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10 November 2006: Pro-Jekt + Neon Zoo + The Way Of All Flesh - Junktion 7, Nottingham, England, UK
Goth night; two words to fill many hearts with fear and dread but not this one. Being a huge fan of goth fifteen-odd years ago I thought this would be like a journey down a very dark and dry-ice swathed memory lane. Not so….
The Way Of All Flesh [Setlist]
A four-piece plus drum machine from Sheffield - kicked things off in what I would like to call true goth style. Their sound was reminiscent of early Sisters Of Mercy and having a female bassist obviously also enhanced that look. The rhythm guitarist seemed to be enjoying himself immensely and played with a constant smile on his face which was a welcome contrast to the more usual miserablist goth look. The singer appeared a little self-conscious on stage and seemed to be holding back, singing within his capability but he still had potential. At the risk of sounding like a preacher man, perhaps he should try the Jim Morrison technique; have a few more drinks than you really should before getting up on stage and cutting loose.
The band had several friends in the audience who did their best to liven up the dancefloor and turn Junktion-7 into a sparse but enthusiastic temple of love.
A cover of Billy Idol’s ‘White Wedding’ was an enjoyable addition to the set and went down a treat. All in all, a very good opening to the night and a prelude of good things to come, or so I hoped.
Next up were Neon Zoo, a five-piece plus drum machine from somewhere else. First impressions were that this lot were a real mix of musical styles, fashions and – who knows? - possibly even sexuality. With a bass player who looked like Eminem and played hunched over like Jason Newstead (Metallica), a lead guitarist from Nickelback, singer and keyboards-dude both from some teenage American new-wave goth band with interesting hair-styles, and a rhythm guitarist like Terry Hall (Fun Boy Three), it was certainly an unusual combination.
Their sound was more poppy than TWOAF and occasionally reminded me of INXS. I think they were contravening the trade descriptions act slightly by playing at a goth night but I might have to just put that view down to me being out of touch with things. They sounded quite polished and competent but were never likely to excite me that much. However, I can see Neon Zoo possibly getting into the charts with a one-hit wonder (to be fair one of their new songs, ‘Skin’, was very good) before disappearing back into obscurity.
At this point I’ll let sleeping dogs die because there was no time to cry. Now was the time for ….
Techno techno techno
OK, it was late, I was tired and had probably drunk too much but Pro-Jekt really did nothing for me.
Another mix of styles - part long hair, part Prodigy and part fashion faux-pas - this three-piece, plus drum machine naturally, were far more techno and industrial than the previous two bands. Straight away I was reminded of Killing Joke’s latter albums mixed up with some of Ibiza’s worst offerings in a crazy melting pot of musical mayhem.
The guitar had a very crunchy sound which suited the music but, more importantly, I really couldn’t take my eyes off the glove-type things that the guy was wearing. To steal from Little Britain, he reminded me of a $hit transvestite and I’m fairly confident that wasn’t the look he was going for.
On the plus-side they did put some effort and energy into their floorshow which was a bonus.
The crowd seemed far more interested than me in what Pro-Jekt had to offer and continued to dance. Unfortunately I’d heard enough and decided it was time to walk away.
My foray into modern goth ended up feeling like a slow kill when I’d offered my submission much earlier on in the night, so by the end it turned into something of a phobia. Old-school goth, first and last and always for me I guess.
Save the drummers
I would like to start a campaign here and now to save drummers in goth music.
Yes, many bands since the dawn of time have used drum machines but surely there’s still a place for real skin-hitters somewhere out there? If it’s good enough for Fields Of The Nephilim, well, it should be good enough for anyone else.
© JimBob, livemusicreview.co.uk
The views expressed in these reviews do not necessarily reflect those of the livemusicreview.co.uk team.
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