little of the artery fiddler by The Longpigs 'On and On'.
It was crystal clear that I wasn’t the only person who’s had their world twisted by Turn – in the nicest possible way, obviously! Steam rose from the jumping crowd members. Smiles beamed from the three band members (one of whom, revealed he is the brother of one of Boyzone). The horizon holds big things for a band with this much talent. That is talent to write songs which make you think and make you move, as well as tunes to allow you to relax and reflect.
I remember a few years ago, standing bewildered around lunchtime'ish on the second stage of Reading. I was among a few handfuls of people, staring down what seemed like a barrel of a nuclear rocket launcher at an explosion of energy being fired in our direction. The same look was on peoples faces as I went to as many iDLEWiLD gigs as possible (around 9, including tonight – for anyone who cares). Some of those gigs were in support to huge acts like Ash and others on their own in teeny little venues. The general feeling after every gig was simple, ‘WOW!’ Strings of words could not describe what witnessing complete chaos on stage and being energised by the clever racket was like, especially, for me at 16/17 years, having just started fanzine. I'm pretty sure the same lack of sensible explanation could be said for just about every other smiling face filtering out of the venues back then.
Now of course, things have changed! As I looked around at the crowd tonight, it became apparent that iDLEWiLD are no longer a little band who support the bigger bands or tour the small venues. Their genius has now spread to, well, the lucky masses. It’s taken about 4 years coming but everyone who heard: one of their early 7”s or the mini album on Deceptive ‘Captain’ or saw or heard about any of the early shows, kinda knew it was gonna happen, it was just a matter of when. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing that more people are into idlewild, because the perspective of Roddy Woomble should be one that everyone can at least relate to or possibly comprehend and put thought into practice. Songs like tonight’s encore tracks, my three personal favourites: ‘Happy to be here tonight’, ‘I am a message’ and ‘You just have to be who you are’ contain profound trails of thought, designed or rather written, to make us think. It’s Roddy’s objective views of the world, like “The world is in my chaos dream, but I am not invited” and stop-fucking-conforming-fool lines like “You’re selling your soul; I am a message” plus the immortal, statement “You just have to be who you are!” which are thoughts which could effectively change some individuals, maybe the whole of society. The thought of opening peoples eyes and minds to reality is no different than the age old idea of punk and anarchy, because that is exactly what this is - AGAIN!
Sadly, although people jumped and sung along, word perfect, to the majority of tonights songs, I felt that all hope for the affect of Roddy’s thoughts are fading. I heard a few ‘I don’t know this one - time for a pint’ and ‘what the fuck is he on about, do you know?’ remarks from those surrounding me. Maybe I was amongst the few people in the room who don’t seem to get it.
Ok, ok, I know in an ideal world people would think and people wouldn’t be taken for a ride by the rich and powerful (same things really!). Maybe if the words were as simple as dumbass Limp Bizkit lyrics like “everything happens for a reason,” would I be in a room where a large percentage of the people were there to jump about to the ones they know? It really makes you wonder whether the large groups people who mingled from the front to the back, where they stood cross-armed, looking bored; knew anything but the singles from Mtv and Radio 1. Maybe there are people who like iDLEWiLD mainly because they missed out on the everso cool Nirvana and iDLEWiLD are possibly the next best, cool new thing. Well, yeah, that is what the media are letting us believe. So who the hell am I to question why people like what they like? It’s entertainment. Everyone seem to leave smiling. Two very good things. A larger percentage of them got their early enough to discover Turn. Another good thing. But in the god old days iDLEWiLD would not of done the very restrained encore, get this: no teeth to guitar/bass strings, no falling off the stage drunk and no smashed drum kits. They would not of done long sections of singles just to please the punters. They definitely wouldn’t of dared unplugging their guitar and playing the acoustic ‘I’m happy to be here tonight’ (which was a good thing to see, finally!).
I guess the main question for me is: would it have been better if they played as entertainingly as they used to infront of ten people? Nope, I don’t think that for one second, because the band would probably have to be - like the rest of us - slaves to wage. Food Records wouldn’t be making money to invest in the next iDLEWiLD (whomever they might be). And I guess these people who came because it was a cool or the thing to do, didn’t save their £9 to see Britney or get yet another rubbish garage compilation or even another designer shirt.
Maybe I’m the one seeing the world as a place of chaos. Maybe I’m dreaming over ideally of being able to sit and talk to just about anyone about just about anything, without the fear of being labelled as ‘weird’ or ‘freaky’ purely for thinking. God forbid, thinking ‘differently’ and possibly even considering going against the grain.
I hope a day will come when the wonderful words of iDLEWiLD will shine as strong as their pogoable beats and infectious, parent-distressing guitar strumming. At the end of the day, iDLEWiLD have what it takes to make a difference to people mentally, as well as physically bruising us in the pit… It is a Wooden Idea, but I'm sure we can eventually build something from it and make the world a slightly better place. Storm the Bastille!!!! (or something like that)
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