Speedway and Amplifier in action
Madame Jojo’s, London
30 July 2003
After a successful appearance at T In The Park Festi this Scottish quartet had to impress London’s media and music people with six songs: as it is almost a month before the release of their debut single and this being a dreaded ‘showcase’, it was normal singer Jill Jackson was nervous. The first four songs were solid pop-rockers with Blondie and The Pretenders evidently as the main inspirations but it generally recalled Katrina And The Waves (a British Euro-song entry several years ago).
The final two songs were from the double-A sided single: ‘Save Yourself’ is a modern rocker that is a bit like a rocked-up Evanescence song, and infinitely better; the concluding track is their version of ‘Genie In A Bottle’. Yes, the Christina Aguilera hit and it sounds very nice in its guitar-livery; it might seem like a strange choice but it was a George Michael cover that put the infernal Limp Bizkit on the international map.
Promising but somewhat early/too short for any character to emerge for real.
Water Rats, London
17 July 2003
This is more like it, a band that rocks the way the world appears to want it, a tad prog, a bit psychedelic, groovy but totally rocking without overloading your senses with sheer riff-power. This Manchester trio speak the language of modern rockers: intense, insightful and inspired. Record company’s press releases usually make mediocrity sound like new-Nirvana but “articulate sky-high melodies with deeply personal lyrics astride a raging wall of noise - a fractured powerhouse celebration of all the good things about rock,” is the right bet.
Previewing their eponymous debut disc (slotted in for 27 October release), the band takes us down low and up above the stratosphere with some of the finest rocking this country has produced since… Oasis played Knebworth. Emo revved-up, loaded with riffs and brave to dip into experimental noises, AFI and The Mars Volta come to mind but this is dirtier, Anglo-rock filthy sound and not the polished offerings by the Americans.
Keep your monitor zoomed!
Amplifier tour dates:
31 July – Roadhouse, Manchester
01 August – Boardwalk, Sheffield
28 August – Witchwood, Ashton-Under-Lyme