Tuesday, June 12, 2007

“I know where it’s at”

There’s a misconception that local music scene consists of identikit rock bands playing the same ten cover versions. That might be true for a large number of venues (and bands) but there are still individuals striking out from the beaten path.

Here are my personal recommendations. All the bands I name below play sets exclusively of original material.

Our Dead Empire

They call themselves “Emo” but don’t let that put you off. ODE came about as a way for their guitarist dealing with the breakdown of his marriage. All the songs have a deep backstory, and whether that comes out overtly or not, they all have poignancy to them. Therapy has never sounded so good! Plus they’re all really nice blokes!


Turnstone draw many comparisons with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Kinks. Although their inspiration is very obvious, Turnstone have a significant body of original material whilst retaining a familiar feel although they are not averse to the odd cover if the venue is appropriate.

Punch the Vicar

Young female and punk, PTV are just plain entertaining. With songs like “Ode to a Porno Mag”, “The Minge Song” and an energetic cover of the Spice Girls’ Wannabe, it’s pretty clear you are going to have fun. Sometimes enthusiasm wins out over professionalism but that all part of the package. Some bands have printed T-Shirts. PTV have logo-printed knickers!


My favourite (still-existing) ska band. Fast, energetic, and their lead singer has an amazing way of rolling his Rs. They do a nice line in social commentary too: listen to “Skarrific Gangster” if you can. Or for a laugh track down their cover of Arthur (the kids TV show, not the Dudley Moore film!)

Last Paradigm

With two lead singers with very different voices Last Paradigm sound unlike any other metal band you will hear on the East coast. And since both sing the same lines together you get a weird (dis)harmony effect that is hard to describe if you’ve not heard it. The songs they have on their site don’t really give you a feel

Sweet Dizease

I still am not sure if Sweet Dizease are truly serious about their angry anti-Christian stance, or whether they are having a bit of fun. Either way, their catchy brand of metal goes down well with the crowds, and you would be hard pressed not to yell out “Unite in the death pit!” during Pious. Their lead singer gets totally into character and if the crowd is slack in its response he won’t hesitate to tell them how “fucking pitiful” they are. Sweet Dizease amuse me immensely.

The Divide

More original rock. This is a bit more old school hard rock rather than metal, with the odd cover for good measure. The Divide are showmen and performers as well as musicians, and their frontman in his top hat, wild hair, raggedy coat and skull necklaces will keep you entertained with his capering and growling in between numbers.

Finally we have an odd last entry:


Alcanal is not a local band, but a musician/producer. You won’t see him on stage these days, but he is content to produce tracks exclusively for MySpace. Listen to “Hopton Shark Rescue” and you will know why I find this guy hilarious.

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