Die Shellsuit, Die!

An Alternative Music Magazine

The Sanctuary (06/10/2007)


I was anticipating this show to be really rather good due to the fact I was interested in all of the bands playing, and there were 4 bands playing.

So that’s 4 lots of good I was hoping to see. Unfortunately quantity never makes up for quality.

Now a lot of the fault I feel has to do with the venue, the sound, or perhaps both. This was the first ever show I’d been to in Birmingham that was at The Sanctuary, no, not the Barfly attached to the same building at The Sanctuary, but in the main room, on the stage at The Sanctuary itself. Maybe the crew working there is just used to the ‘PLAY IT REALLY LOUD AS WE’RE AT A NIGHTCLUB AND EVERYONE’S DRUNK ANYWAY!’ guide to sound, or they’re just bad at their job, but the sound was consistently terrible for all of the bands. You can’t really get over that hurdle when watching an act live, especially as a first impression of them.

And therein lies my thoughts on You Me At 6, the opening band. Maybe they’re amazing live usually, but tonight everything was FAR too loud and the instruments & vocals blended into one sound where nothing shone at all and it all sounded like Americanised vocals (They’re English) and standard nu-emo. The sound let them down a lot, meaning nothing stood out at all, each song sounding as bland as the next. A real disappointment considering they’d been recommended to me by several people.

Next up was The Sleeping (Victory Records) from New York, USA. I reviewed their last album “Questions And Answers” and gave it a solid 8/10, it was a nice mix of the melodic and the heavier side of things and improved so much from their first CD, so again I was looking forward to seeing the band because for various reasons I couldn’t see them earlier in the year. Whether it was due to them playing with the deceptively heavy Fightstar, or they were just in a furious mood but they played all the heavy songs, bar about 1 or 2 from their album and whilst I enjoy them on record live they just sounded a bit jumbled. Their lead singer was very aggressive, not in a fighting manner, but dominating the crowd and really trying to get people moving through annoyance rather than through the power of their songs. At times they were good, but they really didn’t live up to my expectations that their great album promised.

Emanuel were on third and they’ve been a bit quiet of late since their first album “Soundtrack To A Headrush” came out in 2005. But coming back with the Deftones inspired “Black Earth Tiger” album this year they’re back in the UK to promote it. I really enjoyed the debut CD, but the new material sounds exactly like the Deftones and thus, to me, crap. They played 60/40 in favour of the old stuff, which is when they really shone, the new stuff sounds terribly derivative and uninspired, but for moments they sounded like the good old Emanuel again.

Fightstar came on as the headliners and Charlie had a throat infection, to be honest I couldn’t tell, but all the same it wasn’t a good start. On record they sound really good, quite varied throughout with slower, more melodic tracks to counterbalance the more riff based heavy/screaming songs. Live they ploughed the fields of screamo much more and all the songs slowly blended into one, apart from the obvious hits. I’ve seen them live before, and they were much better.

On a side note, circle pits, grow up.

So all in all a disappointing night.

You Me At 6 - www.myspace.com/youmeat6
The Sleeping - www.myspace.com/thesleeping
Emanuel - www.myspace.com/emanuel
Fightstar - www.myspace.com/fightstar