With the onset of February we are getting a little busier. 2nd, Protest The Hero, 6th Del Amitri, 9th Molly Hatchet, 14th Monster Magnet, 15th Dream Theater, 19th, Sons Of Icarus, 20th Skyclad, 25th Soulfly, 26th Cadillac Three

And maybe a couple more to be added.

Monday, 19 November 2012

SEETHER, Heaven's Basement @Institute Birmingham 18/11/12

RTM has a confession. Up until about a month ago we hadn’t heard of Seether. It seems that, with this lack of knowledge of the South African act, we are in a minority. This show was originally supposed to be at the Academy 2, but was upgraded to the much larger Institute, where it is almost sold-out.

 So, if we didn’t know about Seether, then why are we here? The answer to that lies in the choice of support band. Heaven’s Basement are a band that we have had a lot of time for and have had for a long time. Their history is complicated and long, first they Hurricane Party  - attracting A&R man extraordinaire John Kalodner to their first EP - then they were Roadstar, before becoming HB in 2008 after a split with manager Laurie Mansworth (who now looks after The Treatment).

Throughout all that time they have made fabulous hard rock records. Last years “Unbreakable” EP showing that again, and given the amount of time they spend on the road they have no problems winning another crowd over tonight. Singer Aaron Buchanan has only been in the band for a year but looks born to the role, with his effortless charm and seemingly boundless energy. They (finally) have a debut album out next year and the track they play from this “There Is Else Left To Lose” gives notice that it might be very good, but as always it is “Reign On My Parade” and “Executioners Day” that steal the show. Job – as always – done.

Seether, rather quietly, have become a very big deal it seems. Given the size of the crowd and the sense of expectation you might have expected a show to rival the Down one in this very room last month, that it never reaches any of those heights is entirely due to the band themselves.

The three piece have some good songs, witness the dark and brooding opener “No Jesus Christ” and the fine slab of American arena rock that is “Here and Now” for example. But to be brutally honest, they have absolutely no charisma at all.

Whilst it would be dull if every band behaved like Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie or Kiss, it wouldn’t have killed the group to involve the crowd at some point, instead singer Shaun Cooper is content to mumble “thank you” after each song and leave the gaps drenched in feedback.

Perhaps we should have expected such a low-key show. The opening told us as much. There was no backdrop, for example, and no intro music. Which is fine up to a point, but they were here headlining to 1400 people and it needed a spectacle to go with their undoubted talent.

“Country Song” could have been turned into a sing-a-long and the insanely catchy “Fake It” could have been a showstopper, but it wasn’t. Cooper singing “The Gift”solo was just dull, before the show ended with “Remedy” (which is a dead ringer for Nevermind era Nirvana) and no encore – that would have been too much like showbusiness.

Seether are a band who is good at what they do – essentially write grunge songs for the 21st century - but they have none of Heaven’s Basement’s presence. Tonight only felt like a metal show when the support was onstage.

1 comment:

  1. Well I think perhaps I was at a different concert last night. Heaven's Basement have some good songs but as a friend stated between bands, sometimes there is a point where load music just turns into white noise and unfortunately that is exactly what happened. I do agree that Seether could perhaps add a bit more interaction to the night but hey, we went to see the band play their songs and that is what they did.