We’re No Heroes “Quiet Colours” EP Launch, Gwdihw, 15 June 2011

16 Jun

Gwdihw was decked out in balloons, I assume for this EP launch, although many of them looked pretty deflated. The party got underway quite late, with opening act VVolves not taking the stage until after 9pm.

All three bands tonight, like so many these days, compete well in the terrible band name category. I’m sure it must be some kind of industry in-joke that I’m simply not in on, and by choice. Vvolves, despite the spelling is apparently pronounced Wolves – why? Why have a name where you have to explain how to spell and say it before anything else? We’re No Heroes, with the added apostrophe, give themselves the problem of having to have a web address without one, and the added fact that if they announce themselves as “We’re We’re No Heroes”, it doesn’t sound very good. Oui Messy? Well, that’s just silly (and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s supposed to be pronounced Oi Messy or something).

Vvolves have a sort of post-punk sound. There are occasional hints of shoegazing. The drummer has an 80s haircut. They sound a bit dated. That’s the extent of my notes.

Oui Messy whose name I’ve heard a lot, but who I’d never seen before, have more of a skate punk sound. They sound like a neighbours’ band practising in the garage. It’s a bit of a clattering mess, but I did quite enjoy it, I suppose. There were lots of false endings, which I found a little annoying, but at least I didn’t get too bored. At the end, the singer put down his guitar and walked through the busy crowd to the bar before the song ended which was slightly cool.

And finally to the headline act We’re No Heroes, coming on at around 11pm. The name, apart from being bad, is accurate. There was a trend as a backlash to the glam and dressing up of the 80s for bands to look a bit more normal. The audience felt more of an affinity with the bands; there was the idea – I could do that! But still, these bands had style, still you looked up to them as heroes. This bunch look so ordinary that most of the audience (and it’s a tame audience anyway) look far more interesting.

Like so many bands, they are competent. They can play their instruments. Well, hurray. The NME might as well sarcastically form a scene around these sort of bands. They are capable. Yes, it’s the compotent scene, guys, how exciting. They’re not indie. They’re not even as interesting as the guitar bands that followed indie like Kasabian et al.

They start with a rather excessively long instrumental section, just to remind us that they can play. This leads into a song that reminded me a bit of “Mr Brightside” by The Killers, but without the style. There’s a song that reminds me a bit of The Automatic. That’s not a compliment by the way. With the long guitar parts, they are vaguely reminiscent of 80s combo, Big Country – not quite, but something along those lines – again, hardly a ringing endorsement.

Ok, I suppose the guitarist was quite good, and the drummer kept things flowing along so you could at least nod your head. There were not many people dancing though, apart from one slightly over exuberant girl. There was a guy making an attempt in a plaid shirt. Of course, the plaid shirt. There was to be a DJ afterwards, but I made my hasty retreat home.

So what does the band do now? Sit around waiting to see who will buy their EP online maybe. See how many clicks they can get on facebook. I would suggest the better option is to take the traditional route. Get onto a proper label. Then go out and do some long hard tours. But they won’t, of course.

Before the start of the gig I read an interview with Portishead in a free newspaper. They also were bemoaning the lack of innovation in the current music scene. You just want to shout at people sometimes. How about a band that actually came out vehemently anti monarchy or did something? I remember seeing on the back of a white van not the standard “Clean Me!” or “I wish my wife was this dirty” but instead “The Queen is a slag, and you are all her slaves.” Now if a band used that as a lyric, song title or album name, I might pay more attention.

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