Tracks Monkeys With Lasers

Straight Lines @ The Enterprise – 23/02
February 28, 2010, 6:28 pm
Filed under: gigs | Tags: , , ,

The Straight Lines album has been one I’ve been meaning to review for a little while now as it’s up there for one of my favourite albums of the year so far. Luckily, I’d got hold of a copy of the album a little before the release date (legitimately as well may I add) and thought that they were a band that I would definitely have to catch live if given the chance. And so I was rather happy to hear that they were doing a headline tour of the UK just after the album’s official release with the London date bringing them to the Enterprise in Camden.

The Enterprise is yet another venue that I had never been to before so I went with absolutely no idea of what to expect (although their website wasn’t exactly the most welcoming I’ve ever seen). After eventually getting there and grabbing a drink from downstairs, I wandered up to the venue and was slightly surprised to find that I’d seemingly walked into the world’s smallest venue as it appeared to only be about two or three times bigger than my bedroom ( I do admittedly have a decent sized bedroom.. but that’s not the point). It was also a little concerning that there seemed to be less than ten other people there at the time. But that’s no reason why a gig still can’t be great fun..

The opening act of the night were A Wolf Like Me who were decent enough as an opener. They played a punk rock sound that is difficult to say whether it was good or not as it felt like the kind of music that you might hear your annoying 15 year old neighbour’s band playing in his garage but could also be played by a fairly established band. If you get me. The vocals were okay but nothing overly special but I will admit that their guitarist was pretty damn good and played some solid riffs that were probably the best part of the band’s sound.

Have a cheeky listen to their stuff on their myspace page if you should so wish.

The second support band of the night were the sightly oddly named The Cape Race. This Mancunian five piece played a more pop punk sound than the previous act and sounded good with it. Their bouncy, tight riffs backed up some solid vocals and it was the frontman who made the band with his leaping about the stage and making the most of the obligatory space at the front of the crowd that support bands seem to be given, bringing the microphone down into the crowd and running round singing into people’s faces. It was unfortunate for them that they were plagued by technical problems through their short set but this didn’t stop them putting in an impressive and fun set.

Lend your ears to their myspace for a couple of demos of theirs.

And so we finally came to the main act of the night; Straight Lines. The crowd had filled out a little more by the time they came on but half the crowd was still made up of the support bands and their friends and family. Not that this bothered me in the slightest as I was right at the front at centre stage so I could have been the only person there and it would have made no difference.

They kicked off their set with the raucous ‘A Place to Stay’ which was apt for me as it was this song that first got me into the band when I downloaded it from the Banquet Records website through their music advent calendar. This was a great opener with top energy and a good singalong chorus. However, the sound levels didn’t quite seem right where I was with the guitars feeling a bit too heavy on the treble and the vocals being slightly drowned out.

The sound did improve later on in the set thankfully and this initial problem didn’t hamper the show too much but was noticable to me. The set itself consisted of the majority of the album with only ‘Perfect Mistakes’ and ‘Oh Blue Eyes’ being the only tracks I don’t remember hearing. The mix of big riffs on tracks like ‘Antics’ went alongside the slower tracks such as ‘All My Friends Have Joined The Army’ really well and all the tracks had enough singalong parts to get the crowd to join in with.

As I already said, it was a shame that not that many people there seemed to know the band too well with only myself and a few others singing along. Admittedly, I was lucky to get hold of the album as early as I did so knew the songs a bit better than others there but it was still a shame.

That said, it didn’t affect how much I enjoyed the show. The guys played a great show and it was pretty relentless with only a few breaks between songs through the whole show. The final two songs of the night were probably the highlight for me though with ‘Set Me On Fire And Feed Me To The Wolves’, which may be one of my favourite tracks of the year so far with it’s hugely catchy chorus, and the slower, soaring ending to the show with ‘The Ballad Of Peter Devine’.

I really enjoyed the set myself and it was great to see an up and coming band in a small venue like the Enterprise. I strongly recommend you pick up their album and go see them if you can and I will definitely be taking up Todd on his offer of guestlist tickets for their next London show!!

Straight Lines – The Ballad of Peter Devine (live)

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