Tuesday, 16 February 2010

590 CAVE IN, THE DAMN PERSONALS, This Is Prologue, Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms, Wednesday 7 May 2003

...and here we are, back on the South Coast for the second time in 4 days. This time, an intriguing gig for Cave In, a Boston band packed with potential, was doubled with the Damn Personals, friends of The Gravel Pit and victims of an unfortunate gig clash in Boston last June, being added to the bill. So once again we motored down and were waiting outside for doors at 8!

Virtually the first person we bumped into in the lobby was a mop-topped character sporting a Seafood t-shirt, which turned out to be DP's bassist Jimmy Jax! We instantly struck up a rapport with him, as again the Gravel Pit tattoo gained some attention! We also met and chilled with vocalist Ken and drummer Mike, and heard the tragic news that The Sheila Divine had split up! Aargh! in fact, big Jim Gilbert nearly accepted the DP's invite to accompany them on this tour as manager/ merch man. Now, just how freaky would that have been?

Popped into the bar with Rach, and suffered the horribly bassy shouty nu-metal stylings of openers This Is Prologue. Not quite as appalling as Winnebago Deal, but really not far off! We then took up our usual (ha!) position at the front, stage right, for the Damn Personals' first ever UK gig. They introduced themselves as hailing from Boston, Massachusetts (just as I'd predicted beforehand!) and burst out of the blocks like prize greyhounds, with opener "Better Living". On record, the DPs brand of rock veers closely to the jagged Who/Stones influenced primal variety, but "live" their numbers really take flight, and assume an identity and purpose of their own. "Better" was easily a quantum leap better (groan) than the CD version, and next number "Fucking In NYC" was raw, aching rock at its freshest and most bloody. The Rumble judge who had to choose between this lot and The Gentlemen sure had a hard job!

Visually too, the Damn Personals are a treat; a highly kinetic band with barely restrained energy and enthusiasm bursting from every riff. This was particularly true of guitarist Anthony, who moved onstage as if he had a snake down his back! Overall, the Damn Personals were damn superb, and the set simply flew by.

Chatted and congratulated again afterwards with Jim, and got free t-shirts from the merch guy! Cool! We then popped back in for headliners Cave In, on at 10.20. They have a Boston reputation for being "proggy", a term which for me, in describing modern bands, really doesn't mean much anymore. However for me, new CD "Antenna" has shades of the pissed-off powerpop of the Posies' "Amazing Disgrace". They certainly left the power full on tonight, as from the outset their set was potent, powerful and strident. Another example that you don't need to scream incoherently to emote, Cave In were a perfect example of dramatic hard rock perfectly restrained and balanced. A pregnant pause during single "Anchor" really appealed to me, although Rach could have done without the squalling white noise of the subsequent number. Overall, though, they also left a very favourable impression.

And we left pretty much straight afterwards! Quick goodbyes with the DPs, as Rach was knackered, and we hammered home in 1 1/4 hours. Wow!

No comments:

Post a Comment