My ears are still ringing from last night. Sheffieldian four piece Gas Club were first on and played an impressive set. They play dark, angular indie-punk in the Joy Division/Gang Of Four tradition. MP3s are available both at their website and their MySpace page – ‘Disenchanted’ is recommended.
With a number one album under their belts and countless gigs behind them, Arctic Monkeys (pictured) can hardly be described as ‘new’. Nonetheless, headlining last night they played an energetic set and seemed genuinely happy to entertain us yokel types. Tracks from their forthcoming second album ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’ (out on 23rd April) received a mixed reception. In some respects the new album is a diversion from their debut; like Bloc Party they seem to have mellowed out a little. Perhaps this is why new tracks such as ‘Do Me A Favour’ were greeted by something of a confused silence. However, also like Bloc Party, they manage the change well, and I felt that the new tracks worked well alongside old favourites like ‘Fake Tales Of San Francisco’ and ‘When The Sun Goes Down’, especially new single ‘Brainstorm’ which went down a ‘storm’. As the final notes of compulsory closer ‘A Certain Romance’ rang out across the room I saw a band still on form with another promising year ahead of them. After the lights went up, and as I descended the familiar stairs of Exeter’s Great Hall, the walls now dripping with condensation, a Bond classic played out: ‘Nobody Does It Better’. Quite.