Wednesday, 17 February 2010

580 YOU ARE HERE, Ipanema, Swindon Victoria, Thursday 21 November 2002

The threat of rain drove us to drive up the hill to this one! Lazy, but there you go. Met Tim and Mark before popping downstairs to catch Ipanema, Wiz from Mega City Four's new band. Despite being the wrong side of 40 these days, and with the salad days of MC4's Top 40 hits some years behind him, Wiz nevertheless still retains an admirable enthusiasm for playing rock'n'roll music, evidenced by his willingness to haul ass to Swindon to support a local band in front of half a dozen people on a school night! Ipanema retained the usual Wiz formula of amphetamine-fast rock with helium-fuelled vocals, but like MC4 before them, failed to make a lasting impression on me.

You Are Here were next up at 10.15. This was the first time I'd seen YAH since former drummer Al's departure from the drum stool, and the subsequent recruitment of a new drummer and bassist as "musicians" rather than mates. This seems to have coincided with a shift in attitude from both Tim and Mark, as the new numbers debuted tonight showed an increased maturity and confidence, whilst retaining YAH's obvious 90's US alt-rock influences. Also, this was reflected in the performance; "Ordinary Day" was great, and the brooding "Far Cry" never sounded better. Mark is transforming into a confident sounding frontman, and his vocal performance - particularly on Posies cover "I May Hate You Sometimes" - has benefited.

However, there's a ways to go; on occasions the new bassist sounded understated to the point of invisibility, and conversely Mr. Drummer threatened to take over the show, turning "Hard To Stop" into a drum exhibition, over-complicating and suffocating the song in the process. Very much a "work in progress", this new You Are Here need more gigs to bed in the new line-up and find their identity. Good luck to them!

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