– Leeds Josephs Well

By Spud

Before I?m slapped with a fish by the internet at large, I?d like to quickly point out that the following review is basically a summation of my general experience at Out Of Spite IX rather than an in-depth and critical look at the bands on show ? I didn?t manage to see every band, unfortunately, but there you go.

The Mercury League were the first band I saw and, well, it really does bear repeating how unimaginably better these guys are live than on their CD. I?ve heard about their supposed discontent with the production of it, but to see them live is to see one of the country?s premier heavy punk rock outfits in their element.

I saw some other bands right about now. But, for the life of me, I can?t remember who, and for that I sincerely apologise. They were fair decent, though.

Send More Paramedics headlined the Friday. I?m completely unfamiliar with their new album, but the stuff on display sounded decent. Obviously everyone?s favourite ?Zombie Crew? was raucously received, and finished off a performance best described as solid, if no more than what you expect from them.

The Great St. Louis. These guys really impressed. In a very similar stylistic vein to The Leif Ericsson and The Dauntless Elite, their sound came across as catchy punk rock with Leatherface style vocals being sung by Eddie Guerrero; gratifyingly infectious, from where I?m standing.

Stopping off at the Well as part of their UK tour, The Rituals, over from Italy, seemed to win quite a few fans here with their great performance, and possibly as many again because of their frontman?s nervous yet hilariously brilliant interjections between songs including the all-time classic of ?Thank you, you make us do a sex-wee?. Fantastic.

The Dauntless Elite were every bit as good as the last time I saw them. Catchy punk rock combined with great delivery and a massive reputation amongst members of this crowd made for a great show.

Everyone had been raving about Leatherface?s appearance because of the simple fact that they?re a massive influence to loads of the bands at OOS. Unfortunately, I was fairly drunk by this point, but I think I remember hearing a flawless version of ?Sour Grapes?, which put a massive smile on my face.

The prospect of a live album by Milloy had been at the forefront of my mind for weeks. Serving up a huge set, with the usual highlights from More Than A Machine, the set had a surprisingly large number of older songs from their two EPs crammed into it. It?s pointless grading their performance, as they?re quite simply one of the most consistently brilliant bands in the UK punk scene. But tonight the room was absolutely full to the rafters with people screaming back every word: a truly memorable experience.

Serial sheep-botherer Jez Myers’ live count as half of Midget & Giant is up to 15 or 16 now. And he?s quick to remind you that his partner in crime, Laura Holley, (Giant) is a special talent. After seven songs and half an hour where my jaw gradually lowered, I?m inclined to agree with him. They play sullen, gut-wrenching acoustic music which is both moving and thoughtful enough to more than hold your attention. He plays down his own role in the partnership, but it?s hard not to when you?re playing alongside one of most unique young performers I?ve ever seen. Giant?s voice is absolutely something else; I arrived without any expectations, yet after 30 minutes I?d experienced something that I can only describe as hauntingly beautiful.

Keith Burton brought his Beef Curtain to Well to bring a more light-hearted approach to proceedings. Playing to the biggest crowd I?ve ever seen him entertain, the set is punctuated by highlights of loud laughter from almost every section of the audience and, bizarrely enough, by Jez Myers returning to the stage to perform possibly the strangest dance I?ve ever seen. Finishing with the usual anthem of ?Alcoholic Lesbian Vet?, this is as strong as ever.

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly! was a late addition to the line-up, and he treats the crowd to a selection of tracks from his forthcoming album whilst playing the tracks from his EP, such as ?Chronicles?? that put him on path he?s now on. He suffered in terms of the sound stakes, as his guitar was chronically underpowered when set against his live drummer, but the new songs sound absolutely massive and show a marked progression in terms of maturity, yet they seem to retain the trademark GCWCF sincerity.

I?ve never caught The Wireless Stores before. Since I returned home, though, I?ve been largely listening to ?The Speed of Sound? on loop. Bringing in influences from old American College Rock, a certain massive pop-rock band (which I can?t seem to place), their catchy sensibilities are balanced against vocals with such a warm tone and variety in style, you can?t help but warm to them. Thoroughly enjoyable.