Monday, 19 July 2010

431 DARK STAR, MY VITRIOL, Bristol Fleece, Thursday 9 March 2000

2000 has been a slow starter for gigs - we're in March and only 2 thus far! - but here's where it starts getting hectic! Rachel, Ady and I hit the Fleece at 8.15 after Ady had picked us up on time! My Vitriol joined us onstage at 8.45 and immediately rolled into a squalling feedback noise which dovetailed splendidly into a splendid Grant Hart/ Husker Du-like opener, "Always". The subsequent set featured raw angst, inspiration, excitement and some splendid hooks, all played at a fast and frantic pace. I'd decided to check them out thanks to a very positive NME "On Band" write-up by Stevie Chick, currently my favourite hack (following on from Steve Lamacq!), and I certainly wasn't disappointed. Reminding me a little of the likes of 5.30 and Annie Christian, as well as the Husker Du/ Foo Fighters school of tuneful fast Yank rock, this is a band with undoubted and great potential - and a band in a hurry. I'll be doing my best to catch up with My Vitriol again - very soon!

Typical of Dark Star that the first time I see them headline, they should be blown off by their support! However, since their splendid Reading Festival set last year, they've gained an army of black-clad fans (the place was packed), and took to the by-now fairy light-festooned stage at 9.45, kicking off proceedings with their solitary fast-and-punky number, the excellent "I Am The Sun". Displaying a developing tightness and professionalism to augment their undoubted excellent musicianship, the rest of the set was again dark and moody, with angular rhythms (courtesy of the drummer - the undisputed star of the show tonight) and boneshaking bass both features. "Graceadelica", almost reminiscent of early Bunnymen with its' sense of space and introverted atmosphere, was tossed away early as the former Levitation boys put on a performance which, whilst not scaling the heights of their Reading set and also sagging a little in the mid-section, was still dark, mysterious and mighty fine. Dark Stars indeed!

But I'm up for a further dosage of My Vitriol, as soon as possible please!

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