Live (Neon Vice)

This show at The Talking Heads, Southampton, was a preparation for a Rat:Daddy tour of Holland. Neon Vice warmed up for R:D with a collection of rock songs that has firm roots in two decades of American stadium bands.

The ability of these guys is unquestionable, with the guitar and bass being exceptionally good. The vocals were also good, an anthemic rock blast that was in tune and belted out like this was the big time, though the hooks were typically found elsewhere.

Rat:Daddy had a monster one and a half hour set to deliver, which is quite nerve racking. Having been present for previous performances, which never tended to be more than an hour, it was a concern that there was no paramedic team to hand to perform whatever emergency treatment might be required.

Things started with an incredibly tight rendition of ‘Do It’, which contained some well though out harmonies as well as a rhythm that was punchier than Mr Lewis. As an example of an R:D song, this contained many of the trademarks. The hooks flick between the vocal and guitars, the stops and starts are well rehearsed and the overall effect is a great melodic rock number.

The quality of their material was kept incredibly high throughout the performance, and the cover versions that were interspersed were off-the-wall enough that the band could stamp their identity all over them, and in some cases they actually took ownership of the track altogether by playing something with more appeal than the original.

All of the material from ‘We Should be Going Crazy’ was excellent and the new songs, from an album expected some time in 2004, also showed great promise.

It’s rare to see an unsigned band produce a top notch performance like this. It’s also clear that that their confidence has grown, with between song chit chat appearing to be more relaxed and technical hitches failing to make a dent in the slick set.

In the past we have instructed people to go and see this band live to see for themselves what we are getting so excited about. This is still the advice we are giving, even if you have to go to Holland to do it!

Written by Fenton on

Steve Fenton writes in our music, words, and culture categories. He was Editor in Chief for The Mag and covered live music for DV8 Magazine and Spill Magazine. He was often found in venues throughout the UK alongside ace-photographer, Mark Holloway. Steve is also a technical writer and programmer and writes gothic fiction. Steve studied Psychology at OSC, and Anarchy in the UK: A History of Punk from 1976-1978 at the University of Reading.

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