A not-so-pretty little ditty about wanting more, more, more in which Paul Hawkins sounds both pissed and pissed-off and the band behind him dredge punk riffs and grunge rock into shapes just ugly enough to match the sour words. This isn’t anywhere near as cute or catchy as Hawkins’ last single but it is ten times more infectious and deadly. If indie music is plagued with soulless rats then Paul Hawkins is the new pied piper. Except this guy doesn’t escort the vermin away but eat them up and spit them out. Acerbic aceness.

KIDS IN GLASS HOUSES + Tonight Is Goodbye + SaidMike. Zodiac, Oxford. 24.10.07

Tonight Oxford is all about the future. Even from a distance the Zodiac’s line-up is glowing with good prospects, get closer and there’s a fluorescent pink flood of promise and potential washing down the street, and once inside the building it’s impossible to move for the glare of a band who are going to be absolutely huge.

First on and Welsh wonders SaidMike may not have progressed a whole lot since supporting The Blackout over the summer but continue to impress nonetheless. In frontman Tom they’ve got a singer who can actually sing, in their nifty keys and synth tricks they’ve got everything they need to keep things interesting and in tunes like ‘Mind Over Muscle’ and ‘Heads Down…’ they’ve got songs that could take them supernova. If they would just lift their heads a little, and maybe consider a name change, this lot could take over the world.

Planet-beating is something that Tonight Is Goodbye have promised for a while now. They may already have some slick moves and stylish poses down pat but this evening they expand their pop-rock arsenal brilliantly- boosted confidence, a bigger sound and brilliant-sounding new tunes helping them make the leap from local charmers to headline contenders with ease. They finish with a riotous version of ‘Black Dress’, girls scream, boys sing, everybody dances like a loon and the future, as they say, is most definitely bright.

Kids In Glass Houses sound close enough to that particular light to explode any day now. Truthfully the band are still a toilet-tour proposition and without a full-length to their name but, from the first twinkling notes of their set to the final ballsy bounce of ‘Me Me Me’, the Cardiff quintet handle the pressure of such a stellar supporting cast with ease. Frontman Aled is a super-self-assured dynamo and the band behind him sound like Funeral For A Friend with their passion fully restored, like Angels And Airwaves boiled to down to atmospheric pop perfection and, much like the other bands on tonight’s bill, are clearly ready for rock’n’roll superstardom.

Tonight Oxford was all about the future. And in these days of retro rock, vintage riffs and much British music looking desperately to past glories, it’s been a very reassuring evening indeed.


TORCHE- In Return

People will feel this record before they hear it. The booming bass will shake the ground, the titanic riffs will channel up arms and legs and the hypnotic distortion will filter through brains from a thousand yards. But beardy Floridians Torche haven’t just created a mega-loud monster here though, ‘In Return’ is out for your dancing shoes too...

Read on here.