The teaming up of two bands that make dance music using angular guitars, screaming electro sounds and the occasional shouted chorus would lead most to believe this to be a typical nu-rave gig. But it was not.
This week’s interviewees, South Central (see below), were the supporting act. With their hoods up and lights beaming, they opened with ‘Aeon’ – a song which, after a creeping intro, bursts into a sci-fi journey with the rushing keyboards giving an oddly intergalactic feel to the old Concorde2 venue. Tracks such as ‘Golden Dawn’, ‘New Enemy’ and ‘Castle of Heroes’ injected the obligatory neon-tinted teenage frustration into the set, yet maintained a distinctly classic dark dance sound by way of fast rhythms and built up choruses.
‘The Day I Die’ and ‘Revolution’ show that they can put good lyrics over their instrumental dance tunes, and the addition of vocoders and synthesisers brings back that robotic feel. A rocky cover of techno anthem ‘Higher State of Consciousness’, although slightly lost on the young audience, showed their true love of the genre and their mission to push its boundaries to the limit.
“fuck politics, let’s dance!”
Then on came headliners Does It Offend You, Yeah?. After more of a burn up than a warm up from South Central, watching the crowd react to the progressively hyper ‘Weird Science’ was like watching a fusion of testosterone and oestrogen explode on the dance floor. This reaction continued throughout the set with the constant thrashing guitars, pulsing beats and erratic lights only spurring the crowd on.
Tracks such as ‘Being Bad’ and ‘Let’s Make Out’ fused a simple nu-rave formula with post-punk choruses which allowed the crowd to release their angst straight towards the stage.
The brilliant ‘Dawn of the Dead’ had catchy flowing lyrics and melodies, which could see them crash into the mainstream while their closing song, and probably their biggest hit, ‘We Are Rockstars’, allowed the four band members to whip up every last modicum of energy in the crowd and finish on a riotous high.
With both bands looking for success (they both deserve it), it’s clear that due to the British love of pigeon-holing, these dance-electro-punk-rave-rock upstarts are finding it difficult to find their place. South Central and DIOYY are both much more than cheap, made-for-Skins creations, as many new bands today seem to be, and it’s good to see something new on stage.
However, before it gets too analytical, I must ask you to remember – as front man Morgan Quaintance announced before ‘Battle Royale’ – “fuck politics, let’s dance.”