Thursday, May 1, 2008

Five times in the mirror...


This blog is about my most recent excursion to see bands playing. In this case, CURSED.

So last Saturday, I got up at about 6am, got my shit together and headed out towards the airport for an 0845 flight with Aer Arann to Wales. After a quick check in, I got onboard the plane. It's been a while since I'd flown on a turboprop plane before, and I forgot how noisy they are. The flight was just over an hour long, and by 10 I was in Wales, waiting for the bus to Cardiff Central.

I was staying with Glenn, and he came down to meet me at the bus station. We went back to his place and had some laughs, most especially at the National Geographic straight edge documentary. Before I watched it, I would never have suspected that I was in a gang.

We went in to town to kill some time before our train to Newport, so we hit up the cinema to see Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I'd already seen it a couple of days before, but I really enjoyed it, so had no problem going to see it again. It was actually funnier the second time around.

By the time the movie was finished it was almost time to go, so we headed to the train station. On the way we saw two dudes outside a pub, one holding the other up. The holdee started throwing up, a lot, and got some on the shoes of the holder, at which point he was let go, and when he hit the ground he vomited all over himself. I couldn't stop laughing. This was at about 6 in the evening.

After a 15 minute train ride to Newport and a brief walk, we got to Le Pub. There were plenty of people there but the doors weren't open yet. The show ended up starting late.

Le Pub itself is really nicely laid out, and has a really good sound. The venue is upstairs, and the upstairs is split level, with a bar on the right hand side, and the stage, which is about 2 1/2 feet high, is down a small flight of steps. The area in front of the stage is about 25' wide and about 10' back to where the steps are.

The first band up were The Good Wife. I'd like to be able to say that I like this band. They sounded a bit like These Arms Are Snakes, but without any of the competency. The vocals were strained, the guitars were out of tune, and none of the members seemed that interested in what they were actually playing.

Up next were Gramercy Riffs, who'd been added to the bill in place of Tortuga. I'd heard these about a month before, and was really excited when I found out they'd been added. They play the kind of punk hardcore that I'm really into right now, and, appropriately, the songs are all full of big fat riffs. I picked up their 3 track demo, which has also been released on cassette. They're coming to play in Ireland in late summer, so I'm really looking forward to seeing them again.

Just after they finished playing I turned around and saw my kiwi friend Holly, who was supposed to be in Sweden, at the merch table. Her and another friend, Fingers ( who rules and tattooed my shin for me), were doing the merch for Cursed on the tour. Random. :)

Wales' own Wraith, were up next. They've recently been signed to Reflection Records and have their first 7" out. They play fast and interesting metal tinged hardcore. They're seriously good, especially the drummer, and I recommend getting their 7".

The next band were some ridiculous metal band called Carrion of Vigrid. I watched a couple of songs, but the only thing of note was one of the guitarist hilarious array of hats.

Cursed (myspace) were eventually ready to play at about 2320. I seriously love this band and have done since they released their first record. Soundwise, they have my favourite tone of any band that I listen to, and from the enormous guitar and bass setups that they have, I'm not surprised. I've been to a lot of shows over the last few years, and this was definitely the loudest.

They kicked off and wasted no time in smashing through both new and old songs, including Nineteen Seventy Four, Night Terrors, Head Of The Baptist, Magic Fingers and, the first Cursed song I heard and still my favourite, Bloody Mary. During the set, the singer, Chris, went up to the bar and got a knife, which he used to cut his underwear off. He then taped them back together and stuck them over the face of Thai lady boy on a poster advertising the same.

The guitarist switched to second bass as they finished off the set with Friends In The Music Business. After this blew my head off, it was time to leave, with a giant smile on face and a copy of the latest record under my arm.

It was nearly 2 by the time we got back to Glenns place, and I pretty much passed out straight away. I'm reliably informed that I slept without making any unusual noises.

I was flying back at about 2000 on the sunday, so we had a bit of time to kill. Cue another trip to the cinema. This time we went to see Street Kings, and while it wasn't entirely terrible, it was completely overacted by Keanu Reeves. We ended up leaving before the end, so I could get the bus to the airport.

I landed back in Dublin at around 2200.

It's worth noting that my ears were still ringing on Tuesday.

Thanks Glenn for hooking me up with the place to stay and all.

Bands I'm listening to that you should also be the one that's listening to:


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