Monday, October 04, 2004

Gig Review : I Like Trains + Nikoli + Vib Gyor

‘Liverpool Will Forget You’; the words flickered up on a small projection screen at the back of the stage, merging through a faint super 8 film, re-enforcing an already catchy chorus. I Like Trains crowd on to the small stage, presenting a look somewhere between The Libertines and Franz Ferdinand that seems a bit at odds with being squashed in to The Royal Park Cellars. The lyrics continue to be re-iterated by the fifth band member, who stands with his back to the audience, alternating between slide and film projectors and trumpet. It’s a bit distracting to their sound, which is further complicated by a vast array of bizarre twists, such as the melodica and violin bow on electric guitar.

I Like Trains seem to understand each other as a band, but they are still new to the gig circuit and as such they are building their confidence. An array of technical problems left them a bit shaky and rubbed the edges off their grooming, I liked it. It broke down the superficialities and gave an insight in to where this band could go with a bit less image anxiety and more conviction in the music.

Nikoli, a band with a consistent reputation and a dedication to their music, launch in to their set with strong drums and keyboard. As they move through ‘Always’ and ‘Resigned’ the vocals are reminiscent of the Smashing Pumpkins, pushing confident songs in which all members seem to take ownership. Four way vocal harmonies set off the melodies and bring depth to the acoustic rendition of ‘Locked Out’.

In ‘She asks me’ the song breaks down and gives a moment of clarity within the music that is perhaps lacking through the set as a whole. It is hard to hear the layers of the individual instruments, and leaves an impression of there not being enough definition. A highly competent four piece, they could allow the individual instruments to take their own directions, lowering the overall density of sound and making for a more coherent whole.

Vib Gyor are a band that fit in well with the current climate of melody led song writing. Sitting alongside the likes of Razorlight and Interpol, the passion of the band is certainly of equal measure to these Indie stalwarts but whether the tunes themselves would hook you within a wider arena is hard to say.

‘Church Bell’ leads in with poise through the drums and a lucid build up. There is a clear direction that has been adopted by each instrument and this gives a strong overall impression. The harmonic riff of ‘Faun’ holds throughout the song and makes you believe in them as band and convinces me that they believe in themselves enough to tweak these catchy and well rounded songs in to something pretty special.


I Like Trains, Nikoli and Vib Gyor played at the Royal Park Cellars, Leeds, Saturday 2nd October

This review was written for and published by Tasty Fanzine.


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