TEAM - Buffalo Bar
It's difficult to drain the atmosphere of a club the size of the Buffalo Bar; slightly bigger than a matchbox, it's normally a sweaty, jumping dive but not, alas, tonight. It's difficult to put the blame in any one place, but a Saturday night has much competition for punters and having the lousiest DJ's in London doesn't help much. No effort was made to create any sort of atmosphere at all, and that's something of an achievement in itself. And what, you may ask, does a DJ gain from playing song over a live band? Nothing except contempt is the proper answer. Opening band Comanechi, though, were absolutely superb and will be the subject of a review very soon.
Team are something of an enigma. We've already reviewed the demo here, but one thing the demo doesn't really capture is the sheer excitement and aggression of the live show. Sounding like a collision between Pearl Jam and Queens Of The Stone Age, but with some quintessential British quirkiness thrown in. They manage combine that raw energy with a over riding sense of melody that ensures the songs never drift into areas that they shouldn't; riffs explode like landmines, guitar solos enhance the songs rather than drag them out and nothing seems out of place. This is the sort of stuff that makes going to gigs a pleasure, Team put absolutely everything they have into their set; they're a machine of noise and passion and quite stunning to watch.
This band belongs on a far larger stage. The energy they espouse is contagious and you get the sense that they're doing this because they love doing it. There's absolutely no pretension here, just a bunch of guys playing good rock music and playing it well. There's a fantastic sense of chemistry between the members, they’re tight, fluid and aggressive. If you like stoner rock, such as QOTSA or Masters Of Reality, you're advised to look into TEAM at once. Team is a cause for celebration, a homegrown band of possibly epic proportions and worthy of your support. They have a perfectly respectable mini-album available from their website here and are doing a fairly extensive series of live dates around the country.
It wouldn't really be fair to give The Armed a full review, as they were plagued by equipment malfunction that punched a twenty minute long hole in the set between first and second song. Given that fact, and the moribund atmosphere created by the DJ's and it would take a band of enormous stature to recover from that. The Armed simply give up, and who can really blame them? They're noisy, certainly, but seem to suffer from the error of thinking that good, aggressive music can be created simply by making a loud, aggressive noise. It needs a bit more than that and there doesn't seem to have been much thought put into song structure or melody. The singer, is all that a singer should be - arrogant, charismatic and sexy, but doesn't appear to be able to sing a note. A shame, but given the problems they suffered, it might be far too soon to right them off completely.
See Team's website here.
Photograph taken by Katherine Ellis. Reproduced with kind permission.