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THREE WAYS
:: Fi-Lo Radio :: Kinesis :: Oceansize ::
08 October 2003 / Barfly / Masque / Liverpool
By JA

Manchester came with us all the way to Liverpool. It rained and rained all the way down the M62. What they don’t tell you about Liverpool is that it pisses down all the time there too. And Liverpool is just like Manchester with its indie denim and tracksuits creeping out of the corners.

But what a prospect - two Chairsmissing masters and a headline championed by MM, before they signed. Three great emerging Mcr based acts and an exciting slab of next-gen rock all on one night.

The Barfly in Liverpool is effectively “Upstairs At The Masque”. Like the Theatre, its full of character, high ceilings and over the top door frames. It’s an intimate venue, where the separate bar and lounge, are actually bigger than the music room. We arrive to the tunes of Fi-Lo Radio. And its blistering. Jon-Lee gobs. “There’s something living in my throat..” he exclaims, before crunching out the chords from his cranked out Marshall. “Cracked Bones Cheap Skin” like the rest of their set, is deadly tight and perfectly underpinned by Chris and Judes Drums and Bass. This is one compelling outfit. Jon-Lee is obviously the powerhouse, but without the almost symbiotic, but riotous collaboration with his cohorts, it would most likely fall to nothing. Together they are an unmissable combination and “Pretty Bones” sends adrenalised rushes of excitement through everyone’s body. This band will so obviously be massive and without doubt will be inked to some big deal very soon. Probably the best unsigned act in the UK at the moment, a fact that has been recognised by both the NME and Kerrang! (and of course us first !).

The meat in tonights sandwich are our favourites Oceansize. This is the mid section of their extensive UK tour, having started out with Biffy Clyro and culminating in their own final headline shows in the last two weeks of October. Oceansize do a longer set tonight. Four songs get an airing. It’s the orchestrated genius of “Massive Bereavement” though that really torches the night. It’s befittingly big, long and full of intense twists and turns. The band seem to be literally looking at delivering perfection. The drums are magnificent and each guitar is perfectly layered, in what turns out to be the best sound of the night. As each six string intertwines, the bass rumbles and growls as the song reaches it blistering crescendo. “One Day…” fizzes with electro backing tracks and throbbing electro-bass parts. There’s FOUR guitars in this bit (FIVE in some sets when Jon-Lee Fi-Lo is given a guest slot) and it destructively progresses to its climax, like a moving Glacier making its final mark on the landscape. “Saturday Morning Breakfast Show” brings the old together with the new and as the final chords ring out of the juggernaught guitars, they become detached from their owners bodies, flying through the air as the PA shudders to a distorted death throe. A genre defining album and trend setting performances are now Oceansizes unmistakable trademark.

Such performances from the two acts so far, is always going to be difficult to follow. Despite our intimate distance from stage, the sound seems less defined. The guitars are muddy, the drums loud and the vocals struggling to sit comfortably over it all. But Kinesis ARE made of stern stuff. They have truck loads of ideas and the Guitar playing verges on the inspirational at times. But occaisionally Kinesis are like the teenage kid fumbling with his flies on a first serious date. It’s finger and thumbs at some points and over-excited flurries at others. Sometimes too much is going on and things threaten to get slightly loose.

But considering the wealth of anthems that these four teenagers produce, it’s a wonder that they’ve got this far at such an age. They are competent and they are clever and they try to be serious about it. More angst and more self confidence on a united front would give Kinesis the absolute edge. It may be a case of too much too soon. There’s also the irony of their politico musings being wrapped up into a mass marketed product that’s being pushed, plugged and promoted in direct conflict of their manifesto. Yes Kinesis are being turned into a shopping experience with key supermarkets being potential pushers.

But coming back down to earth, their respectable debut album is supported well by a more than mature and professional outlook that has them firmly down as survivors. They are the heroes who will bring back the soaring middle eight breaks and anthemic rock tunes, that have been sorely missed since the Manics were last good. An impressive band that should be booked for the long run.

We return home, they head for Leicester !


Resources:
Kinesis Website
Oceansize Web
Fi-Lo Radio Website

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