Haven’t updated in a while so I thought I’d write a quick post whilst I have a half hour break from my current paint-a-thon (trying to keep myself productive while I’m looking for a new job).
A few days ago I traveled up to Nottingham with Amy to see Deftones live at Rock City. We could’ve gone to see them at Brixton Academy which may have been more convenient but I’m not a massive fan of that venue, and we thought that a trip to Nottingham would be a nice little getaway. Luckily we know of a very reasonable B&B thats about a 5 minute walk to the town centre and the venue itself.
I’ve been to Rock City once before with some friends for one of its club nights. It seemed a pretty decent place, with about 3-4 different, decent sized rooms all playing a variety of rock music genres. I didn’t actually venture into the room where gigs are held, so when we arrived we were pleased to find that despite being a large venue, you were never very far from the stage (unlike Brixton).
Not long after entering the hall and getting warm again after standing out in the freezing cold for about half an hour, the support band Coheed and Cambria, took the stage. I’m not too familiar with these guys, the most experience I’ve had with them is playing, and thoroughly enjoying, one of their tracks on one of the Rock Band games. Other than that I heard many good things about them. I was also shocked when I first saw one of their music videos while in the Hard Rock Cafe, Toronto. I couldn’t believe that voice came out of that guy! If you want this same experience of surprise listen to a couple of their tracks then do an image search for them!
Well I must say they did a fantastic job of warming up the crowd. They manage to muster an epic rock sound without coming over too cheesy which gets a thumbs up in my book. Until the singer/guitarist, Claudio Sanchez, tames his hair halfway through the performance, the microphone just disappears into his massive mop and his voice comes blistering out of the speakers. Later on, he plays the guitar behind his head and also with his teeth! (Not at the same time mind, his not a mutant!) I watch the bass player, Michael Todd, for a while and I’m amazed at how someones hands can move with such efficiency and speed. I can only dream of such dizzying heights of talent. The whole set is pleasingly rocking and melodic and I will be checking out more of their output in time.
I said that the crowd were warmed up by Coheed and Cambria, but to be honest they didn’t really need warming up. Deftones have been going for a good few years now, I myself being a fan for at least 10 years and the frontman, Chino Moreno, is pretty much a cult icon in the rock scene. The band thunder onto stage opening with one of the tracks, Rocket Skates, off their new album. The crowd goes nuts, and for the first time in years I head into the mosh pit! What a feeling. The last time I’ve done anything like this must’ve been 4-5 years ago, and the whole gig has this strange time travelling effect on me. I feel like I’m back in the clubs I used to frequent years ago, such a glorious sense of nostalgia. I also remember that a mixture of singing along with the band and being in the mosh pit takes it out of you big time!. I’ll have to shape up if I’m to be doing much more of this in the future.
When Amy had first bought the tickets I was excited but at the same time apprehensive. You see, I have seen videos of Chino from other gigs when he may have been a little worse for ware and not singing particularly well. I was worried that this would be the case on this night and my experience would be tainted. But I believe that these times are in his past now as he appeared on stage bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and belted out new songs and classics with finesse.
Deftones put on a great show and everyone in the audience was beaming with grins from ear to ear, probably experiencing similar elation to myself. In fact I talked to a few people after the gig and indeed they were. We were all happy to see one of the most personally influential bands from ours lives. Such a fantastic show and I’m so glad I didn’t miss out on it.
One other benefit of being in Nottingham is of course the fact that it is home to Games Workshop HQ so we took a quick detour over to Warhammer World, where I picked up some Forge World items I had ordered, and we ate lunch in Bugman’s Bar. Excellent.
Last night, we traveled into London, more specifically The Relentless Garage (formerly just known as The Garage), Highbury. Whilst waiting for the first band to take the stage, a fellow walked past me that looked familiar. It turned out to be PJ/Tigerears of Tigerears.org and twitter fame. It was most excellent to catch up and we chatted for a while. He assured me the first band, Part Chimp, were rather good. I remember hearing the name before but not if I had ever heard any of their music. PJ was not wrong however. Down-tuned guitars, heavy drum beats and excellent rhythms made for a very good first experience with this band. I will most definitely be seeking out more of their music. Breaking bass strings and parts of the drum kit just through playing also wins rock points. I like to visualise how a band makes me feel from time to time. I decided that Part Chimp made me feel I was in a winters forest, the trees long robbed of their leaves, patches of snow littering the ground. And I sat in a clearing, next to a squirrel and we are both watching a pine cone rot. This is a good thing.
After them, the headliners, Torche, took the stage. It was a very enjoyable set, but in a completely different way to why I enjoyed Deftones. The Deftones gig reminded me of why I’ve loved them so long, and the set was such a superb mix of classics and exciting new tracks. I’m pretty new to Torche but their music rumbles along in such a great manner, I found all I could do was close my eyes and lose myself in the beat, nodding along in time. Something similar happened when I saw one of my favourite bands Will Haven (oddly also at the Garage, maybe they pump something funny out with the dry ice). At points the bass was so intense I could feel my internal organs and even the insides of my nostrils vibrating.
November has been a really good month for gigs so far. Lets hope it continues as tomorrow night I will be watching 65DaysofStatic and on the 30th my band will be doing our second gig!
Take care, folks!