Flood of Red + Surprise…Fire + The Humour

posted 24 Oct 2009, 01:25 by Harry Cooke

5th October 2009


by Vicky Miller

 based fourpiece The Humour opened up the night with some punk/ glam rock which evoked a highly stylised sound, similar to that popularised by the recent surge of American bands such as Metro Station and 3oh3. Camp singer, James Taylor, had a rather clean, non-descript vocal style and guitarist Matthew Bagley’s riffs were catchy and poppy, albeit slightly drowned out by Luke Richards, whose bass was a little too loud.


Promising the crowd “This next song you can mosh to,” The Humour went on to deliver much of what we had already heard with a very slight rock n roll tinge. Later, announcing “We are a positive band,” The Humour wowed the crowd with the lyrics “This world is a scary place, but I’m not afraid, so bring it on, bring it on,” repeated over and over. Their closing song One More Drink had a late nineties feel, reminiscent of Buckcherry but sadly lapsed into the kind of nah-nah-nah vocals which haven’t been used to great effect since the days of The Offspring’s Self Esteem. I cannot disagree that The Humour are a positive band and they exude poppy, feel good vibes. Their sound, however, lacks substance.


Next up, York’s very own Surprise…Fire took to the stage. They played a mix of melodic/ emo material which broke suddenly into energetic bursts of noise. Singer Josh Finn thanked the audience for their continuing support: “There’s a lot of faces here that we see at a lot of our gigs,” and also enlightened us about the stage lights- the red one is much hotter than the blue one, apparently.


Surprise…Fire’s final song Feet On The Ground was the heaviest in the set. From the chilled out intro the song quickly descended into some heavy guitar riffs, with interludes of quiet vocals from Josh Finn and loud backing vocals provided by guitarist Matthew Clarkson. Surprise…Fire received a good reception from the crowd, particularly in response to “Sweet as Fuck” a punk song with an overt 80s pop feel. It is clear these York based youngsters already have a very loyal, local following.


After a very long wait, Scottish sixpiece Flood of Red arrived on stage and launched immediately into a heavy set with some impressive vocals from Jordan SpeirsThere was no lag between the first two songs with one leading effortlessly into the next. There were some quiet, ambient moments during Flood of Red’s songs, juxtaposed against some heavy jamming, with Speir’s voice consistently powerful, and angry and throaty vocals provided by Dale Gallacher, the man behind the electro effects.


Flood of Red are a difficult band to categorise: heavier than punk but not heavy enough to be hardcore. They had an interesting sound: fuzzy guitars, a heavy bass, powerful singing and the added dimension of keyboard/ electronic effects. The songs from their album Leaving Everything Behind had a slightly poppier feel which briefly had the audience clapping along, whilst the songs from their debut EP featured fast paced punk guitars and heavy basslines with angry vocals from GallacherFlood of Red closed their set rather innovatively, descending into a rhythmic jam session with each band member hitting a drum simultaneously.


Despite the claps and cheers between songs, the band never really got the crowd going which is a shame as they played an impressive set. Flood of Red clearly have an incredible energy, plus an interesting and original sound, but for some reason tonight, York just was not very receptive to it.