When you turn up to a legendary venue like Nottingham’s Rock City and don’t see a queue forming 10 minutes before doors opening, you wouldn’t think two much loved bands like Transit and Such Gold would be playing here tonight. However that is the case as the turnout for tonight’s show is frankly pathetic.
Despite the low attendance, rising Cheltenham rockers Crooks produce an interesting set. Having recently signed a deal with Equal Vision (and their subsidiary Headphone Music), the quintet have been earmarked as “ones to watch”. Tonight’s display gets off to a rough start as Josh Rogers’ vocals strain yet as their set progresses, it’s clear his voice is at home amongst the bands brand of alternative rock/melodic hardcore. Musically their is potential in Crooks’ sound. Throughout they display their strengths through surging guitars and rapid, well-timed drum work. However despite their tight performance, their style doesn’t leave a lasting impression. Sure there is variation, but it’s nothing special, and when coupled with the imperfect vocals, you’re left thinking Crooks have a lot to prove going forward. (2/5)
It seems from the lack of people here tonight you might think Transit have fallen on hard times. 2013’s ‘Young New England’ and last year’s ‘Joyride’ both received mixed feedback from fans and critics. Nevertheless Joe Boynton and company still have an arsenal of hook-y and heartfelt songs that strike a chord. As always, Boynton has a strong stage presence with a sturdy look and confident vocals. Whilst some may miss the presence of departed guitarist Tim Landers, songs such as ‘Too Little, Too Late’ and ‘Saturday, Sunday’ are just effective as ever. Whilst its tracks such as ‘So Long, So Long’, ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’, ‘All of Your Heart’, ‘Long Lost Friends’ and ‘Skipping Stone’ that get the best response of the night. It’s a shame many have seemingly dismissed Transit for whatever reason as it is clear from tonight’s showing they can leave a lasting impression. (3.5/5)
Whether it’s because of the small crowd or a miscalculation, Such Gold start their set 20 minutes early. Having never quite reached the upper echelon of the pop punk scene that their early material promised, it’s allowed the New York quartet to diversify their sound. From the outset they deliver a blistering set that are ideally rapid and scrappy. ‘Storyteller’ and ‘Locked Out of the Magic Theatre’ from 2012’s ‘Misadventures’ sets the tone for the remainder of the evening. They’re energetic and upbeat bordering on the line of hardcore and punk rock before being followed up by longtime favourite ‘Gutrot’ harks back to the bands more raw sound. This is followed by ‘Engulfed In Flames’ and ’No Cab Fare’ from last years ‘The New Sidewalk’ LP. They show a more structured side yet they still have that full-throttle momentum and doesn’t sound out of place. These tracks along with ‘Nauseating’ also allow Ben Kotin to showcase his ability to sing rather than shout. The night rounds off with the trashy ‘Sycamore’ and sends the few left walking away satisfied. (3/5)
Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)