|Mike Scott - Ex Phinius Gage now going solo|
As Liam O'Kane and The Stabilizers took to the stage. Mike Moore, the usual bassist, wasn’t there so it was just drummer Ben Farnsworth (Captain Dangerous and Jimmy The Squirrel) and a few fans on the floor to warm the evening up, but it wasn’t long before they had to play in complete darkness!
Before the set barely got it self off the ground the PA and lights went off. That didn’t stop Liam playing or the crowd singing along, which created a brilliant intimacy. The duo carried on with Man From The Seasons, Postman, Happy Days Sad Songs and Runaway Boy giving their grassroots ska-acoustic sound justice.
Next up was Flav Giorgini, formerly of pop-punk band Squirtgun who toured extensively with bands like Blink 182, Less Than Jake and NOFX in the 90s. He also designed Guitarpunk guitars for Alkaline Trio, and his punk presence was saluted from the fans present this evening. With his solo tracks, the punk-roots are subtle, with an Izzy Stradlin feel to songs such as Dead, White and Blue. He merges a combination of politically driven lyrics with honest love songs that clearly pulled the crowd in.
After making my way from the bar the stage was suddenly swarmed with a collective of musicians that made up Basement Forte. The 8-piece consist of MCs and singers joined by a band that compliment each other in a unique and inciting way; and must be one of the most exciting new bands in Nottingham at the moment in terms of doing something different and fresh. They blend Trip-Hop and blues with a cheeky bit of dub step and drum and bass thrown in, whilst rappers Reuben Mead and Miah Jumbo add that hint of professionalism and passion, but still clearly able to have a laugh.
Songs such as Come On Down and Dark Matters show why we might be hearing more from them in the future, and they got the crowd to muster up the energy to have a dance. It was quite clear most people had only came for them when the floor cleared before Mike Scott came on, which is a bit of a shame as his set was warming and honest with punk rock elements.
Originally in the band Phinius Gage, Mike puts his heart on his sleeve in a nihilistic and archaic way, and his music is an escapism mechanism that he wants to share with others. He talks of religion, nationalism, militarism and personal tragedies that really beg you to take it in. His influences from bands like Black Flag, Propaghandi and Pennywise give his a raw and raucous feel to his sound but he still retains a bit of originality.
Unfortunately I couldn’t stay around for Robb Blake of Whitmore but it soon became obvious most of the bands that played tonight were very happy to be touring with him.
Liam O’Kane and The Stablilizers, Flav Girogini, Basement Forte and Mike Scott played at The Central on Monday 29 March 2010.