PLUS: Silent Smiles and Rob Aitkin
The Rose and Crown, Bishops Stortford
2nd March 2012
Words: John Newspeak for Noise Addiction Photos: Emma Bowdidge
First, lets set the scene…
Bishops Stortford, the Rose and Crown, a small and busy pub. Its cold outside for the smokers, hot inside for the punters. Time is approx 11pm and a bit, and it’s the first Friday in March.
Dates could turn out to be important when we look back at this in years to come, as the fortunes of headline band Wideboy Generation look to be turning for the better. At the right here, and in the right now, with 4 pints of Carlsberg keeping my senses tuned, I can feel a tangible buzz in the air. The thought that WBG have just been promoted, gone up a level, taken the next step, climbed the next rung… with even the possibility of Champions league or maybe even world domination permeating into the writer and all the other people in this rather crowded room.
Who knows what the future will bring? but there is definitely, an expectancy about tonight, and one which I am very much looking forward to.
After a very professional opening acoustic set from the really nice bloke that is Rob Aitkin and a very sharp, tight and ever improving set from local indie rockers Silent Smiles… Wideboy Generation – our main protagonists, take to the stage; Photographic evidence will suggest pub floor, but hey let’s not split spiky hairs.
‘Ladies and gentlemen I give you Wideboy Generation.’ The band are introduced by Re-wired promoter Stephen Marriott the younger, nephew of British Rock and Roll’s very own Wideboy, and the artful dodger himself, Small Face Steve Marriott of Old London Town.
‘This ain’t no story for the Grandkids’ exclaims Joe, Wideboy Generations cool as F. front man and guitar wiz, as they rip into the opener ‘Looters’ which has (as I am reliably informed by Jamie, the band’s drummer and seemingly biggest fan all rolled into one) recently gained over 40,000 plays on YouTube.
Pints get slurped and drinks get spilt as a large group of attractive young people push forward all at once, to join the frontline so they can really get to be with the band, you know… up close and personal. Bassist Aiden then introduces some names of the up close and personal, personnel. ‘Always acknowledge your people, without them you are nothing’ - How very true.
‘Into The Forevermore’ is epic rock, and merges into ‘Get Up Get Out’ a clever Cream/Rush type track that you don’t really expect from these boys. Did i say Boys? These 20 year olds don’t play like boys… they play hard and aggressive but while musically very mature they keep the youthful exuberance that shows they aren’t just going through the motions. They mean it, they really mean it, and in fact they really want it. And it’s warming to the cockles of my heart that in this great big X-factor cauldron of non talent they want/need/command the music to stand up and be counted.
‘Sylvia’ is 3 minutes of brilliance, and I woke up with the melody in my head, and I’m afraid you will to, that’s if you dare to go to their latest video offering that is plastered all over the social networks. It’s actually also featured in this very Zine, and nearly gets an X rating for the scantily clad girls but definitely an A+ for the track.
‘DIY’ has a great hooky riff and ‘Typical Blonde’ a great hooky chorus. ‘No Time To Be Shy’ is serious guitar driven Rock, and the fantastically poppy ‘I Couldn’t Talk’ is a totally international pop/rock track that could earn them some serious dollar if handled correctly!
How apt that they finish on ‘Miss-Pronounced’ a play on words I feel, just for me… and as I write this piece I sincerely hope they continue to play hard, as well as work hard, for that is part of their charm. They have it. Whatever that is?