My Awesome Compilation – Highbury Garage, London


*This show was at the Islington Bar Academy*

When the chance to see some of the best British talent play out at North London?s swankiest venue arose (don?t get me wrong though; it?s hardly the Ritz) I felt like I had an obligation to attend purely due to the great line up and reasonable entry fee. I missed the openers, IN FLIGHT PROGRAM, however, but joined the moderately sized crowd for?

?HITECH JET, who are I band I can?t really recommend enough lately for one reason or another. I?ll save what they actually sound like for an album review however and focus on their performance tonight. HTJ?s live show is filled with energy both musically and physically, even with a stand-in bassist (Nick from Short Warning) they rocked out in the usual consistently solid and entertaining style. Frontman, Brian, led the band through their set like some sort a warrior with battle cries inclusive yet remaining commanding and most of all convincing. The three-way vocal lines and barrage of distorted guitars provided ample cavalry as they hit the mark every time with a tank full of enthusiasm. If you get a chance to check this band out; do it. (8)

I haven?t seen FASTLANE play in ages, it was definitely before their album got released though and it pains me to say that I forgot just how amazing they are live. Vocalist, Ben, was telling me before their set that they?d only really managed 4 hours sleep a night on average throughout the tour but tonight FASTLANE were as fresh as a morning?s dew (or something). Their exuberant energy was warmly met by the crowd and more often that not returned resulting in banter flowing each way. Musically this band are very powerful and incredibly tight with tonight being no exception at all. Sticksman, Gary, was pretty much on fire throughout the entire set; I don?t think I?ve seen a more balls out performance from a drummer in a long time. I seriously doubt there?s a band doing the rounds who are consistently mind-blowing live as FASTLANE are. (9)

I?ve seen MY AWESOME COMPILATION a couple of times previously and the jury was still out before their set tonight and largely still is; there?s just something I can?t make my mind up on. MAC are certainly a band who impress me more when they rock, fortunately tonight?s set, comprising of a fair amount of new material, catered to my taste quite well but in more clichโ€šd moments like the verse to ?Wishing Well? I couldn?t help but cringe for the band momentarily appeared to lose their balls. ?Same as Always? sent the crowd wild and with good reason; it?s a great song which has become the band?s trademark so to speak. It was played early in the set and after that I just felt like there was nothing much left to look forward to. Don?t get me wrong, MAC are a really solid band and put on a good show but FASTLANE?s set was going to take something really special to top it and MAC just didn?t quite pull it out the bag tonight. (7)

What frustrates me the most is that if these bands were on a large American ‘scene’ label with a massive promotional budget this show would have pulled a crowd ten times as big. When will people realise we have brilliant home grown talent right under our noses?!