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All Else Failed - Pop, London, 15/7/2005

  by Olga Sladeckova

published: 16 / 7 / 2003

All Else Failed - Pop, London, 15/7/2005


At Pop, London's latest designer venue,Olga Sladeckova watches new grunge band, All Else Failed, who are about to release their first single, perform a vigorous set

It's only Tuesday night, so Monday's depression from going back to work is still sticking around in the air. For that reason alone I found the thought of going to see a band called 'All Else Failed' quite entertaining, even though I had never heard their music before. Pop in Soho is a new designer venue which I have to admit I personally don't find that attractive. As my friend and I come down the road towards Pop's entrance, a black bloke smartly dressed in a suit and a middle aged lady, wearing a modest dress exposing her long legs, welcome us warmly. We then walk down the stairs and enter the venue's orange and white main room which could be described as something between a bar, a waiting room and a lounge. A wall in front of us is decorated by wallpaper with red poppies which gives the impression you have just entered the world of the Wizard of Oz. We came just in time to catch the 2nd supporting band. They open with a Velvet Underground song so you feel like you are as good as at home. I have to admit such a move doesn't do much good to the rest of songs that follow. While we are waiting for All Else Failed to come on I spot a bold bloke dancing around to some "contemporary" music and chatting to people. Then he makes a few spins and, with a huge smile, is right at our table wondering if we like the music. An honest "No" is my reply which he accepts with shy disappointment, before spinning away through a door to our left. Only then does my friend tell me that the bloke is a DJ. Fortunately we get to talk to him later on when he agrees to play the Clash and Blondie for us. The 4 piece All Else Failed finally appear before us and their fans just before 11. People from around the hall gather in front of the stage and the band welcomes us with their first song 'Surprise me'. The song has actually just been recorded as the band's debut single which is due in September. The song is fast, exposing the band's fiery spirit. A few people down the front enthusiastically swing their heads with the rhythm. "Is the music too loud?" the Kurt Cobain look-alike singer, Nick, asks after the second song 'After Thought'. The fans look puzzled by such a question and the next thing they argue that it's actually not loud enough. It is 15 minutes into their set before the band opt for a calmer tune, 'All Along'. The fans, who are probably mostly students, carefully listen as if hypnotised by the band. Even the DJ has now stopped drifting round the room and swings to the rhythm of the song. By the time the band has come to end of their 40 minute set we know one thing. All Else Failed couldn't have chosen a better time to be. While tonight they are playing a small venue under the ground it wouldn't be a big surprise to see them selling out in 10 times bigger places. In other words they are exactly what today's main stream music scene cries out for. Thunderous applause sums it all up. I will definitely be interested to see how far this band going to go in the future, but I'm quite certain that they are due to take a few long steps. The Set List: Surprise me After Thought Another One All Along Swan Song Someone Else Insincere Why Are You Still Here ?

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All Else Failed - Pop, London, 15/7/2005

All Else Failed - Pop, London, 15/7/2005

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