The Jays
Live (Allesyndrome / CrudeArm)

Outside, the weather had begun to turn cold and by the look of it not many people decided to brace the chilly evening. But this is another waffle event and, much like the others, it will get busier as the evening continues.

The first of the three bands, CrudeArm, is scheduled for 8:20 but like any good event, problems start. The news around the venue is that the PA is locked in a cupboard. But that’s not all. The key is also broken in the lock. Band members run around the venue not really sure what to do and drums are carried up and down the stairs in a bid to play a live set downstairs. At least there is another option.

CrudeArm don’t seem too worried though. As they stand around waiting for the locksmith to do his magic the crowd inside Pacific Edge is building and it looks as though a decently sized mob will be waiting for the bands first gig.

A cheer is heard and all of a sudden the PA is rushed towards the stage. With this CrudeArm begin to set up and before we know it we’re watching a screen with a collection of funky animations.

The band opens with ‘LSD The Beyond Within’, it almost feels like a subliminal message is being sent across from the screen as an eerie voice begins to tell you detailed facts, before hippies begin to dance with the joy of a trip. It’s a catchy riff and it works well when mixed in with distorted guitars. As the song finishes though the crowd are unsure what to do. Should they clap, or should they listen to the next sample? This time the message is anti-war, and some of the footage seen can be quite graphic and to the point. But wait, I’m here to watch a band and after being transfixed with what happens on the screen it can easily guide you away from the music.

The songs continue well and each is closely linked with a visual aid. Before you know it Paul tells the audience that CrudeArm only have one song remaining, ‘Expanders’. It’s disappointing to see the band step off the stage but for a first gig it was impressive. A lot of work was put into the image of the band and it shows, but I still have a question for the songwriter. Is LSD good? The video’s seemed to show it was.

The second band of the night is Allesyndrome. They seem to play live every time I venture out but as always they don’t disappoint.

The band sticks to a formula which has almost died out in the music world, but they still play with energy and continue to write songs which wouldn’t be out of place on a Stone Temple Pilots album.

With the set ending on a catchy riff and powerful vocals I wonder if they have become bored with the Romford ‘scene’. There’s a whole other world of venues to play and Allesyndrome are good enough to hold their own, London is only on the doorstep after all.

The final band to set up and plug in are The Jays. The lead singer, and former guitarist of local band Frog welcomes the audience as it is clear they’re here to see them play. Their pop punk songs have an abundance of energy and each member clearly enjoys what they play but with pop punk comes a disadvantage.

The songs are good but it seems as though this style has been done before and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for any band to pull this off without falling into a pile with the rest of the pop punk rockers.

But it all depends on where you stand. If you’re here tonight to see a band pushing music forward into a new direction no one has ever seen before then maybe you’re at the wrong gig. The Jays have good fun punk pop songs which will make you tap your feet and leave the venue whistling their tunes. They don’t want to change the world and start a whole new scene, they just want to play guitar, rock out and have a laugh.

Guest article from Matt C.

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.

Discover More Music