On a bitterly cold Thursday night, at a venue that has recently delivered the sad news of closing down in early 2024, and with the fresh news that Shane MacGowan had passed away, I needed something to cheer me up. Three bands and a packed room at The Chameleon would certainly help...
First of the support bands was Pretty Windows, a local band for local people and a fistful of personal songs about our City. Drum loops, bass tracks, bleeps and harmonies were a constant sound, whilst duo Steve and Nick provided sparse guitar riffs and loud whispering vocals. Their single Vinyl and Heck has to be one of the best releases so far from a Nottingham band in 2023 in my opinion and tonight's performance had a definite triumphant edginess to it. I've a bucket load of questions to ask these guys - maybe it's a must do interview for 2024. Miss them and you will miss out!
Next up, Percy-West Yorkshire Super Heroes, or just Percy for short. A new name and first watch for me, the music geek in me said they would be ok'ish, but how wrong could I be - they were really, really good! Post Punk, Pop Punk, Punk Pop, Indie Punk, Post Indie Pop Punk.....forget the label, they put on a high energy and full speed ahead show that defied their 25+ years existence and still shouted out for attention. Songs about personal failings, depression hypochondria, spectrum disorders, you get the idea. Driving bass lines and solid drumming gave a foundation to the moody synth and angular guitar sounds, all wrapped up in a catchy punk pop formula that everyone in The Chameleon enjoyed. They finished with their recent single - Last Train To Selby, give it a listen and you will understand all I have said.
As a Forest fan, I couldn't understand why I hadn't got around to seeing the band Stuart Pearce before! The already packed room seemed to suddenly expand and make room as more folks arrived, eager for them to take the stage. It may have been cold outside but The Chameleon crowd were turning up the heat for this sold out occasion and the chance to see their final Nottingham show in 2023. How best to describe the Stuart Pearce band: I'm settling for 'The Fall if they were still around', a band I've always loved. An explosion of brash aggression and raw sounds, think of Mark E Smith on one of his best nights and you're somewhere near these guys.
On the back of their debut album Red Sport International, released in the summer, this is the time to go and see Stuart Pearce at their sharpest and most hungry for success. The vocals are complex and demand to be understood, which is not easy when guitars, drums and synth are all demanding your attention. Raucous Rock collides with gritty chaos; however the anarchistic sounds are all managed into a near perfect delivery every time. If you're making a list of must see bands in 2024, please consider these guys at the top.
Stuart Pearce performed at The Chameleon on 30 November 2023
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