Vanity Project Extra Live

Gig Reviews

Friday, October 21, 2005

Sweetedge + My Retro Console + Holiday In Vegas - Messclean, Portsmouth. 07/10/05

Holiday In Vegas are young in years and while watching them I get the feeling that they should have spent a little longer in the garage perfecting their sound and act as they come over as being not quite ready to gig. They burst through a number of buzzsaw indie pop songs that have little character at the moment, the spark is just missing but you get the feeling that a couple of years down the line they may make some fine sparkling indie pop full of fizz.

Now here is a lesson that all bands should take note of, My Retro Console admit tonight they they are poor at checking emails and the reason they are doing a gig at Messclean is because they missed an email that had been sitting there offering them a place on a festival bill in bands, check your emails on a daily basis! However, they are in good heart and part of the charm of MRC is their never ending humour and bags of energy as they run through a tight set of confident chunky punk pop. They come across as a fun time band and you do get the feeling that they are the type of band that may just get signed as they are commercial enough to appeal to a wide audience and they are full of character. Fine music to nod along to and in the right venue with the right crowd I can imagine a large amount of crowd surfing going on.

Sweetedge are back for a second visit and once again leave me stunned at the quality of the tunes on offer tonight. A fantastically gifted trio, Sweetedge are the sort of band that would be found more often in a roots club or at some arts festival in the middle of a field on a sunny day; each are great musicians and the class really shows through as they wander effortlessly amid a range of styles and drop subtle influences into the music without making it obvious. Tonight they are brave and tackle a reggae song and it sounds perfect and natural, in fact the bass has a dubby feel in much of the music but not in an obvious way and it's this kind of thing that makes the Sweetedge sound so pleasing. I think it's fair to say that the strentgh of the band is in the songwriting, I'd have no problem putting them in the singer/songwriter genre such is their strength in creating interesting arrangements. And of course you have the enigma that is Della belting out her distinctive vocals in that original way and looking confident while interacting with the audience; Sweetedge are perhaps not what you'd expect to see at a night like Messclean and it's a tribute to both the band and promoter that they are prepared to try something a little different, it may leave some punters a little perplexed but those with an open mind had a great time and big smiles could be seen by those enjoying something just a little bit different.


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