Cambridge Junction 24/5/07

As I survey the tall, solitary maverick with the trilby, who is kicking off proceedings this evening, I've said it before and I'll say it again; Frank Turner really is the cream of current home-grown song-writing. You should own his album "Sleep is for the week", full of wry and wonderful songs such as "Worse things happen at sea" and "Thatcher fucked the kids", so you'll know the joy of down-to-earth, life-affirming sing-a-longs after my last musings on the matter. If not, stop being stubborn and go out and buy it.

I don't think much to Yourcodenameis:Milo though. In fact, if their lead singer didn't have such good taste in eyewear, I would start up a picket line here and now against bloody "math" rock. What I really crave when watching what just ends up sounding like a pretentious load of old twaddle is something to tap my three-inch heels to. Alas; although their sound is nice and heavy and they put on a relatively good show, here are five blokes from Newcastle who play riff after riff only because they can, seemingly completely forsaking all melody and changing time signature at least five times in the time it takes me to walk from the auditorium to the bar to dunk my head in a half pint of Strongbow. When they launch into a large-scale session of hand-clapping from the kids to the tune of a medley of Queen songs, I'm not sure what it is all about and I am tipped to a mood of near rage. Still, I've had a rubbish week and the best bit of luck I get is when Yourcodenameis:Milo stop playing. I hadn't heard any of their material before and, luckily, it was unlikely that I would have any of it stuck in my head afterwards. Their new album is available now and is entitled "They came from the sun". Admittedly more tolerable on record, when the wall of noise is a bit quieter, I still advise you to tread cautiously.

And to think I am only really here to see Biffy Clyro because the boy in my life wouldn't stop going on about them. This proves he is right about some things at least and I am pleasantly surprised to see that they deliver more than pure man-rock, a fact I am first unsure of when singer, Simon, appears stage-right, wielding a guitar like an axe over his half-naked warrior-like stance. Yet the sight of a bare chest gets me thinking about how this band could actually be likened to a nipple. Sometimes hard, sometimes soft, yet always with meaning (not to mention extremely hairy on this occasion), what could be voted off as merely rather macho Scot-core thankfully has the wonderful harmonies and melodic thrust to compliment the ballsy guitar work and vocal talent, reiterating that tracks like "Liberate the illiterate/A mong among mingers" and "Glitter and trauma" should have gone down in British rock history by now and recent singles "Living is a problem because everything dies" and "Saturday Superhouse" will be soon to follow. Notably quoting Nirvana as a reference point (though I can't hear this at all personally), regardless, with a depth lacked by most of their contemporaries, Biffy are not grunge, they are not pop, they are not even really post-hardcore (Hallelujah!) but whatever ingredient it is they have raises hands in the air, brings a smile to the lips of the chanting faithful and creates a wonderful and compelling atmosphere tonight that even me being crippled by afore-mentioned shoes did not compromise. If Ace wasn't such a crap word, I'd use it right now. When they come back around again, be there.

Anna C

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