Returning to Camden with a bang
The copy of the Evening Standard which I bought on the way to the Camden Barfly tonight (May 25th) announced this as "Sheffield post rockers headlining". Post Rock as a term is a confusing one as to take it literally, something which you do with music press terms at your peril, would mean after rock has finished. My imagination leads me to a time where the guitar is a thing of the past, and everything is created by computers, synthesizers and funny looking electro boxes of tricks. 65 Days of Static are in the infancy of such a time as they have the necessary "electro box of tricks", but reassuringly there are also two guitars, a bass and drums: on this occasion it seems the future will simply have to wait it's turn.
Having seen them as part of the Kerrang night at Camden Crawl, but due to the nature of that night being that you run around trying to see as much as you can in a short space of time, a return to NW1 for a second look was in order. On the strength of a handful of songs in April 65 Days of Static stood out in my mind for a number of reasons, their own show would surely confirmed to me that they're a band that really need's to be seen, and in a small venue.
Their style of rock, be it post or otherwise, is completely instrumental. With not a vocal to be heard, but still having a mic stand positioned center stage, there is no choice but to focus in on the whole band. This lot are unquestionably great musicians, special mention needs to go to their maniac of a drummer.
Their fifty minute set, played to a packed Barfly, consisted of hard rock, piano driven ambience such as Moby might include on one of his albums, and guitar based tracks which were of a more commercial rock nature. It was the latter where the music on offer was at it's weakest.
Sometimes a vocalist can hide what the rest of a band is doing musically, and at times what 65 Days of Static do is of the highest order. However as the set wore on I couldn't help but feel there was something missing, some sort of hook that would grab the attention and allow each song to stick in your head on it's own merit. Instead the lasting impression is of a band who have you gripped with their musicianship, but who's individual songs didn't have the same lasting impression as the performers.
The band have spent the last few months playing around Europe, visiting Germany, Holland and Belgium most recently. They were clearly pleased to be back in England, saying that "English crowds were the best". If you get the chance to check them out it's well worth it, the point about the small venue is important though as in order to appreciate what they can do, the intimate surroundings of a Barfly rather than a Brixton Academy is needed.