MirrorView, Working Class Heroes, Kid Keep Dancing, Tomorrows History

Edmund Townend 17/02/2008

Sunday night and a half-filled Cardiff Barfly plays host to three local power-pop-rock bands, and one genre-defining band from Manchester. What is there to enjoy?

Well, a lot surprisingly… The night opened with Tomorrows History, a young local power-pop/rock band and much in the style of the night to come. They bring punchy chords and riffs against each other to the style of Bloc Party's 'Banquet' and the vocals are close to the emo-style voice ever present in new UK music. They bounced all over the stage making chaos, losing mic leads and breaking strings. It was easy to tell that they were not on tight top-form tonight, however they did bring a great representation of the future and product of inspiration from the genre.

Continuing the power-pop tonight were Kid, Keep Dancing, again locals from Cardiff. They brought the ever-popular synth to the mix in the style of Enter Shikari and other similar bands. Their songs blow a hole in the genre however, providing upbeat and interesting synth and keyboard powered songs such as 'Faster' and 'Kid Keep Dancing'. The latter definitely shows a band with a good musical knowledge. The entire set was infectiously good with genre-defying guitar breaks, indisputable drums and a really experienced bassist. Something brilliant about their live performance was their total lack of fear to move and dance, it's so incredibly boring to watch a still band and so exciting to watch a band that can't stop moving. Their songs definitely power far past the similar bands in this genre though, with far better song structures and advanced vocals: Kid, Keep Dancing are the epitome of good synth-rock.

Working Class Heroes (main picture) threw themselves into their first power-track of the night 'The End', an instantly recognisable pop-rock song from their demo. The energy they throw around on stage is electrifying and involving. The experience gained from accepting any gigs sent their way around South Wales has proved to show through in their stage presence. They power of their songs really show through live, and they rarely falter whilst playing. Their songs are bizarrely full of exactly what you would expect in a song, no surprises in structure, but definite, different power through vocals and drums. They employ full use of each member of the band with an even spread of solo time. Each drumbeat is creative and never slowed. The overall rhythm in Working Class Heroes' songs is incredibly hard to resist. I could barely stand still to take photos throughout their set. You'd believe they'd have taken motivational courses in the way they keep themselves engaged and cheerleading classes in the way they pump up the crowd. They kept up the pace throughout the set, playing songs such as 'Baby You're Right': a punk-influenced fast-paced 'hate song', with Kattie (lead singer) telling the audience to yell the name of the person they hated most as the song started. They also played a song set to be on a new compilation, (which I shall be looking forward to) as well as the heartfelt but still movement-inducing 'Miami Injustice'. The influences for the songs continue to intrigue me as the bridge soars through lyrics such as “Sleeping in the snow/while all the other kids in their houses/you were on the streets”. An inspiration for all who think that pop has no place in modern rock; they certainly bring elements from both and fuse them brilliantly.

And last of all, MirrorView (formally Chairmen of the Bored), confused me for a few songs but then I realised. They're essentially very emo. Not to stigmatise them in any way related to the genre, but it was essentially clear that this band are what emo is really referencing nowadays. The crowd was quintessentially stereotyped and their lyrics did verge on the almost unbearably heart outpouring. The one thing that really struck me was the drumming. It was incredibly sophisticated for a band so simple. A good representation of the sound of the band can be realised from their cover of 'Apologise' by OneRepublic (those of record producer Timbaland fame)

Photos and Video by Stellar Spontaneous Photography