Sugarcult – London Camden Underworld

By paul

At almost every gig you are likely to bump into some kind of wanker. Whether it is one of those ‘I’m more punk than you’ kids, one of those people that goes to the gig just to be seen, some aggressive drunken fool etc etc…… This evening I manage to meet the wanker of the evening within the first 10 seconds of stepping through the entrance of the Mean Fiddler! Now as I understand it, security are there to make you feel safe as well as welcoming you to the venue. I never thought they were there to try and increase the size of their genitalia. I don’t mind getting my bag checked and I don’t mind having stuff taken off of me for good reason. However I do object to when the doorman searches my bag, finds one of those toy laser light things (Which I had actually forgotten I even had), plays around with it for 5 minutes shining it on his mates etc having a laugh and then tells me that I’ll have to leave it at the
door with no logical explanation as to why it couldn’t be taken into the venue other than ‘because I say so’. I also object to being threatened to not be let in to the venue for merely asking why I couldn’t take the light in my bag. ‘Look we can do this one of two ways… either you leave the light at the door and go in, or I give you the light back and you leave!’ It’s times like these when I wish I was built like a brick s*?t house and was a grand master of many martial arts! Unfortunately I am not so I parted with the light and went into the venue very annoyed!

Ok, now that rant is over I guess I should actually review the bands! The only support band that I saw that night was Motion City Soundtrack. A band called Span were on first but I missed them. I had heard many good things about Motion City Soundtrack and they started off really well. Very lively on stage and the crowd appeared well up for them. To be honest for the first few songs I was very impressed. They reminded me a lot of the more serious sounds of Reggie And The Full Effect mixed with Weezer and Koufax. The Keyboard player looked quite the mentalist on stage, with his dancing reminding me of the keyboardist from the EMF ‘Unbelievable’ video mixed with Tall Dave from Jerry-built. However, after a while they begun to get really boring! Actually, to be honest, after about 4 or 5 songs I just wanted to be somewhere else. Their song ‘Boombox Generation’ is quite possibly the worst song I have heard in along while. I don’t want to give these guys a bad review as they weren’t awful and some of their stuff was actually quite good. However, Motion City Soundtrack although with the right idea are second rate to bands such as Reggie, Get Up Kids and Koufax who in my opinion are at the forefront of keyboard rock today.

Next up were the headliners Sugarcult. I had listened to the album a few times before the gig and found it to be good guitar pop along with some slightly more interesting tracks and was interested in how they would come across live. The band actually irritated me before they had even finished the first song. You can’t tell a crowd of kids to jump and ‘go nuts’ to one of your songs and then play the song without showing any kind of movement on stage. Why the hell should they jump if you can’t be arsed to jump yourselves!? This did not improve as their set went on. With a total lack of stage presence they were incredibly boring to watch. Admittedly they were very, very tight with each song sounding identical to the album although with more urgency. I actually found myself enjoying the gig more when I wasn’t looking at the stage as at least it sounded good. They played all the songs that you would want to hear off the albums including the incredibly poppy ‘Stuck In America’, and if they had had more energy on stage it could have been a much more enjoyable experience.

Special guest reviewer Sami