Six By Seven
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My first time was a very confusing noisy and somewhat painfully unnerving experience. It was at Reading 1998 in a tent. Ever since I’ve felt dirtied yet strangely compelled for more and more.
Tonight is quite a few years on from then and four guys who look as if they’d break my face if I don’t buy a mobile phone off them walk onto the stage. Clad in black, some in T-shirts, and others in rockstars-defying-the-heat-by-looking-cool inside black cow-skin. They are Six by Seven with a guitarist less and but ’So Close’ their recent single enters my ear chased by current single ’I.O.U.<3’ hits me with it’s huge digital strings, re-moulded tubular bells, thrashing beneath the surface riffs, mock-hip-hop drums and hundreds of helicopters flying over head bassline. From the very moment the words “you were the atom at the start of life” fall from the mouth of Chris Olley it’s clear they’re back and as tenderly angry as ever. Maybe not the kind of rage you’d expect but pure emotion that rolls around like men fighting in the streets for the love of an unimpressed women. A few good old ear-smatterings of the complex less-accessible early stuff follow and said women walks past, seducing me with her looks perfect enough to steam out the lyric “they painted the sky in blue cus you asked them to”.
’Another Love Song’ then reminds the crowd why we all love this band. And love is fair because they’re a band that effortlessly sum up the human condition whilst using music to tap on untouched reflexes that allow you to feel music again. The sound of satan’s drum’n’bass, breaking beats upon discord begins to pour louder and louder into the ears of the 200 or so gathered here to witness this special, secret’ish gig in one of London’s premiere ‘pub’ venues.
Treats from the forthcoming album like the rather now sounding spiky ‘Flypaper for Freaks’ and the track I hope is the next single, ‘American Beer’ all get people going. Mr.Olley does ask why certain members of the crowd know all the words already, “mp3s on the internet!” is the reply and onwards they continue to touch everyone with their post-violated, pre-stadium-sized jagged rock until the last blast to numb our ears rings out with the albums title track ’The Way I Feel Today’.
What more is there to say apart from Chris Olley is about to become a diplomat for genius at the forefront of some serious cultural change. The contrast from grand all out epic greatness through to the simple touching grace. Contrast them with the limp love drool or uncontrolled anger around at the moment makes them a very very special band - but everyone here tonight knew that already!
One of the most moving gigs of my life ends and I almost feel as if it was the first time all over again.
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