This show was a something of a showcase of local talent, although headliners the Strange Death of Liberal England are tipped for big things this year. Despite two of the bands having ridiculously long names, a good crowd turned out and this helped to build one of the best atmospheres I have felt at a show for a very long time.

First on were Big Squirrel and, for just two men, boy, did they make a lot of noise. They in a sense reminded me of Million Dead, but obviously without the entire band. The way they came across to the audience and the fact that the sound was coming from an electro-acoustic guitar and a drumkit made me think of larger bands, but wonder why, if two guys could create something that screamed of such a full sound, they could create something so weak.

Next on stage were You're Smiling Now But We'll All Turn into Demons. Men in robes scare me a little, and the noise they pushed out gave equal backing to this thought. They were another riotous group. Prog elements were clearly on show here with the vocals working well within this, Comparisons I can draw are that of Caretaker and The Pluto, although they were slightly more raucous than the former. Perhaps because of this it may have carried over the drinking public's heads, but for those people who watched, an exciting show was performed.

Finally The Strange Death of Liberal England came on stage, and it was...eerie. The band stared transfixed at their instruments or the audience. Movements were restricted until midway through the set where they started to move, enjoying their creation, and holding up signs between songs that explained who they are and with 'Repent Repent' on them. The music itself had an ethereal element that twisted and workied its way through the songs. Flute, glockenspiel and bows on guitars created a wall of sound that felt like it could almost lull you to sleep before waking you up with a nightmare. Visibly and audibly they were great to watch. The only downside to the set (and the evening) was the consistently poor sound coming out of the PA (not the fault of the sound engineer, a technical hitch) which left some areas of all the bands low in the mix or ridiculously loud and sometimes meant that you weren't always able to get the full picture.

This show was one of many shows that South coast promoters Prettyboy Promotions puts on.

















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Commenting On: Registry, Portsmouth, 2/3/3006 - Strange Death of Liberal England








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