Young And Cool
After about four weeks on the road The Young Knives arrived at the soon to be demolished Portsmouth Pyramids.
First on stage at 8 o'clock was Bombay Bicycle Club who looked more like they should be doing their school homework rather then playing a show on a tour. The band are actually all about 17, but looked a hell of a lot younger. Although they looked practically pre-teen they could play their instruments pretty darn well and showed a real potential, but there was nothing about them that made me feel compelled to watch them. Front man Jack Steadman has mastered the art of Razorlight's Johnny Borrell's wobbly head movement, and every time he sang the head wobbling would begin. The crowd didn't really seem to be on their side either after each song they only got a tiny pattering of applause, but in fairness it didn't seem to bother the band.
Next up on stage were another couple of youngsters in the shape of Blood Red Shoes, again this duo looked like they should have been doing their homework, I thought it was bad enough when I went to gigs and most of the crowd were noticeable younger but now it seems bands are going that way too I feel positively ancient. They were welcomed on to the stage by the same pattering of applause that Bombay Bicycle Club had received, and I was beginning to feel like I was at a school talent show rather then a gig, although both bands were a lot more talented than anything I'd ever seen at a talent show in my school days. In comparison to the previous band their songs sounded a lot more mature, and Steven Ansell was really impressive on the drums but you couldn't help but wonder if it was really necessary to raise his drumsticks above his head and send them crashing onto the drums at the beginning of every song. Laura-Mary Carter was equally impressive on the guitar but her vocals let her performance down, when she was singing softly she sounded fine, but when she used the full force of her voice it just sounded screechy and off key. Blood Red Shoes were another band that had no stage presence and the crowd didn't seem interesting in watching them and seemed happier to talk amongst themselves or going to prop up the bar.
Headliners The Young Knives arrived on stage at about 9.30 to a warm welcome, the kids at the show seemed excited to see them whereas anyone over the age of 18 seemed to be smashed and quite happy to cheer at anything, the audience at this show was probably one of the strangest mixes I've seen for a long time. As The Young Knives launched into songs their instruments and vocals were clear, you could easily pick out the different layers of their songs and you could hear every word that Henry Dartnall sang. Thomas Dartnall aka The House Of Lords showed some impressive skills on the bass guitar, but his dress sense wasn't so impressive. Sporting thick rimmed Buddy Holly style glasses, a plaid shirt and pinstriped grey trousers it looked as though he had been dressed in the dark by a blind person, even my grandad has more fashion sense then him; I know they're known for their love of tweed outfits but with the other two in normal clothes he looked very, very odd. For some reason The Young Knives couldn't seem to hold the crowd's attention, they sounded good but there was something bland about their performance hardly anyone in the room was dancing and they didn't get a great deal of applause which was odd seeing as they were the headlining band.
Overall it was a pretty disappointing night, although there was nothing terribly wrong about any of the bands there was nothing terribly good about them either.