There’s nothing more encouraging than seeing a venue like The Moon Club packed to the rafters on a damp Tuesday night – although the presence of one of South Wales’ premier rock quartets on the top of the bill probably had more than a small bearing on the size of the crowd.
Following the anthemic rock stylings of Manhattan Coast were the totally unique and punky Exit International. Sporting a line-up of two bassists and a drummer – so no guitarists – they tore through a set featuring some seriously tight tunes, and succeeded in re-creating the frantic and energetic vibe characteristic of a classic 70’s punk show. That said, however, their bass-heavy set-up contributed to a very dirty and occasionally muddy sound which, unfortunately, did detract at times from the actual songs themselves.
After a short interlude the house lights came down and the theme from Jurassic Park blasted out over the crowd, cueing the entrance of Straight Lines who wasted no time in bursting into a set of superb catchy pop/punk numbers. They were clearly enjoying themselves and, on the back of such a tight performance in front of an enthusiastic local crowd, you really wouldn’t deny them that. They tore through a set featuring some infectiously addictive tunes with some nice tight vocal harmonies, and the crowd eagerly sang and clapped along every step of the way. They closed with a song about Sylvia Plath – far less melancholy than its subject matter would allude too – before triumphantly exiting the stage without an encore. It’s difficult to see what Welsh peers such as The Blackout and Lostprophets have that these guys don’t – they certainly deserve a little more recognition for their talents – although you suspect that on the strength of this evenings performance that must surely be in the pipeline. A great evening and well worth the ensuing tinnitus. JS