Die Shellsuit, Die!

An Alternative Music Magazine

The Faversham, Leeds

Nightmare Of You

Before I start on the review proper, I’d just like to make a couple of comments about the venue, and gigs in general.

Firstly, big thanks to the Faversham who were extremely understanding when there was a mix up with the guestlist, which I’m sure was nobodies fault, just one of those unfortunate things. It could’ve meant a wasted trip, but it didn’t. So cheers for that!

Secondly, am I the only person who hates gigs that go on really late? I don’t know if I’m just getting old, but I used to be much happier in the days when licensing laws were more strict, and gigs finished at half eleven. I know it doesn’t seem like much of a difference, but when you’ve been working all day and have an hour and a half drive home, half past twelve can feel awful late. Like I said, maybe it’s me getting old, but it’s a pet hate.

Anyway, enough of that. Onto the review proper.

I managed to miss most of the first support band, but what I heard wasn’t terribly inspiring, much like all the other identikit indie bands doing the rounds, they sounded kind of like a pop band covering early Oasis without all the danger and excitement. Second band, the name of whom I forget, were a little better, they had a few catchy tunes and I found myself tapping my foot on more than one occasion, but really there wasn’t much to recommend them. Not bad as a support act, but I can’t really see them progressing to much more than that.

Nightmare Of You as a band were something of an enigma before I actually heard them. The name suggests horrible My Chemical Romance pop emo, whilst the ex members list (Glassjaw, Rival Schools, CIV, The Movielife) suggests something a little bit more hardcore. In reality, neither of these assumptions is particularly close to the truth. There are in places elements of Rival Schools and The Movielife, but Nightmare Of You are more of an indie pop kinda deal, and not too shabby of one at that.

References I picked up whilst listening ranged from Heroes era Bowie through Morrissey and the Smiths all the way to more modern US indie rock like Minus the Bear, albeit without the virtuoso musicianship. That’s not to say that Nightmare Of You weren’t tight, they quite patently were, which was highlighted by a clean, punchy sound, just that Minus are in a class of their own.

The set started in a rather limpid fashion, with the band seemingly rather unimpressed by the crowd, which on the most part, apart from a few dancers also appeared somewhat nonplussed. After plodding through a few songs in a workmanlike fashion both the crowd and the band seemed to pick up. Perhaps the band were pacing themselves due to the overly long set, I personally couldn’t help but feel that a sharp, focussed forty minutes would have been far better for all concerned than over an hour of at best patchy entertainment.

That said, when Nightmare Of You did take off, they really flew. My Name is Trouble, about halfway through the set, and easily their best song, was electric, and the semi acoustic performance of Dopesick Couples on the Lower East Side towards the end (We had to leave at that point sadly, or sleeping in the car would have been a dangerously likely occurrence) was another stand out moment. Most of the other songs blended into one though, and the whole gig was some way off giving that magical, tingling feeling you get when you see a band that’s really special.

Nothing spectacular then, but nothing painful either. If this gig was a road, it would be the M62 between Hull and Leeds, too long and a bit too flat, with not much to stand out except a couple of rather pleasing landmarks.

Listen: www.myspace.com/nightmareofyou