It’s a usual habit of mine to try to begin each article with a half-arsed attempted at a joke. That joke might be clever, it might be in the form of a story, or it might be downright offensive.
For me the beginning of each article is the best part and what comes after is just the boring bit. This week however my mind is blank; it might be because nothing has really happened besides the lead of the nude Scarlett Johansson photos, it might be because I’m knackered, or it might be because I’m too ashamed at myself for liking the new Dappy song to say a thing. Either way there’s no mildly clever joke at the beginning of this review, instead there’s this. Sorry.
This week at the Pav Tav I was treated to what turned out to be a pretty good line-up; Monsterface, Polaris Condition, The Masts, and A Day At The Dogs.
Monsterface flew into their set with the scream of guitar solos, the thrash of an ever changing drum beat, and the reverbing drone of slide guitar. As they got going the band’s sound was high in tempo, loud, and mixed different vocal levels flawlessly. Though it was at times difficult to hear the lyrics the harmonies and shouts accompanied them perfectly. Monsterface were always building up to something and never relented, with plenty of breakdowns and some great guitar playing they were the ideal opening band.
With a low, funky bass line that you could feel through your feet Polaris Condition began their set with a superb song that just begged to be listened to. Featuring some of the finest female vocal talent I have heard in a while and loud choruses that screamed at your soul the song, taken from their EP, was close to being astounding. Behind the mic Nadine looked amazing; dancing, writhing, and gyrating. She seemed to put her whole self into each and every note. I really cannot do her justice. The third song “Running Man” began with a melody played on an acoustic guitar that reminded me of the Mariachis of Mexico. When the rest of the song kicked in a bouncy, upbeat sound came from the stage as the band jumped up and down; with music. Polaris Condition deserve fame, they deserve to be danced to, and they deserve to be worshipped; sadly the rigid crowd robbed them of that right. They put me in a trance, and I wish I could have stayed there.
The last time I watched The Masts play was at an early heat of The Eastbourne Extreme Battle Of The Bands. On the night their performance wasn’t up to much, and because of that I gave them a rather harsh review; they must have been practising because this time around they were much, much better. One thing about The Masts that’s undeniable is their energy; whenever they play they give everything they have, and more. Although I’m not a fan of their particular branch of the genre I find their songs very catchy, and some of their better riffs really difficult to not move to. At times their vocals are more melodic, I particularly like these parts of the songs and think they would benefit from including them in their songs more often. I also feel that the reggae song The Masts include in their set is always the highlight; I would love to see them explore that sound and write more. They were at a disadvantage following the brilliant Polaris Condition, but I think, this time, they did themselves proud.
Badly delayed by technical issues and playing too a crowd that was suddenly much smaller (perhaps there was a fire I wasn’t aware of) A Day At The Dogs were wrought with problems; though musically very good vocally they were almost indistinguishable. This made it really difficult to enjoy them. Add to that the often unbearable feedback that kept piercing everyone’s ears I would say that for them this gig was doomed, and to judge them on it would be unfair. Breaking down their music there is clearly something very good there, the drums in particular are exceptional. If the band work on their vocals, and move a little more on stage I think they would be onto a winner. I would like to see A Day At The Dogs again, I didn’t enjoy them this time, but that wasn’t entirely their fault.
Next week’s gig will feature Fly In Fly Out, Emergency Call, Dirty Leaves, and Half Crown.
Originally published here: http://sqmagazine.co.uk/2011/09/gig-review-live-music-at-the-pav-tav-september-15th/