First of all, I didn’t know anything about any of these bands. Usually you do some research beforehand (MySpace etc), but I thought it would make a change to do a review without any preconceptions.
Sleepwalker are a 4-piece heavyish band fronted by your typical 17 year-old HM male – long hair, centre parting, headband, fast-fingered guitarist. The other guitarist had a few decent riffs/effects and the drummer was OK, but the hi-hat/snare didn’t quite have the necessary snap.A few times the songs drifted and there were some glances between the musicians suggesting some missed intros etc.
The Culprits were the obligatory Arctic Monkey tribute band (there’s always one). To be fair, they play bright, jangly, infectious pop, but wouldn’t it make a change to see, for example, a Throbbing Gristle tribute band (anyone out there?).
Seven Hills are a more mature bunch of lads who look like they can handle themselves and that was reflected in the sound they produced – big, full, with a swagger. They are in the Verve/Oasis mould (quite a crowded mould), but they do possess the requisite beer-fuelled lad rock that pleases the crowd. The singer prowled the stage with a certain brooding menace, but he could certainly sing and they finished their set with their 2 best songs – the keyboards adding something different to their usual palette.
Section 60 were in a similar vein with a similarly big sound, but the standout was the vocalist – a Bono/Brandon Flowers type who looked the part – handsome, cool and assured. The songs were competent enough, but maybe didn’t possess enough memorable hooks and choruses to really differentiate them from the sea of challengers.
Not a vintage Soundclash evening, but enough to give the punters good value for their £6.