Sound Issues - Various

That this CD gives a wonderful snapshot of the current London underground music scene is a surely a reflection on the importance and vitality of the Buffalo Bar itself. An unassuming basement club in the North of London, it’s played host to some of the top names in music. It’s a combination of the enthusiasm of those unsung heroes who run the band nights, the wonderful bar staff, and the acoustics of the place; it’s one of the few venues that was actually designed to host live bands. It’s simply a great little venue. It’s no accident that the current fops of the mainstream media, The Bravery claim to have played their first, unannounced gig here. The Bravery do not feature on this CD.

Instead, what you get is a wonderful collection of truly eclectic and excellent bands. Listen to the recently deceased Mclusky and weep for the loss of a truly great rock band but then rejoice that there are many bands on here that you can still see that the mainstream media have yet to pick up on and perhaps never will. The Beale, for instance, bring art installation sensibilities to the live experience; The Country Teasers, who sound like a punkier version of The Fall; The Hells who sound like dirty riff heaven made flesh - wonderful bands, one and all. Incidentally, The Beale feature regularly at Guided Missile's very own club night which is one that should be attended at least once before you die. You might see some average acts but will never see a bad one and stand a pretty good chance of seeing one that might just change your life. Artrocker, the weekly institution enjoys a similar reputation and, what’s more is absolutely free. You’d be fools not to go, if you can get in that is.

This CD is a two disc affair. One disc featuring a selection of bands that have played there, many of which should need no introduction, such as the Buff Medways, Scout Niblett, Bloc Party and Kaito but the real fun is the other disc. This shiny piece of plastic features some choice cuts recorded straight from the sound board. You can hear the likes of The Mighty Fraff, Sexton Ming and the amazing Country Teasers absolutely live and as nature intended. It’s adequately produced and gives a nice little taste of what these bands can actually do.

The only real criticism of this disc is that there is room for far more. Some bands are conspicuous by their absence – Comanechi for example, whose drummer Akiko provided the artwork for the disc and the splendid The Priscillas who, with the release of their debut single coming very soon on Rough Trade, will be one of the must-see bands of the year. No Gin Palace, either but there is talk of a volume two, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

See here for more details of all the band nights featured on the disc -Buffalo Bar.




out of 10
Category Review

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