Madball – Live @ Sound Control
aaamusic | On 07, Oct 2014
Thursday 2nd October, Manchester
As hardcore gigs go they have become somewhat of a rarity here in Manchester, which is a shame, but with the genre arguably generating fickle minds and not always an economically viable direction, it’s always a nice surprise when a show of this kind is put on.
The first band to the hit the stage are Coldburn, who hit things off with a bang! Their brand of hardcore may have been unbeknownst to much of the audience here tonight, but they sure didn’t let that leak any doubt of their capabilities as a band to reckoned with. At a hardcore show the atmosphere can tend to be somewhat awkward, because like with most of our inhibitions, especially at a show such as this, it has become customary to look “cool” over just having fun. Take for example, in the “pit”, a lot of the crowd will leave a space, but it’s like an animal waiting to lead the herd, until someone takes a leap forward no one else will dare start. For this reason it makes it difficult for hardcore band’s to play to audiences of this mentality, thus leaving a negative imprint on the band who’s purpose is to create energy. Credit to the band, though, for persevering.
Next was the not-so-heavy-hitters of the evening, Breaking Point, who tonight, for all their years of playing music, were an example of poor musicianship. As someone who has been aware, and even a casual fan, of the band, seeing them live has never been resoundingly successful for me, personally. Tonight the were band were without their official members, instead with hired help, but this really showed in how the members were never able to congeal to produce a solid performance, mainly due to timing. The weaknesses, which to be honest were largely down to the fact that their drummer was not playing in time with the rest of the musicians, made for a relatively messy performance. The band have integrity, having stayed true to being a straightedge band throughout their career, but when you are a band that has a message yet lack that precision in your musical craft to really implement what you are trying to achieve, it unfortunately falls by the wayside.
Last on are Madball, who having had many, many years of experience under their belt knew how to get everyone involved, whether you had been a fan since the beginning, or are just finding out about them. A key difference tonight, compared to most other hardcore shows around the country, was the generation overlap between audience members; it was fantastic sight to witness. Having only been familiar with the band for a couple of years, I was impressed to see not only how much of their entire career was covered by this set, but the impact that the band have had on their fan base, from the start until now; Madball are still bringing energy to the stage and drawing it out from the crowd, which as peers to many younger bands in this scene must be very humbling.
Overall I was very impressed by the band and that they are still going as if nothing has changed… but their age.
Review + Photos: Joe Sheridan