|Zico Chain/Spiridion/Members of Me - Cardiff Barfly - 25th September 2009|
|Written by Johnny H|
|Sunday, 27 September 2009 17:14|
Friday night in Cardiff City centre, and the capital city of Wales is bustling with people looking to lose themselves amidst their doleful existences by drowning themselves in alcohol. Situated right in the middle of this meat market, the Barfly club was playing host to a diverse bill of bands covering most of the rock genres you know of right now and maybe one or two just being invented.
Having sadly missed Death Of An Icon due to the never-ending problems on the roads into Cardiff on Fridays, it was left to Essex boys (and I mean boys) Members of Me to get things moving on my Uber Rock weekend. Looking not unlike a million other teenage bands right now, what was an immediate surprise (other than the singer Mike being a dead ringer for Scum era Ray Winstone) was the reverence the guys unintentionally were paying to Eighties rock. Mixing razor sharp melody with riffs that tipped more than a nod to of all people MSG and Tarazara! They ended their set with possibly one of the most instantly memorable tracks I've heard this year in the shape of 'Second Chances' which left me thinking things could be very promising for these guys, especially if they have five or six other tracks this strong...Bloody Kids!
Newport's very own Spiridion meanwhile are another example of the fantastic Metal scene we have in South Wales right now (along with the likes of Fell On Black Days, A470 and Lifer etc), in fact I'm now often referring to this collective of bands as the (Cardiff) Bay Area Scene. Where Spiridion differ from the rest is that they go for the throat with deadly riffs that barely break a sweat, yet exude enough energy to flatten your brains.
Singer Ross possesses a truly unique hundred yard stare that would scare even the most psycho of psychos, and as a singer he has an ability to switch from guttural growl to sugar sweet emotion that allows his band mates to switch into adventurous time changes and soundscapes otherwise unachievable. There are small parts Deftones and Tool in what Spiridion do, but really this is their sound, and their 30 minutes on stage flew past in a circle pit whirlwind that saw the band leave with more than just a few new friends.
So, to headliners Zico Chain, a band I've long since admired for doing things their way and not really giving a fuck for being considered hip or fashionable. When their brand new Dave Eringa produced EP 'These Birds Will Kill Us All' arrived at Uber Rock HQ the previous day I was more than just curious to see how the band I once thought were called Zion Train (don't ask it's a long story) had evolved.
Kicking things off part acoustic and part musical eruption, Chris, Oli and Paul wasted no time in stamping their authority over proceedings with a collection of new tracks that seemingly takes the band sound into a whole new stratosphere, inhabited by ghostly melody and riffs set to demolish venues somewhere near you soon. Playing a set made up largely of new tracks is always a bold move for a band, but when you have tracks like the brooding 'The Mercury Gift' and the riotous 'Daycase' all you need do is drop a few old favourites like 'Junk' and 'Where Would You Rather Be' and the faithful will repay you in spades, and sure enough the pit during 'Rohypnol' was a pretty awesome sight to behold for any band. With a frantic pelt through 'Pretty Pictures' it was all over way too soon. But, that's what I've always loved about Zico Chain, understatement and musical integrity when it matters.
With the night outside unfolding into its usual 'scene from Casualty' debacle, it was left to a still buzzing birthday boy Chris Glithero to slink off into the darkness spitting water (rather than vomiting) howling at the moon 'Let's Have It!' and leaving Uber Rock thinking his band really should be fucking huge.