This was the sixth straight night of gigs for me which was a first and I have to say I was glad it was my local venue and so there was no late night travelling to get home!

The evening's entertainment is what this venue does best-two up and coming national bands unheard of in this area supported by one of the top local bands to help draw the crowd.

In this latter job tonight were local heroes and all round trashy guys Psirens. If you could cross 80's pop with Amen and then add good songs you could get somewhere close to what these blokes sound like. Tonight they were playing without a drummer falling back on a small grey box to provide all the drums for this evening which it did very well. Some may cruelly say better than a real person but not I! This was nearly all destroyed by a drunken member of the audience pressing random buttons on the drum machine nearly wiping the whole thing but he seemed to be a friend of the band and so it was smiles and continued drinking all round. These guys are criminally good for their young age. Their songs have real and extremely good melodies which combined with the noisier aspect of their music allows them to sit in that odd gap between rock and pop which in my eyes is unfortunately usually inhabited by Nickelback and Busted. If it was left up to me they would go all the way, becoming multi-platinum rock stars with supermodel wives, LA mansions, a million dollars to produce album and a cocaine habit to match, but in these days of collapsing labels and an ever decreasing music market who can be sure.

Nurse, could I have the next patient please ?

And so on to Mower. From reading the info on the flyer about these guys I was expecting an angular three piece rock outfit but this band fit that strangely eccentric British category which I find for want of a better word, weird. I can’t work out the exact reason why I think this, but I think its something to do with the word “art” with which you can play music which is discordant, change time signature quickly or just sound like noise, but still can be classed as being good because it is art. I have never understood this notion and I don’t think I ever will but there seemed to be enough audience members which did and so it must be pressing some buttons. The guitarist did have one of the coolest looking guitars I have ever seen though and this definitely won back a few brownie points for me.

Last up tonight were the Futureheads which as soon as I found out they were Geordies got an amazing headstart with me. I love Geordies! As I got over my initial Geordie loving spree I realised that this band filled the same place as the previous band in the eccentric British music stakes but did it with a bit more class. I immediately started drawing similarities with the Jam, the Clash, the Housemartins, Ant and Dec (ok maybe not the last two but I couldn’t think of any singing Geordies apart from Sting.) Their songs were complimented with four part harmonies and looks that prove that you don’t have to be a model to be in a band. Apart from a small misunderstanding with an audience member with his fingers in his ears right at the front their set went without a hitch with lots of banter between band and audience and much merriment all round! All in all I liked this band. They wrapped me up in a warm blanket of musical loveliness which filled the venue making it one of the most community spirited gigs I have ever been to and for that they deserve a Blue Peter badge at least.

The photographs of the Futureheads that accompany this article were taken by Matthew Williams

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Commenting On: West End Centre, Aldershot, 3/4/2004 - Futureheads, Mower and Psirens

ie London, England

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