Studio Promo 2 (M-Club, 1-Jul-2009)

Despite the news of its impending demolition (or not), the M-Club has recently introduced a new weekly event, Studio Promo; for the bargain price of £1 it offers three hours of entertainment spread across four bands, which is good value by anyone’s money.  Yesterday was the second installment, and for a Wednesday the turnout was pretty respectable; at a guess there were 40-50 punters, well below the numbers needed to fill the M-Club but enough to stop it feeling empty, and as word spreads I imagine the numbers will rise. What else is there to do on Wednesday nights, especially for this price?

Anyway, the bands. I put it down to the heat cooking my brain but I have no idea which band was which out of the four listed — Suckerpunch; Talk is Cheap; Hudson; and I, Said the Spy — and I swear when the second act announced themselves it didn’t sound like any of those, but I may be going deaf in my old age.  No matter, I’ll just tackle them in order of appearance and hope that the pictures (which I’ll be uploading later — my internet connection is being an ass again) give a clue!

The first band to hit the stage were a bit of a mess. Very enthusiastic, lots of running round on stage, but musically they need a lot more practice — there were times when it seemed each member was playing a different song at a different tempo. If you’ve ever seen Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, picture the closing scene in the garage and you’re close to getting the effect! Still, I don’t want to discourage them and there was a seed of something worthwhile beneath the chaos, but more rehearsing would be a good idea before they try playing in front of an audience again.

The second band’s pop-punk stylings were a definite step up, although they made me feel positively ancient — none of them could have been much over 15 years old! They started with a few original tracks that were well crafted and polished, and closed with a handful of accomplished covers; despite their relative youth and inexperience they had pretty good stage presence and engaged well with the crowd, so if they can come up with a bit more of their own material expect to see more of them!

Following the same theme, the next band were again notably more polished then their predecessors and have obviously been at it a bit longer; they had the same blend of original material and covers as number 2 (in fact they did one of the same covers), but the combination of more on-stage experience and a greater number of members gave them a definite edge; a slightly harder sound than number 2, but still slotting into the pop-punk box, the crowd let rip and the feedback between audience and band made for a great performance.

The last band were predictably the best of the bunch — they didn’t quite have the presence of number three, but it was a close run thing and they edged ahead by virtue of their technical accomplishment.  Riding atop a layer of samples and other electronic backing, their music had a textural quality and complexity that went beyond the standard "popular beat combo" format yet maintained a danceable groove — think late-era Pop Will Eat Itself — and it was a shame when it finally came to an end.

Overall it was a good night and for a quid you’d be hard pressed to find a better night out, so here’s hoping next week’s effort keeps it up!


1 Response to “Studio Promo 2 (M-Club, 1-Jul-2009)”

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