Capdown – London Shepherds Bush Empire

By paul

Capdown, with support from Howards Alias, The Steal & The JB Conspiracy
22nd February 2007
London ULU

Firstly, apologies must be given to the JB Conspiracy for not being able to cover them in this review. By the time you had finished playing, I had only just arrived at London’s ULU, due to it being the hardest venue to find EVER. Even with a map.

That said, upon my arrival at the Union, The Steal were just getting their set underway. Considering the band feature ex-Captain Everything drummer Rich Pheonix, I fully expected nothing short of excellence from the Kingston-based foursome. Sadly though, their nostalgic brand of hardcore wasn’t suited to tonight’s venue, and they only came across sounding muddled. Nevertheless, many-a-punk was skanking away on the dancefloor, and the crowd generally seemed to appreciate the performance.

By comparison, Howards Alias are on a completely different level. Mark the words of front man Matthew Reynolds; “Give it about two years, we’re going to be massive”. After tonight’s performance, there’s absolutely no reason why he shouldn’t be so self–assured. Their RX Bandits-esque brand of ska-punk just seems to WORK tonight, and there’s not a person in the building who would disagree. The band leave the stage all too early, but not before we get a lesson in how to dance like a sex-deprived money from the band’s lead vocalist.

So that just leaves us with Capdown. Touring in support of their critically-acclaimed third album, ‘Wind Up Toys’, their live act is flawless as always, and when you combine that with their massive popularity, the question begs to be asked, ‘why the hell aren’t they playing a better venue than this?’ Regardless, it’s a fun-packed hour and a half to follow, with vocalist Jake Sims-Fielding leading the crowd in many, many a singalong. Apparently incapable of standing still, he bounds back and forth on stage sometimes with saxophone in hand, sometimes without, yet all the while commanding his crowd like an army. Airing material from their new album, as well as throwing in many old favourites, notably ‘Ska Wars’, and ‘Pound for the Sound’, Milton Keynes’ finest are as fresh, accurate and downright brilliant as ever, and every bit deserving of the acclaim they’re currently receiving. Here’s to hoping 2007 is the year their appeal becomes more recognised.

Andy R