Does It Offend You Yeah

support South Central + Lets Talk Tactics
author NB date 21/10/08 venue Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth, UK

Looking around at the diverse range of people who had showed up before this gig, I asked AP if he thought you could tell what people were like from the way they looked. His response: "well I can", and I like to think I can too. In that case the vocalist from LLT was great. I hated him on sight...

Lets Talk Tactics

Okay, that isn't true, but you can't be this arrogant until you are well known. Or at least you shouldn't be. If the audience at the gig isn't that lively I don't think that's any excuse for swaggering on stage and then not putting as much effort into your performance as you normally would. "All right Portsmouth, let's see what you've got!" he says. Maybe we will, but first let us see what you've got...

Although vocalist Aron did make some effort to move around, the expression on his face explained that he just couldn't be bothered for this placid crowd. Fortunately the rest of the band didn't give up so easily. The set kicked off with "It May Already Be Too Late" and apart from the vocals being a touch out of tune the sound was almost identical to that of their EP. From the synth heavy structure of the songs you get the impression that keyboardist Paul writes much of the music and I suspected he might be too preoccupied with the complex keyboard parts to be very lively. That wasn't the case. In fact it was Paul and Jon (guitar) who brought the show to life, with Jon falling over at one point. They kept the energy level high enough that the crowd finally gave the correct response to the amazing three part finale which fused "The Getaway" with the main melody from Pendulum's "Blood Sugar". Despite a poor initial reception the sound was almost perfect which resulted in a surprisingly good show for the band's first tour. If you haven't heard them yet, definitely check them out on MySpace.

South Central

Then South Central vibrated the room for a while. Maybe they were testing its structural integrity in case of seismic activity or something. They came on wearing identical black hoodies looking very gangsta' with their hoods up. The front man had the popular Roland AX7 Keytar and another guy on the front left of the stage spent most of his time modulating the frontman's keytar and mic (which involves simply turning knobs and looks ridiculous at best). It has to be said: this band is unorthodox.

So I like South Central's style but their music is best described as stereotypical dance and is therefore not really relevant to the interests of readers of this website. It felt like the band might as well not have been there because I associate that kind of music with what you'd hear a DJ playing at a club. Having said that, I can see what this band has to offer. I reckon it would be pretty cool if clubs did hire bands like this: whilst not that interesting to stand still and watch they are very easy to dance to.


Does it Offend You, Yeah?

I had actually never heard of this band before tonight (which is very surprising what with their really short, snappy name) but I'm told they are a fairly big deal. This probably explains why I was pleasantly surprised by their set. The crowd were obviously mainly here to see them so the atmosphere and stage presence was great despite the fact that out of four members Rob (drums) was shrouded in smoke and James (bass/vocals) was sitting on a box with a broken leg. He remarked that this injury was acquired on the job rather than on a skiing holiday like some other bands have suffered, coughing the word "Klaxons" under his breath. The first few songs were decidedly at the electro end of electro-rock. I found them very easy to listen to and it seemed that the rest of the audience felt the same. I was less pleased with the subsequent boring, indie clichés but apparently I was now in the minority with the crowd getting more exited if anything. Fortunately towards the end came some of their better known songs (at least by me) such as "Let's Make Out" and "We are Rockstars". So whilst this wasn't my genre of choice I ended up enjoying the set much more than I had expected, but still not enough to want to go and see them again.


Photos courtesy of Andy Donohoe

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