With posters spread across the city, promotional goodies placed around the venue, bands lined up and a DJ on board, it was looking to be a great night at the Boardwalk. Regional editor and organiser Gail took to the stage to get events under way, nervously at first thanking various people for their help in setting up the night – a special nod to Joolz – and a brief explanation of Counterfeit itself.With a round of applause it was straight into the first of five bands tonight, Jive Turkeys.
A freshly formed young band who had the misfortune of being first up, as with most gigs ‘first on’ means ‘least seen’ and this was no different. Whilst a small crowd had gathered the hordes that would pile in later missed a young enthusiastic band proudly plying their wares. With skilled guitar work and easy lyrics they were an excellent opening act, the drummer took it upon himself to engage in a bit of good natured banter with the crowd. He happily gave a running commentary on what was happening on stage – I’m sure he missed his calling as a stand up!!!! Their best track by far was ‘Horace’, a long undulating melody which ran the gauntlet of ballad to screamo and everything in between, ambitious for ones so young but they pulled it off.
Next up was Legion, a band guaranteed to bring in a crowd and they didn’t fail on that account this time. These guys have certainly come along way from a year when I first saw them but despite their well supported performance, it is obvious they are still finding their true style. This is the third style of show I’ve seen them perform, the first being a single vocalist, the second being dual vocals singing in harmony, Century Kids style, and now this one with both vocalists singing the whole song together. Personally I preferred the second incarnation as it gave their work an added depth over the heavy bass and drum work. All said and done the crowd still loved them and I’ll look forward to what they have in store next time.
By now quite a crowd had gathered so DJ Matt – of Playground Mafia fame – started up with bunch of local bands and with songs from Alvarez Kings and LMT the crowd were soon up and dancing. This had to be cut short for the next act of the night, The Matadors, a band I’d not seen before but wished I had. With driving bass and thumping drums overlaid with some seriously combined guitar work, they have a certain Echo & The Bunnymen feel to the set. The last track ‘Down By The Riverside’ threw the crowd into rapturous applause with its very danceable riffs throughout, I can honestly say I’ll see these guys again.
Matt had to put the DJ job on hold as it was time for Playground Mafia to take to the stage. Every time I’ve seen these guys you are at once taken in by Matts energy, with their infectious blend of electro dance backing up Matts ‘Stop Talking Start Dancing’ manifesto. Whether you were listening or not you couldn’t help the involuntary body movements to some great rhythms pounding across the floor.
This all too soon had to make way for the headline act, Jack & The Beanstalks, with their surrealistic take on the early punk poetry of Iggy Pop. Safe to say this band is a law unto itself as half the time they seem to be fighting on stage or at the very least swearing at each other – to be fair this is mostly between singer Jack and guitarist Beanstalk, the other guys just get on with the show. With abstract song titles like ‘I Am The Slug’ and ‘Orange For A Head’ you can forgive them for all that, plus you have the added bonus of some of Sheffield’s finest turning up to see them so they must be doing something right. Phil from Elephant Keys and Paul from Alvarez Kings showed up in time to catch them.
It was a great way to finish the launch night, once more Gail got up to thank numerous people for their efforts, but this time with a lot more confidence. This was quickly followed by Mark Tighe getting up on stage and thanking Gail for all her hard work. If Counterfeit keeps up this momentum it can only go from strength to strength.