Zolof The Rock and Roll Destroyer – London Camden Underworld

By paul


There are about twenty people in the Underworld when I arrive. They have shut off the main bar area just to force people into the stage area but it is still alarming. With the GIAN Introduces tour in town tonight and Cancer Bats playing just up the road too it was always likely to have a negative effect on this show?s attendance. In today?s music environment there just aren?t enough pop punk kids to spread across so many gigs on one night. But then some, including myself, would argue that the promoter got it wrong with this tour, choosing far too large a venue for a band that hasn?t really ever made an indentation in the scene over here, but that is neither here nor there.

Crazy Arm take to the stage as I enter the room and I?m immediately questioning why they?re on this bill. Far heavier, more technical and arguably important than any of the other bands on the bill, I?m initially knocked back by their inclusion and then by their ability. Their set flies by and I?m left feeling that whoever booked them must have only listened to their MySpace songs where the band seem far more appropriate. Live they notch the sound up, making it a far fuller, satisfying experience. A thick, riff-based mesh of pop-punk, metal and a little country thrown in too, they stand out.

Over And Out sound like a band that people would appreciate if they missed out on pop-punk the first time round. They remind me of Subb and all of the other bands that I used to love but now have their CDs abandoned in a drawer somewhere. Inoffensive, catchy, somewhat American-tinged vocals, a touch of ska, a build-up to a big chorus, slick performance, it is all here and they manage to win me over by the end of their set. I will never make moves to buy CDs or go see them on tour, but they really hold my attention tonight.

Mike TV?s first London gig since ditching Pickled Dick and it goes brilliantly. I never even bothered listening to Pickled Dick as the name was fucking stupid and made them sound like a ska band. I presume that this was at least one of the reasons behind the name change, and I think it is a smart move. I, for one, am now a fan. Sounding like the UK?s alternative to Green Day, the new black suits hardly help to distance the band from this image, but then it?s hardly an awful route to follow. Managing to get the most movement of the night from the now swelling forty or so people in the room they seem to go down a treat, especially when dropping old Pickled Dick songs in; I?m left thinking that I should have put aside my hatred for the Pickled Dick name a long time ago.

I feel truly awful for Zolof tonight. Taking to the stage to play to a crowd that would have even struggled to fill a Camden pub, they decide to ignore this and instead make comments that they must have scripted for sold out venues that just sound daft tonight. Musically they?re surprisingly tight and insanely saccharine. Drawing mainly from the Popsicle EP, they only play a few tracks from the latest album, which again surprises me even if I?m happier for it. They race through their set so fast that it?s over within thirty-five minutes and I?m certainly left wanting more. It?s here though that you realise the limitations on the band since Anthony Green left, most of the songs feature him and they haven?t a replacement. A good show, but memorable only for being the smallest crowd that I?ve ever seen at the Underworld.