Six By Seven
Sheffield Leadmill, 23/11/2002
published: 21 /
Despite recently being dropped by Mantra Records, shortly after releasing their critically acclaimed third album, 'The Way I Feel Today', Six by Seven have lost none of their passion.. Denzil Watson catches them in intense form at the Sheffield Leadmill
It's been a funny old year for Nottingham noise merchants Six By Seven. A critically acclaimed third LP, some promising support slots with the Manic Street Preachers and then the end of their deal with Mantra Records, leaving them currently sans label. And so to a one-off date at Sheffield Leadmill on a Saturday night slot vacated by the earlier cancellation of a Teenage Fanclub gig that was supposed to be taking place.
It's a rather spare scene inside the Leadmill. In this day and age bands seem to be either hyped to the gills by the NME, or completely alienated. Sadly Six By Seven appear to be in the latter category. Not that this seems to bother them much as they saunter on stage to ELO's 'Mr Blue Sky, much to frontman Chris Olley's disgust - "I've never come on stage to ELO so you can turn that shit off" he deadpans. And so the barrage begins. 'Another Love Song' kick starts the Six By Seven noise machine - ironically the only song they play off their excellent second LP 'The Closer You Get'. The doom laden piano riff of 'So Close' echoes around the empty spaces of the Leadmill and the noise intensifies to even higher levels. Great - a bit of relief - the lilting 'I.O.U. Love' - the song that should, in an ideal world, have gone top ten when it was released earlier in the year purrs satisfyingly while 'America Beer' with its haunting mantra of "Nobody told me it would be like this" provides further relief. But not for much longer. Wack! 'European Me', 'Cafeteria Rats' and the amphetamine rush of 'Flypaper for Freaks' crash home like a barrage of freshly launched scud missiles, one after another.
Despite the sparse turnout, the band play with an intensity that you rarely witness. Bass player Paul Douglas and drummer Chris Davis power the band's sonic juggernaught along, while Olley lays great slabs of guitar on top, and keyboardist James Flower pores over his keyboards like Captain Kirk over the dashboards of the Starship Enterprise. Sadly at times tonight the subtlety of their noise is lost in the rather murky P.A. (strange considering the Sigur Ros influenced support band Cordleone had a clean mix). Equally curiously there's no new material on show as the band bows out with an intense version of old favourite 'Candlelight' and the title track from their current LP 'The Way I Feel Tonight'.
One is left wondering quite where the band go from here. Without a record deal and experiencing the kind of alienation that fuels their creativity, 2003 will be a crucial year for the Notts four-piece. Let's hope some one gives them a deal. The world would most definitely be a duller (and quieter) place without them.