Monday, February 16, 2009

Koko Review

It seems a long time since The View shot to notoriety partly due to Pete Doherty who gave them a break after hearing a tape they gave him to listen to while Babyshambles were on tour in Dundee. Their debut album ‘Hats Off To The Buskers’, came shortly after that. Now with the recent release of their new album’ ‘Which Bitch’, which The NME seems to suggest, is a change of direction and even that not all their fans will like I look forward to seeing them for the first time as headliners. I have not heard much of the other two bands tonight just read their names in The NME.

The Gig
As I enter the venue there are not many people here but I am sure that will change. The Koko is a regular feature on English TV with it playing host to channel 4’s Album Chart Show. The place is nice and over the years the years has played host to acts as diverse as Charlie Chaplin to The Clash in its many guises during its 108 year history. I have been here a good few times and I like it. I don’t have long to wait for the first band.

Tommy Sparks. Tommy and his band come on stage to muted applause from the assembled crowed. With Tommy playing rhythm guitar supported by the usual lead guitarist, bass, drummer and keyboard player. They start with a quick catchy number which sounds great. Followed by a another nice one though the bass sounds a little to high to me on this one.

I am already interested to hear more from this band. Their third song sounds like the sort of track you would hear on a soundtrack to a movie like ‘American Pie’, maybe a slightly 80’s sound. The band are well coordinated and give good backing to the singer. Next comes one with a slow beginning but soon takes a more rocky direction which makes me think they are trying to sound like U2. The songs on the whole sound well constructed and quite satisfying.

The fifth one is called something like ‘Evening Hits, it has a kind of electric sounding intro. The song reminds a 70’s Happy Mondays. After that comes one that has strong Primal Scream sound at the start before heading off in a more Franz Ferdinand/ Ska direction. They finish with another one that kicks off with kind of a techno sound that becomes something that might be described as post modern glam rock. Nice set 7/10

Twisted Wheel are a three piece who hale from Manchester who are soon to embark on a tour with the Enemy.

After some frenetic activity on stage tonight’s main support band appear on stage.

They kick off with a punky Ska number. It reminds me somewhat of The Sex Pistols. The second song, ‘She’s A Weapon’, has more punk anger and is almost spat at the crowd. Sounds great. Their third follows the same vain with a hint of ‘The Las’ in the mix. ‘Let Them Have It On’ is the next one and reminds me a lot of tonight’s headliners. There is a more mellow sound on ‘Strife’, their next number after a heavy intro a definite Beatles influence here. The next one is a return to more punky stuff. Then comes a new one though I have to admit they are all new to me. The Singers voice reminds me of a young Rod Stewart from is time with The Faces. As a whole I think their sound is like a more rocky Oasis.

Second from Last comes a full on punk number with some great drumming. Finally they top the set off with a more tuneful number that reminds me quite a lot of Paul Weller. This is is full on balls out stuff these are definitely Ones To Watch. 8/10

The View. We have quite a long wait for tonight’s headliners to come on. As things heat up with anticipation the crowd can be heard to chant ‘The View Are On Fire’. When they do appear it’s already twenty-five to ten.

They kick straight into their set in vigorous fashion with ‘Glass Smash’ from their new album. It sounds fresh and exciting and that sets the tone for the show. By the third song ‘Wasted Little DJs’ the crowd is jumping hysterically. Then the band hit us with ‘The Don’ and the place explodes. As is the case with any band more familiar songs get the best response, that is not to say the new stuff does not go down well, it dose.

As the the band hit the crowed the band with another new song I get the feeling that this is not a gig for the faint hearted with bear another liquids flying all over the place some of which seem worryingly warm. The song reminds me of a punky Inspiral Carpets song.

One Off Pretender which comes next is dedicated to the police with tongue very much in cheek. It’s a Ska song with a hint of Happy Mondays and may represent something of a change of direction for the band. Now comes another fan favourite, ‘Skag Trendy’, which is electric and exciting. The band are going through their set at a blistering pace.

A couple more tracks sale by before the band perform an acoustic set which showcases their musical abilities well. ‘Face For The Radio’ and new song , ‘Realisation’ sound great stripped down.

They switch back to electric with ‘Jimmy’s Crazy Conspiracy’, and ‘Comin’ Down’. Then ‘Same Jeans’ manages to reignite the exhausted crowd crowd into new heights of frenzy.

The set eventually concludes with ‘Superstar Tradesman’ and new single ‘Shock Horror’, which is instantly likeable.

Its all over but not quite. There is one more twist when lead singer, Kyle Falconer does a fantastic cover of Oasis’s seminal classic ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’. We have come full circle. 9/10

After the lights come up and the gig is over I am very satisfied. All three bands are worth seeing in my book and i am sure I will see Twisted Wheel again but probably as headliners. The View are really worth the money with a load of very catchy songs to their credit they should get very big if they just keep up the good work and go their own way. The new album is good and is worthy of the first. As I leave I remember the downside of this venue as I queue fir about half an hour to get out…
Overall Verdict: Bands 9/10 (audience 9/10)

Review by Ian


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