Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Animal instincts


I honestly wish it wasn't the case, but there are just some bands that invite and compel me to make critical and snide commments. Delta Red, bless 'em, are just such a bunch of unfortunates.

For many of those assembled, there's nothing whatsoever wrong with what they're selling - neat, tidy and predominantly upbeat indie of a distinctly Mancunian variety. Me, I fucking hate The fucking Stone Roses and The Bluetones and think any individual or band who adopts that Liam Gallagher / Ian Brown upwards singing pose when stood behind a mic should be stoned to death. I gnaw on my fist silently to one side of the stage. "Where did all the good times go?", they ponder. Well, I can feel myself getting older and more terminally bored by the second.

So thank fuck for Lovemat, who, having escaped the asylum their native North-East for three days, are hungry for blood. The venue couldn't be much more suited to them - a few doors from Rock City, the Horn In Hand is also aptly named in that Lovemat come on like priapic werewolves intent on impregnating some of the local maidens.

Buoyed by the evening's football result and relieved at the lack of sound and electricity problems that blighted last night's set in godforsaken hellhole Mansfield, the Geordies set about their task with relish. New single 'Between The Lines' - salivating with disgust, propelled by a splendid riff - opens proceedings, with much of the debut LP The Fearless Hair Days Of Youth following. There's a local flavour to 'RSVP' (about Newcastle's Bigg Market) and 'The Battle Of Falcon Hill' (about their home town - "Small song, small town", vocalist Paul Kell says). You wouldn't want to taste these songs, though - you don't know where they've been. Or, rather, you know EXACTLY where they've been.

While guitarists Frank Major and Kenny Luke are by and large a picture of cool restraint holding things and themselves together, bassist Danny Bray and the hyper-animated Kell fling themselves about with abandon. Drummer Chris, sporting a superb handlebar moustache, begins dressed like a dapper Victorian gent in shirt, tie and waistcoat (only the pocket watch is missing) but by the time he's gurning his way through set-closer 'Lost In The City' he's partially stripped off and punching the cymbals like the same gent after an all-day session in an illicit booze den drinking absinthe and listening to Slayer.

A shame I couldn't stay for headliners Hinterland - the song they soundchecked with hinted at Mclusky and Shellac - but, as for Lovemat, they came, they saw, they conquered. I doubt if it'll be too long before they're back. You have been warned.


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3:44 am  

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