I guess not many big tours wind their way through Yeovil. The chaotic scenes outside the Westland Leisure Complex were amusing to say the least. Endless streams of dedicated parents dropping off their wannabe rebel offspring right outside the main doors, only to be told they need to join the back of the queue a mile down the road. All bedecked in the finest rock chick chic New Look has to offer, they head off back from whence they came to join their fellow fashion victims at the back of the line. The local residents too are getting restless, some going as far as daring to venture out of their front doors to complain about the ever growing number of ruffians queuing calmly and politely along the pavements of Yeovil. God knows what would happen if the impending Big Four tour decided to stop off for a show in Yeovil, but it would be funny as fuck to find out.
Inside the venue, we're ushered into the carpeted ballroom with central wooden dancefloor that will serve as the place of baptism by fire for so many a young rock fan tonight. Black Sabbath's 'Volume 4' is chugging its way out of the P.A. but it would seem I'm one of only a few people who actually recognise what it is. Gone are the days of respectfully nodding along to one of the classic metal albums that shaped our world while discussing the finer points of Geezer Butler's moustache. Now it would seem, it's customary for one and one's colleagues on a rockin' night out to discuss just what Katie's done now while constantly updating their Twittering as to how close to the stage they are and who has the most gorgeous shoes (and that's just the boys). Gone too, it would seem, are the legions of differing t-shirts you used to get, each divulging the wearer's most loved bands and tours of duty, worn proudly to show the stripes you'd earned while serving in the mosh pits of yesteryear. That once loved uniform of defiance now a fading memory replaced by bland high street clothing for the masses recreated in an authentic rock style (snigger), neon bangles and glo-sticks...ahh, what's the world coming too?
The first band to swim out onto Yeovil's underused stage is Sharks. Towering frontman James Mattock looks somewhat like the bastard son of James Dean Bradfield and Morrissey and commands his place on stage with gusto as his school of fellow Sharks swirl around in frenetic bursts. The only negative thing I have to say is how young bands look these days, bassist Chris O'Reilly is still wearing his school jumper for fuck's sake! Still, they deliver a solid set of indie edged punk and, clearly carrying a major influence from The Clash, they're a band who are on an upward curve and one I wouldn't mind checking out again in the future. Their debut single 'Common Grounds' is out now on Atticus Black Records and is available from their website, iTunes and, of course, the live shows - check it out.
Although everyone around me seems to be losing their heads in some kind of mass orgasm inducing experiment I myself find the Kids In Glass Houses performance to be quite dull and repetitive. Add to that the fact they seem to be playing at a volume which could easily be out shone by a child's fart, their time onstage at least allows me the chance to get a quick nap in before the headliners. 'Easy Tiger' and recent single 'Youngblood (Let It Out)' were among the better of the instantly forgettable tunes aired and they all received a rapturous response from the assembled throng but other than that I can't remember that much about it. Bland to say the least. Not for me at all.
Amidst the smoke, strobes and neon lights former Beat Union man Luke Johnson sits atop the Spinal Tap-like drum stool of Lostprophets, pounding out the intro to the industrial tinged 'If It Wasn't For Hate, We'd Be Dead By Now'. Ian Reznor, sorry, Watkins, all trenchcoat and hairspray stands centre stage. Vice like grip on his mic, power sliding his way into an evening steeped with some of the most personal and revealing lyrics he's yet put to paper. Effortlessly gliding into 'It's Not The End Of The World, But I Can See It From Here' they're slowly winding up the tension in the sprung floorboards before the early surprise outing of 'Burn Burn' ignites the floor into a full-on Emo inferno. Jamie Oliver's synthesized contributions noticeably louder in the mix than on the previous occasions I've seen them, giving an increased, antagonistic, electro energy to old standards such as 'To Hell We Ride' and 'Start Something'.
New songs are aplenty too, but the stunning 'A Better Nothing' and 'Darkest Blue' are met with an almost entirely blank reaction from the majority of the crow, highlighting the sad fact that many of today's iTunes generation are only "bovered" with the hit single download button, seemingly uninterested in spending the time to sit through a full album of quality material from one of their supposed favourite bands. This is further highlighted by the fact that a mid set cover of The Prodigy's 'Omen' gets such a massive reaction, greater even than that afforded to the self penned songs from the band everyone here has actually paid to see...Strange!
But if it's hits they want, it's hits they get; 'Last Summer', 'Last Train Home', 'A Town Called Hypocrisy', 'Can't Catch Tomorrow' and the sublime 'Rooftops' are all played out. Yet it's the latest 7 inch offering of 'Where We Belong' that has struck a resounding chord or three with the populous. The ensuing singalong taking everyone, including the band, by surprise, prompting Ian to joke that after a poor first half everyone got stuck in and had turned it round in the second. "No one saw that coming".
Encore wise the obligatory 'Shinobi Vs Dragon Ninja' gets more feet in the air than Ashley Cole when Cheryl's back is turned, and sees plenty of limp tweenage bodies flying over the barrier like field mice being thrown up by a merciless combine harvester. Then finally, it's down to the opening haunting strains and dramatic climax of 'The Light That Shines Twice As Bright' to bring the night full circle back to its Nine Inch Nails styled begining.
Fuckin' class !!!