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06 February 2005: The Dears + Ambulance Ltd - Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, England, UK

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The Rescue Rooms have been a god send for Nottingham, a venue that is a step up from the back room of a pub, but small enough to attract the new up and coming bands who would not fill Rock City proper, something that has been missing in Nottingham for many years. This is saving me a fortune through not having to travel to the Charlotte in Leicester, the nearest venue of similar proportions.

On offer tonight were three bands, all for the princely sum of 8 quid and whilst I was not aware of the opening act Pure Reason Revolution, both Ambulance Ltd and The Dears have a reasonable following from the music press (BBC 6 Music is fast becoming my favourite station for finding these gems amongst all the crap of the mainstream pop industry).

Unfortunately I arrived a little late for Pure Reason Revolution and only caught the last track of their set, but what I heard sounded promising. A five piece formed by two mates from Uni they’re beginning is typical of hard edged guitar bands, citing Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Super Fury Animals and The Beach Boys as influences.

Next up were Ambulance Ltd, a four piece from New York City, who have been creating a bit of a stir. Taking influences from 60’s pshycodelia, 70’s rock and 80’s Brit pop. The boys really showed that all the time spent in the garage pays off, the set being well thought out and the performance very professional. Thumping bass along the lines of John Entwitle were the backbone of their music filled out with some subtle almost jazz influenced drumming, topped of with some fine guitar work, intricate in places mixed with thundering riffs that Keith Richards would have been proud of. A single, Stay Where You Are, is due out on Feb 28 to be followed by an album on March 14, two discs destined for my CD collection no mistake.

The Dears have been around since 1995, but the band has been through a few transitions since then the only surviving member of the original outfit being Murray Lightburn. Hailing from Montreal, Canada this six piece mixes together Johnny Marr style riffs with pshycodelic synths with a little bit of flute thrown in for good measure. This tour is in support of the Album No Cities Left and the Smiths influence can clearly be heard, maybe a little too obvious in some places. It was rather a shame that the sound man decided to go for volume rather the quality as a lot of the more subtle aspects so prominent on the album were completely lost in the fuzz of distorted vocals and overpowering bass. It was again obvious the amount of time spent rehearsing as the band punched out a very well crafted set.

Overall another good night of original music, all for less than a tenner, bargain at twice the price!


© Simon,

The views expressed in these reviews do not necessarily reflect those of the team.

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