Trashstock @ Junktion 7, Nottingham (UK) - 18th August 2007

It's always a pleasure to be in the company of James and Michelle Riot and having passed my apologies on Trashstock 2006, I knew I could not miss this year's innings… or should that be, I knew I couldn't miss Sparkling Bombs and The Pleasures.

Usually the only time I see 4:30am is after a night on the tiles (as much as I love the Transpeak journey, it's a bloody killer having to make it to Manchester for 9:00am), Saturday 18th August however saw me rising at this ungodly hour. James, I think Trashstock should move to Manchester!

Enough of my babbling… I was tired, pissed off, achey, hungry, but DAMN! Was I ready for Trashstock!

I tend to find line-ups at gigs such as Trashstock, Wildside Fest and the Maximes All-Dayer to contain the good, the bad, and sometimes even the ugly! Yep, Trashstock's Saturday night line-up entertained all three! Don't get me wrong though, this was an absolute fun-filled, glitter sparkle showered session of rock n roll delight for all the family (*cough *cough *ahem! kind of!)

My only real gripe was with the actual placing of bands. If it were down to me (I'm writing this damn thing, so let me grumble… hehe!) from headliner to opener, the listing would have read: -

Deadtime Stories
Patchwork Grace
Obsessive Compulsive
Crystal Kicks
Teenage Casket Company
Sparkling Bombs
The Pleasures
Sign

Alas, it wasn't, so this is how the evening ran…

Deadtime Stories
Deadtime Stories kicked off Trashstock three years ago and tonight's schnanigans were an apparent one-off return… surely not?
Hand on heart; I received a demo from these guys a few years back, and to be honest, I wasn't that impressed; so was quite happy it wasn't on my head to review.
I'd been considering all day if I should have a well earned chill out at the hotel, but then my conscience hit. I was here to review the entire night's events, and I'm 100% glad I did arrive from the outset. THEY'RE INSANE!
Whether you laugh with them or at them, you'll be laughing, so who gives a shit! I personally was laughing with them; I couldn't do anything but. Watching Jay on stage was like (if you can imagine) watching Stephen Pearcy on acid. Use it; don't abuse it folks!
They brought the room into uproar with their nutty babbling and bounciness. At one point, it felt like they'd physically thrown me into a shaker machine. I was on a high and my head was mashed (in a good way of course).
James, you really hit the nail on the head with this one. Placing Deadtime Stories as the opening band was a class move, not only did they manage to lift the entire atmosphere of Junktion 7, but they also managed to wake me up after a miserably early start to the day. I am humbly thankful to you all for making me happy and floaty light. As for the 'one-off return' …. Narghhhhhhhh!

Sparkling Bombs
I could not believe Sparkling Bombs were second on the bill; I'd waited an eternity to see these guys play the UK so was I going to let this fact dampen my enthusiasm, was I hell. I was WOOHOOOing my lil heart out and clapping into the air after every song, and for me this speaks volumes.
In my eyes the night was turning into a spectacular glitterfest… and then… shock horror… I was informed that tonight was the best reception they'd received the entire tour! How could this be? How could the British fans be closed to such delight? Shame on you, shame on you all!
To be honest I hadn't seen a great deal of advertising for the tour, so perhaps that explains a lot!
There are very few bands in my mind that can pull off accessorising the darker edge of glam, both in image and attitude, with the sensibilities and poppy over-tunes of bands like The Sweet and T-Rex. I swear they must have been flouncing around in the womb wearing their mother's pearls and stilettos (thank god I'm never gonna have kids!)
Kicking out one heavenly divine song after another, this set-list should have strutting perfection warning signs pinned to every angle; Me… forget the pins n' just hand me a drool bag!
This is a band that deserves the utmost of respect, and after this performance I'm sure as hell they'd earned the respect of everyone that had made the effort to come along.

