No Comply – Camden Underworld

By paul

Wow. Fucking wow. We’ve had some good bashes – some great bashes – but PB5 moved into whole new realms of amazingness. Maybe it was the London air, maybe it was because of the disappointment of PB4 – whatever it was the whole thing rocked. There aren’t enough superlatives to emphasise just how good it was. Simple fact is if you weren’t there you missed out. This was THE gig of the year. Hands down.

I could go on and on about events that took place before, during and after but we’ll leave that for the forums. This is the nitty gritty; the music, the stuff that we all came to see. And boy, did the boys (and girl) come up trumps. The Underworld has an amazing sound system I have to say, the sheer volume for a start, but the sound is so thick it makes me wonder why a lot of the northern venues aren’t comparable. STORIES AND COMETS got us off to a flying start with the Teeside trio (made up of members of My Favourite Co-Pilot and Caught In The Headlights) coming across like The Used fronted by Poison The Well. The new material is a lot more brash and ballsy than MFCP with John’s vocals barely stopping for breath as he shouts, screams and lyrically bludgeons his way through the rapidly-filling venue. ‘Bend Not Break’ is their best song as it maintains a melody and vocal line that begs attention. It’s still rough around the edges, but the signs are very promising – Phil is a very capable and energetic guitarist and his backing vocals add a warmth to the sound. It’s bigger, but not quite better than MFCP – but give them time. The signs are all there for SaC to make a big impact. (8)

I missed nearly all of RIGHT TURN CLYDE because of a problem with tickets and the fact I didn’t realise I could get free beer. But what I did see impressed me greatly. Their new EP is very, very impressive and I can’t wait to see them again, which I hope will be very soon. Sorry guys! (n/a)

Anyone who saw ROUTE 215 will be talking about this performance for months to come. I’m a big fan and could be biased, but a friend of mine who had never even heard of the band before tonight was blown away too. The best single set I have seen all year – now is their time. In the last 12 months 215 have become quite the live beast; their energy was always there but now as a settled foursome, and with a clutch of songs as good as any US pop-punk band can muster, it’s simply a matter of time before this lot go supernova. There are too many highlights to mention, new songs fit snugly into the set alongside the likes of ‘GTT’ and ‘Echo’, while ‘Steal Your Soul’ is a massive hit-in-waiting. Rod is on fire, despite a croaky voice, and with a twirling, pirouetting and exciteable twin guitar pairing alongside him, Route 215 look as good as they sound. ‘Ghost Rock’, however, is the icing on an already delicious cake as Kelly Kemp takes the stage to belt out the band’s duet. We may not see this again for quite some time and it didn’t disappoint. In 12 months time Route 215 are going to be huge and I can’t wait for it to happen. Just watch… (10)

STEEL RULES DIE had a lot to live up to but did it with ease. With a drummer stuck in transit and arriving a little late to scare us promoters, they upped the ante as we knew they could. After all, you don’t support AFI for nothing. Sadly I only saw three songs, although I could hear several more and I was gobsmacked at the energy, presence and…well, oomph for a better word, that SRD possess. Quite the slick beast, we will be hearing a hell of a lot more from this lot next year as the new stuff sounds just as aggressive as ‘Nostalgia For Beginners’. (n/a)

Speaking of high-profile supports, you also don’t support Lagwagon, Alkaline Trio and Mest, and bag a place on the Deconstruction main stage, without having a truckload of anthemic pop-punk songs. FLETCHER do singalong punk with consumate ease, and despite having had a drink (I saw you…:)) Lee and co blast out a firey set that got everyone going. I can’t remember what the band played (I’d had a drink as well!), although ‘Signal 109’ sticks out and I think they may have played ‘Idiot Me’ and ‘Wasted’ too, but whether they did or not the band have that appeal to suck you in and deliver those charming hooks like I eat fish suppers. Their ‘My Revenge’ album is just as tasty as well you know… (9)

The last night of the tour was always going to be a good one for NOCOMPLY – and boy, was it a good one! I don’t care what anyone says, NC are the best band in the country right now. There’s nobody better and when the album hits the streets next summer, the band will break big. Weeks and weeks of touring has really paid off and for 40 minutes the band have 350 people eating out of the palm of their hands. It’s amazing they only have one guitarist as Jon creates enough power and inventiveness to cover for at least two, while Oz and Matt twist, turn and tantalise the front row. Again there are too many highlights and words don’t do it justice – the new material is amazing, ‘Your Life…’ gets a massive singalong at the end and everything they did turned to gold. I even had the privilige of watching the band from the side of the stage with the other bands and you can see the passion and energy that really goes into a NoComply show. Not just that mind, you can also see the huge grins on each member’s face – and that for me summed up the whole mood of the bash. It was fun. Boy was it fun. (10)

The atmosphere was amazing, the best I’ve ever seen at a gig. There was such a community feel, despite the fact most people had never met each other. The bands rocked, there was cake and the alcohol flowed – out of some people as well as in the rest of us. December 6 was the pinnacle of our Punktastic career so far. If it gets any better or any bigger than this…wow.