Stuck Mojo / Panic Cell / Fourwaykill / Forever Never
30 October 2005
The Garage, London
Sunday`s are never the best night of the week for gigs in London and consequently tonight`s four bands have a hard task ahead of them in waking up the reasonable but not packed turnout at the Garage tonight.
Forever Never take the challenge by the scruff on the neck and bludgeon us with down-tuned heavy crunching riffs. Cut from a similar cloth to Panic Cell, the band combine aggression with a keen sense of melody. Renny Carroll`s soaring vocals have a lot to do with that melody, with huge choruses on the likes of Saviour and From Scared To Scarred.
Kev Yates` rumbling bass is like glue to Mike Row`s precise drumming and gives the songs a tight foundation. The band are highly animated throughout their short set and comment that as they`re from Essex this is as near to a home show as they get on this tour. Certainly they won over a lot of people tonight.
Forever Never have a debut album coming out in March next year and on tonight`s evidence it should be one worth checking out.
Forever Never set list:
Better Than Epic / Saviour / From Scared To Scarred / As I Lie / Drowning / This World
Fourwaykill aren`t a band for subtleties and anyone doubting that received a very quick wake up call as 24 Hours To Die hits us like a billy club to the back of the head. Vocalist Chris Neighbour takes the direct approach in telling those at the back to get their sorry arses down front, whilst warning that those experiencing the Kill will never be the same again.
With its staccato opening and 6.66 refrain, Trigger is ferocious and sees Neighbour crawling across the monitors whilst Jay Walsh`s guitar crunches away. There`s a new boy in town in the shape of stocky bassist Clive whose adds further onstage energy to Fourwaykill, whilst ably putting the groove into the likes of Deadweight.
Whilst the music is uncompromising, the performance is not short on laughs. Neighbour tells us eight people need to buy a CD so they can afford the diesel to get to the next show in Leeds and following a side of stage water attack from Panic Cell`s Kelly Downes, deadpans "It`s tuned into Butlins up here!"
Fourwaykill set list:
24 Hours To Die / Removing Face / Trigger / Aggressor / Deadweight / Tappin The Vein / Discipline
My tenth encounter with Panic Cell surprises with not one, but two new songs. So new in fact that neither have a name yet. The first of these, which opens the show, has a brooding sense about it, whist continuing in the tradition of heavy guitars and hooks. The second is dedicated to the late Bryan Ottoson of American Headcharge, who that band had toured with. A double bass drum fuelled intro gives way to a familiar catchy refrain and also features a section of clean guitar. Promising stuff indeed.
Elsewhere the core songs from the bands Bitter Part Of Me album make appearances, interspersed with a series of unfortunate technical hitches which somewhat break up the momentum of the set. Bassist Bobby Town missing most of Save Me.
Ever the professionals, the band battle through to the crowd`s delight, who`s enthusiasm for Panic Cell rivals that of tonight`s headline act.
Panic Cell set list:
New Song 1 / Nothing / Shallow / New Song 2 / Save Me / Away From Here
This is the third London show by Stuck Mojo since their reformation and the fact that they still have no new product could partly explain why the turnout is not as large as previously. The Sunday night factor has already been mentioned, but the band knew they faced a challenging crowd. Bonz acknowledges the less than lively response to opener Throw The Switch and warns that they`re going to build the crowd`s energy through the set. And that`s just what they do, expertly and steadily turning the heat up over the following hour and a quarter.
(Here Come) The Monster coaxes some bouncing out of the crowd whilst Twisted tests our lungs. Bonz is a manic as ever and his verbal speed of delivery is breathtaking.
As is usual, the banter is as much a part of a Mojo show as the music with Rich Ward and Sean Delsen trading insults about each others Mum. Ward tells us that the pair actually met when Delsen hired Ward to mow lawns.
There`s serious matters to contend with too. After offering props to Luke from Panic Cell for the gig promotion, Ward tell us when Luke requested Kerrang might wish to cover the gig, he was told they don`t support "red-necked racists" like Ward. Ward sets the record straight by pointing out how long he`s been friends with Bonz before the band launch Crooked Figurehead.
Bonz had been hanging out in the crowd prior to Mojo`s performance with the guys from PDHM so it`s no surprise when one of the band`s two vocalists, Alistair McGee, makes an appearance to scream on Back In The Saddle.
It was always going to be difficult for Stuck Mojo to match the performance at the comeback gig at The Underworld, which was one of the best live performances I have ever seen. However, it was interesting to see the band taking on and winning over an initially lethargic Sunday audience. Now get into the studio!
Stuck Mojo set list included:
Throw The Switch / Two Minutes Of Death / Mental Meltdown / (Here Comes) The Monster / Twisted / Crooked Figurehead / Trick / Back In The Saddle / FOD / Raise The Deadman