Obsessive Compulsive
Boy oh boy oh boy, check out those meaty bass lines and not a pie in sight! Although, I really could've killed for one! Ohhh, wot a proud moment it would've been, Manchester's finest on stage, whilst watching on with a meat n' potato working it's way down the gullet! Pint o' Boddies please barman! HaHa!
I'd been meaning to check Obsessive Compulsive out for some time, but never quite made it, shame on me and shame on you if you haven't!
I'll never understand how I manage to travel to Cheltenham, Nottingham and London without a moment of hesitation to see bands, but hardly ever to Manchester. Anyhow… I'm rambling, when I really should be telling you how mortified I was that I HADN'T made it to an OC show.
For a female fronted band to win me over is a pretty mean feat, but low n' behold… young Kelli's' gritty vocal chords (ala Share Pederson/Courtney Love) whacked me round the chopper in rubber mallet style, spittle n' all!
The best way I can describe this far too short a set would be, sock walkingly dirty, balls-out rock n' roll! Oh yes, I'd been splashed head to foot in sticky chocolate with the added pleasure of a gorgeously hot tongue lapping it off inch by inch (I wish!). I guess they're not gonna be everyone's cup of tea, but if it's served piping hot, then make mine a large one!

Crystal Kicks
Crystal Kicks were introduced to an ever-growing crowd as the new Backyard Babies. A new Backyard Babies as Backyard Babies were back in their hay-day.
I panicked as I remembered heckling BYB back in 1997 when they played The Rig (Notts). Then again, if it wasn't sickly sweet, bouncy and made you grin from ear to ear, I didn't entertain it. Oh how my taste has changed. I'm still not a BYB fan, but given the choice of dirty raw or sickly sweet, which do you think would win?
Crystal Kicks managed to pound me into a state of shock within seconds. I started babbling profusely into my friend's ear, blastin on about how this was the wrong band to be playing Trashstock, blah! blah! blah!
Thankfully though, they were nothing like BYB, but frig me, this was some pretty hardcore material to be filtering through the ol noggin. Hell; I was still floating along the pretty rainbow, watching the birds and the bees twinkle past in a beam of silver starlight; so to be smacked back to reality, landing on a psychologist couch by a thunderous clap of lightning…. ok, I'm goin slightly over board here, but you get the idea!
The set was split 'new material', 'old material'; starting with the new. Which, I have to say… nu-metal fans around the world; you would seriously be cranking up the energy in the ol' mosh pit to these beasts! It was loud, it was raucous, it was…. ahhhhh, 'old material'… delightfully dirty and raw… now THIS I could acclimatise too.
I'd love to know the reasoning behind the new writing style; could it be they were trying to win over a new audience or side-shuffle into a different genre? Whatever the reasoning, I think they need to think about the positioning of their set-list in the future. Intermingling the new with the old would be a blessing in disguise, and disguised is what the heavier material would be. Whereas on the other hand, playing to a crowd of hardcore enthusiasts, keeping the older material to a minimum would have the same effect.

The Pleasures
The atmosphere when The Pleasures took to the stage was electrifying. You can't even comprehend five guys portraying such grace and elegance if you weren't witnessing it for yourself. But here I was, watching this ever increasing dirtfest being turned on its head with my very own eyes.
If they could have painted the walls white and hung mirrored chandeliers from the ceiling, I reckon they would. They shone, as cliché as that may sound.
People call them weird; I call this 'STYLE'.
I now see why they chose to tour with Sparkling Bombs, but oh how my heart would have coped seeing one after the other; it wouldn't. Drugs, who on earth needs drugs when you have a high like this!
They adore their audience, you can tell; and proceeded to consistently shower a cascade of glitter over the heads of those in the first couple of rows. Annoying I guess if you don't like to sparkle, but hey, you wouldn't be here otherwise… right?!!!?!!
At one point I wondered what was happening, had something gone wrong, were they having technical difficulties? Nope… Michelle Riot sauntered on stage having had a 'Pleasures' make-up make-over session and joined the guys for what can only be described as, one HELL of an explosive rendition of 'Ballroom Blitz'. For a song I don't particularly enjoy, I adored every millisecond and was devastated when it ended.
Their whole set was pure enjoyment to the max and I have never laughed so much in my entire life at a gig. They bring FUN back into rock n' roll.
The Pleasures by far were the most entertaining and thrilling band of the night and whether they want it or not, they've gained in me, an extremely loyal fan.

