Having a Tantrum

Sicknote : TJ’s, Newport: 11/10/08: by Penny Wainright

A shambolic triumph!

Utter chaos! That’s the way to describe Sicknote’s end of summer Holy Trinity Tour which culminated in an evening of bad timing, missed cues and botched improvisation.

Following London band Toy Toy, who gave a good performance, and Delinquent Dancers which was billed as Burlesque but was anything but, Sicknote took to the TJ’s stage which has helped propel many bands and artists into the limelight.

Opening with the dancefloor fave “Romance”, the crowd were immediately crazy for the Sicknote sound and the mentalist antics of Dr. Comker and lead man Doghouse. It didn’t take long for the whole thing to take a downward spiral with mic stands being knocked over onto feedback monitors causing the weirdest feedback and adding to the wacky noises eminating from Flapsandwich’s laptop, to visuals man P&O and drummer Filth writhing around grappling on the stage floor in a fit of love and hate. The crowd couldn’t get enough! The inevitable ensued with a stage invasion long before the set had finished.
A sensible bouncer, decked out in furry blue coat and a rather fetching easter bonnet, managed to clear the stage for at least ten minutes!

Cock up after cock up followed, but it mattered not a jot! Each song was greeted with shouts and screams and manic applause, beer flying over the heads of the audience and everyone loving it.

The madness continued, it being Doghouse’s birthday; he was out to enjoy himself at any cost, the cost being a mis-timed crowd dive by the delta blues man himself, straight through the middle of the crowd and onto the floor. Undeterred, he did it again, this time being caught, cradled and loved by the punters being crushed into a rickety stage barrier.
The band played on.

Two encores later, the set wrapped up with the ever popular if now out – dated Taxi For Mr. Blair. Enter stage left the compere for the evening who was speechless except for a stream of expletives to the effect that he had never seen the likes of such utter chaos at TJ’s in all his time as the intro man.

Some kind of shouting debate was occurring just off stage; Flapmeister had unplugged his faithful and treasured laptop, then realization dawned with a little help from the Sicknote stalkers shouting “DEATH! DEATH! You haven’t played DEATH!”.

Back to the stage, laptop plugged in, Doghouse back on the mic, Filth almost at his drums on time, the finale saw a breathtaking rendition of Sicknote’s manifesto mantra “Death Before Employment” lift the crowd to a state not yet achieved all evening.

So in terms of performance, Sicknote have played many a better gig, most memorables being Workhouse Festival, Nozstock Festival, Celtic Blue Rock Festival, Thimbleberry Festival, and Totaal in Holland, but Sicknote are more than a festival band. If they can manage to keep their heads together over the coming years, we will see them propelled onto the club scene with new numbers like Death and Burden, and they will undoubtedly play to full, larger capacity venues all over the UK and there can be no surprise if they take Europe by the sweatys too.

Sicknote are fresh. Each new tune is fresh. Every show is different, and their sound and image is unique. This band, one of the hardest working in the UK, will be headlining bigger venues and taking to the main stages of summer festivals in the coming years.

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