Overall, I think Stasis 10 was a massive success - not only in terms of the audience response but also in the sheer range of local bands that were featured. Apart from metal, almost every genre got a fair hearing today.
Predictably, the crowd was thin in in the afternoon sessions but those who stayed away missed great performances from You and Whose Army?, PeepShow and Leeson.
YaWA showcased a couple of new tunes and I liked the fact that the band took risks to push the envelope of its developing sound. Focusing on mid-tempo spacey rock, there was quite a lot of room for the music to breathe, so to speak. PeepShow is a hard-hitting, energetic powerpop outfit with a punkish edge. Frontman Zaki does a grand job in engaging the audience and he has a good set of pipes, to boot. Look forward to their EP coming out in April. Leeson specializes in Britpop approximations, aided in no small part by Jamie, their Brit vocalist. Brandishing influences from the Beatles to Oasis, the band entertained with their sharp pop smarts and witty banter. Crowd pleasers but on their own terms.
The highlights of the evening no doubt were B-Quartet and the Great Spy Experiment. A B-Quartet performance is always about finese and power - an iron fist in a velvet glove - their entire set seemed to disappear in an instant with Personal Space, Stupid Luxury & Disp R:S lighting up the proceedings. Willy passed me the B-Quartet album and it's now playing even as I write this - PHENOMENAL - but that's another blog entry (Shoebox - AWESOME!!!). Don't wait, though, get it NOW!
And GSE... wow! The crowd simply went ape shit. Although I can take no credit for anything GSE has achieved, I felt so PROUD. The crowd sang along, dance, waved, clapped their hands and appreciated the band - WONDERFUL! Late Nite Request sent chills down my spine...Yet, I sensed a little restlessness within the band as they tried to reinvent their oh-so-recognizable songs in an attempt to freshen things up.
Honourable mentions must go out to: -
Ivy's Vendetta - Local Radiofriendly pop-rock that draws heavily from 90s rock.
Fishtank - I'm not big on ska punk but they really got the audience going with their last song.
Vertical Rush - An energized display with drummer Daren an entertaining distraction. Poor Esmond was suffering from a sore throat (like many other performers today) but the honesty and passion of the performance shone through.
Amateur Takes Control - A modern take on classic instrumental bands like the Shadows, Dick Dale and the Ventures, it takes quite a bit of ambition and no small talent to touch the audience without words.
Kudos must go to the NUS Original Music Society, to Johnson and company for organizing this great showcase of local bands, albeit their final effort or so it seems. One caveat though, having the band on the same level (i.e. ground) as the audience is impractical. When the entire crowd stood up for GSE, noone past the second row could see anything and what's the point if you can't see the band?
A minor quibble as the local scene got a tremendous kick-off for 2008 today.
...still there's more...