20/5/04- APU, Cambridge

Quickly becoming one of Cambridge's finest, I have seen The Mono Effect many times and still find it hard to believe this strapping young four-piece have been together for just over six months, especially after securing tonight's gig, one of the most sought-after support slots in town. They play with a professionalism and passion that takes most bands years to perfect and, despite the fact that it became apparent that they couldn't unfortunately hear most of what they were playing onstage, due to a shoddy and rushed set-up in the Student Union refectory of all places, they as usual gave it their all regardless. Making the most of a bad situation, I actually believe their frustration added to the show. Or maybe not, but they still punched out their catchy emo-rock to a more than eager crowd, stealing so many "Busted"-type scissor-kicks that someone behind me proclaimed that she thought the singer was going to have a heart-attack.

The singer of Dive Dive reminds me of the singer of The Vines, as in he's a little intense and very compelling. Plus he's not afraid to jump off the stage and run around in front of a bemused audience. What do his bandmates do whilst this is going on? Naturally, the guitarist begins playing some angular guitar with his teeth, the drummer begins twirling his sticks like there's no tomorrow and the bassist… well, the bassist just stands there and looks unphased by it all, probably still peed off that he can't hear what he's playing either. Basically, this is great stuff. I think this four-piece from round Oxford way are pretty fabulous; formed from the ashes of Dustball and The Unbelievable Truth but not really sounding anything like either, their mature and melodic style is simply summed up in a single word and that word is rawk.

And what followed can only be described as The Jetplane Landing Show. A band that believe wholeheartedly in audience participation, they brought jaws dropping to the ground in the crowded canteen. Particularly the little bloke getting pummelled into the middle of the mosh pit in the onslaught, who may have had his stamped on a few times. And when people weren't open-mouthed with awe or, alternately, grinning like lovable village idiots, they were nodding thoughtfully to the singer's comments about keeping independent music alive. If their performance tonight is anything to go by, Jetplane Landing could easily do this all on their own, with a set peppered with blinding renditions of "The Violence", "Tethered…" and new single "Brave Gravity". It is safe to say that these are the new big guns of British rock (or at least they will be before long) and even safer to say that no-one went home disappointed by their blend of emo and math-rock (a phrase I hate using but it does apply), as well as the fact that they seem like really nice guys who quite obviously love their mothers (something increasingly important these days). Although I think that the lead guitarist is a strange reptilian creature or something, because, despite throwing his guitar onto the stage neck-first and further swinging it around, admittedly producing some amazing sounds but still looking completely nuts, and then having the lights doing a mental and flashing in his face, he still didn't sweat. Or pass-out for that matter. Rock and roll.