Zico Chain Live @ Barfly, Cardiff (UK) - 27th November 2007

For those with less of a cynical mind, this would have been just one of those nights.

Me, I'm cynical with a capital "C", and I'm also not happy.

You see in spite of the fact that the "Ticketweb" website has had this gig down as sold out for well over a month, the number of people who do actually make it in, is hardly pushing the safety capacity. Then I pick up a copy of The Barfly's OWN magazine to see Zico Chain's review for their recently released debut platter "Food". "One fucking star out of five", and you can see where I'm going with this can't you?

I'll give you the fact that the major routes into Cardiff being closed, and my journey taking nearly 2 hours (causing me to miss a planned interview with "The Chain"), is out of the musical dictators (you all know who they are) control. But I can detect bullshit a mile off and tonight "Zico Chain" certainly required their faecal waders.

Plunging headlong into the nights proceedings, Chris, Ollie and Paul have the mark of a true power trio, in so much as they sound so much bigger than just a 3 piece. Think "Danko Jones", and you won't be a million miles away from the passion and ferocity of these guy live performance. Of the 5 or 6 times I've now witnessed "The Chain" live, I've seen them play arenas, festival main stages, and this their most organic environment, Britain's shit-pit club circuit.

The cheap and sweaty blasts of "Roll Over" and "Rohypnol" seeming that much more intense when the love child of "Tony Wright and Cronos", namely Chain frontman "Chris Glithero" is charmingly snarling mere feet away from you.

It is that strength of collective personality that makes each member of "The Chain" so important to their avalanche sound. From the thunder blasts delivered by drummer "Ollie" that drives the regimented grindfests of "What Would you Rather Be" and ""The Lonely Ones" to the "heavy as fuck" soundscapes that guitarist Paul conjures up during "Junk" and "Social Suicide" this is a band who have never given anything less than a full on orgasm of a performance every time I have seen them.

The shows finale of "Pretty Pictures" was possibly the nights highlight as Chris after realising it was a Tuesday and not Monday as he has foolishly stated, insisted that Cardiff were "mad for it" enough for a mini riot to ensue right in front of his naked steaming eyes. I was simply left thinking of all the people who could have also have relished in this brilliance if a certain website hadn't been giving out duff information.

Zico Chain have some superb new songs ("About a Boy", being the most immediate) and just like this reviewer, they are about to be able to get through life without having to use the "N" word ever again. (and that's "Nirv"…. by the way. Oops nearly slipped up there).

by Johnny H.

Visit the Zico Chain Website