Patchwork Grace
There's a particular quality about Patchwork Grace I dislike; without this quality I would quite happily smile at the thought of seeing them play, instead; I physically groan. The quality is that of Tori's vocals and stage presence!
The first time I saw PWG I had to ask if she was wasted, apparently not! The second time I knew not to concentrate so much on the fucked-up stage antics (think Queen Adreena), third time around and my opinion hasn't really altered that much.
Tori's child-like and churlish vocals grate my inner most sanctum, and all I ever want to do is escape.
PWG reach a whopping 5% on the 'whet my appetite' scale and in my opinion are a band that should open, not headline. However, saying that, what makes music such a pleasurable experience is the fact that we all have our own individual taste, and having scanned the room throughout their set, they do seem to have a reasonable amount of loyal fans. And, if I'm being honest (setting aside my obvious dislike for Tori's vocals) these guys are bloody talented. There's no new boundaries being broached, but they're all very young, and have grown tremendously since I first saw them in 2005.
As they are, I can't honestly see them making a big mark on the music industry, but I wish them all the best in their pursuit.

Teenage Casket Company
A certain Mr Wylde introduced me to his new lady as "… this is Spice from Glitzine, Glitzine likes to kiss our ass…" I smiled and clapped my hands in glee (in mind I may add. I know I'm crazy, but there's no need to let others know) and thought, finally… a perfect opportunity to slate them! What was more amusing was Mr Wylde's face when I told him it was gonna be me reviewing the gig. Even poor Jamie cringed when he found out and asked me to be kind as they were down a drummer. Do I have a bad reputation by any chance?
Now if only they darn well deserved slating! But no, yet again they've done themselves proud and a big thumbs up to stand-in drummer 'Patchwork Grace's Danny Gunn', you did the guys proud.
TCC were in tiptop form to say the least, on this, the last date of their tour. Where they get the energy from I'll never know, perhaps they just sleep every hour godsends when they're not on stage? Who knows? All I do know is that I'd like some of whatever it is they have!
Absolutely nothing was stopping them tonight, other than the fact that the sound crew didn't seem to realise Jamie takes over lead vocals on certain songs. I really felt for him, poor guy! Screaming his lungs out when all we, the crowd could hear was a slight murmur, and yes, it took nearly half a song for this to be remedied. Oh well, not to worry, he sure made up for it!
I've lost count how many times I've seen TCC live now, and I never tire. Again, there's no new boundaries being pushed, but when they're likened to having the same energy as Hardcore Superstar, it shows they're doing something right. See you in November guys!

Sign
I don't get it! I just don't get it!
Having never heard anything by Sign before, I suppose I was expecting great things, more so with them headlining Trashstock and having embarked on a full UK tour with TCC as support. But when confronted with a combination of… ok, imagine combining the vocals of 'Tony Harnell' (TNT) with the music of 'Korn'. Yeah… 'BIZARRE' was an understatement!
I'm not ashamed to say I adore AOR and that I'm extremely proud to disliking a lot of the metal scene, so collaborating the two was my worst nightmare come true.
Now whilst The Pleasures look like they wake everyday wearing outrageous clothing and make-up and have done for many a year; Sign look like those metalhead kids who hang around city centres in droves. You know the ones I mean, the ones who look like they've just found their mothers eyeliner and think it looks cool but have no idea how to apply it. Horrendous!
And horrendous it was in its entirety. It takes a lot for me to walk out of a gig, especially a gig I'm reviewing. But three songs in became three songs too many. I'd had enough.
They're a tight unit, perhaps too tight; I was bored. Within 10 minutes I'd gone from being wide-awake and on an absolute high to being bored out of my brain and sleepy. This wasn't fun anymore and I'm sorry guys, I had to leave.
If I could place vocalist Ragnar Zolberg alongside the likes of Kasper Eskildsen (Push), Mitch Viegut (Airkraft) and John Teer (Teer) I'd be a much happier lady.

A SOLD OUT Trashstock 2007 and a great night had by all! Roll on Trashstock 2008 and a HUMONGOUS congrats and thank you to James and Michelle.

by Spice D. Warlock

Visit the Deadtime Stories Website

Visit the Sparkling Bombs Website

Visit the Obsessive Compulsive Website

Visit the Crystal Kicks Myspace

Visit the Pleasures Website

Visit the Patchwork Grace Website

Visit the Teenage Casket Company Website

Visit the Sign Website