Friday, 7 May 2010

506 CRASHLAND, Saint Rose, The Preservation Society, Oxford Bullingdon Arms, Thursday 7 June 2001

Well, the intervening 3 weeks between this and my last gig had been the most hectic and important of my life! I'd left my long-dead marriage, taking Shoemaker's advice that, "it's time to end this six year marriage," and moved in with gig companion and not-so secret lover Rachel. So it was time for a gig to try to return some normalcy to the proceedings! Rach had her parents' car as they were holidaying in Russia (!) so off we did trot, collecting a curious Ady along the way to see fine newcomers Thirteen:13. Or so we thought...

Gaining entrance to the pub attached to the venue, I fumbled with a haphazardly strewn flyer and proclaimed innocently, "hey, Crashland are playing here on 7th June!" I was then reminded that 7th June was in fact tonight, and we subsequently discovered Bristol's finest were late replacements for the otherwise-committed Thirteen:13. D'oh! Nevertheless, after much deliberation, we went in anyway, just as The Preservation Society took the back-room venue stage at 8.45. Jolly good they were too, proving that a band can be mellow without sounding sullen, and melancholy without ripping off Radiohead in the process. Some good, well constructed songs as well, without falling into the clichés of "earnest" songwriters such as, well, you know. With a very late 80's indie feel to their stuff (kind of Trashcan Sinatras), and a couple of surprisingly up-tempo numbers mixed in, they're possibly one to watch...

Saint Rose, next up, were quite the opposite; cliché ridden archetypal Radiohead miserablists, with a vocalist intent on purloining Brett Anderson's vocal quiver. Unfortunately another Sued-io-verve in the offing. Bah!

So, we'd stuck it out till 10.45 to see a band we'd not even turned up to see in the first place, and I for one was getting tired too (poor old get!). This demanded a good show - nay, a performance - and could these 4 Bristolian ruffians deliver? Well, after the first couple of numbers, it was evident the answer was a resounding "yes". Some good honest urgent spiky indie tunes, relatively low-ish on originality but high on energy, enthusiasm and verve (with a small "v"!), delivered with piles of spunk, indicating this lot might be able to fill a few sperm banks if this indie rock lark lucks out. Like an updated Baby Chaos albeit with better songs, Crashland thrashed guitars and warmed the old place up, making me want to hunt down their album and play it a time or two! Good stuff from the late replacements - next time I might show up to see them in their own right!

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