Akira (defunct)Edit this event
The aerial view of the main room is expectant - but it's that lax expectancy projected by a handful of friends hovering in an expanse of empty floor. It's that familiar air of seeing two bands with absolutely nothing in common play together, the two sets of fans mutually excluding and being happy that way, thanks all the same. They've each brought their own atmospheres with them.
Akira, then... it's only fair to give them a chance to surpass their light smattering of audience; they got the gig, after all. Unfortunately, from the sounds of things, they got it by being a loose approximation of everything "the kids" (the ones in upper school) are supposed to like. The strained vocals. The curtains of guitar. The trainers, the drab thrown-on comfortwear... but the real problem with Akira is that they don't demand attention even at this blistering volume. They've hidden behind their music, and their music is strikingly derivative - linkinparking away, arousing a strong urge to hand the singer a Strepsil and pack him off home to bed.
One can only wonder what they and their mates think of David Devant and His Spirit Wife ("hello, we're The Wife...") - certainly by the point, at the end of the set, when the little Casio beat kicks in and the entire front half of the audience begins to chant "Auntie Mabel" as one.
But what makes them so much more watchable? Well, there's the contrast. Devant understand the fact that your louds work a lot better if you throw in the odd soft as well - an unassuming guitar intro borrowed by osmosis from Pulp's "Little Girl With Blue Eyes", say, that leaves you not really expecting another screwed-up-faced, jaunty chorus to arrive but quite surprised and pleased when it does. Which they do with shiny, unembarrassed regularity, up-tempo ditties with irresolute narratives. And, as well, there's the acknowledgement that the audience exist - the feeling that they are, in fact, included in the joke, in the wry onstage grins when things go wrong. (And they do, and they are.)
Still, wandering out, you get the feeling they're stranded in a context that really doesn't suit them; sandwiched into a bizarrely mixed bill, playing at just being three boys who can really sing, who can write tunes, who pull faces. Their faithful will follow them everywhere, rawk support regardless, but is that the point?