Live Review by Matty Carroll
Mellow Dramatic, Pocket Billiards and P45- The Anchor, Portstewart- 2nd April 2004

Mellow Dramatic opened up the night (with their now trademark set list) to get the crowd going. They played most of Loose Change- also an unreleased song "PMT" and "I Wont Wait" off What A Disappointment. The most popular songs of their set were "Weak" and their covers of "Linoleum" and "Radio"- which Mellow Dramatic should adopt as their own as they play it so well. Also the Mellow Dramatic style comedy was worked well into their set which was funniest as they introduced "Duh Duh Hey" as "a really long song which you all should no the words to". I think by the time I remembered the words the song was over. Oh well… Its good to see a band who seem up to putting on a good show every time they play- especially when they gig a lot like Mellow Dramatic do. I think they've found the perfect sound for them with the "Loose Change" EP.

Pocket Billiards were up next. I had heard great things about this band and I was not disappointed. They had probably the greatest crowd of the night. There are not enough Ska Bands in Northern Ireland in my opinion- but with Pocket Billiards on the go who needs another Ska Band? They played amazingly and had an unbelievable amount of energy. It was so good Jim from Mellow D fell over when he started to skank- he retired shortly after through injury to the anal region. I can't say how awesome Pocket Billiards are enough- they really are in a different league to a lot of the bands around here. Hopefully I will see them again in the future, watch out for them and I recommend you go see them live…

Then there was P45… The band a lot of people came to see. It was their first gig in Portstewart since being signed to Naked Jain Records. They kicked things off with "Brainwashed"- you know that song with the video? Unbelievable to hear played live- although I was disappointed we could barely hear the Bass Solo which is my favourite part of the song. P45 seemed really tight and played brilliantly live. There was a huge pit which progressively slowed down after bouncers started chucking people out. Also a fight broke out on the stage beside Patsy T who stayed calm and kept singing- even though he probably got hit with stray elbows. Was good to see they stayed professional through that especially when they'll be touring in America soon. Anyways my highlights were Bad Karma, Walkaway and the cover of Sweet Caroline. During Bad Karma it was cool to hear the "Hey Hey"'s chanted by the crowd along with the band. P45 had been recording all day and were tired this was hinted at by the odd mistake here and there- but no one would have noticed if they weren't told to review the gig. They were funny on the mic- at one point Patsy T said "I cant f***ing wait to get off this stage". Maybe something to do with those stray elbows I told you about earlier… Anyways It was my first P45 gig and I was really impressed- I still think they should be up there with some of the American Pop Punk bands that are being signed left right and centre- not only should they be up there but they are way better than some of the crap out there right now. It would be great to see P45 make it big and get noticed In the US. They deserve it.

After P45 came off stage to an awesome ovation we were treated to 2 songs by Misled who were scheduled to play but pulled out shortly before the gig. They played "Graffiti Rawks" after some gentle persuasion from myself and Philip of Reluctant fame- I believe their reply to our request was "F*** Off" followed by the finger. They played it brilliantly and somehow everyone found energy to start dancing again. They played another song afterwards which I didn't catch the name of but it also was a great song.

This gig had the anchor packed and no surprise- it showcased some of the best bands Northern Ireland have to offer. P45 are an example of what can happen when you get recognition. Mellow Dramatics original style should be recognised, Pocket Billiards as well should be playing more and Misled should be awesome in the future if they keep at it. All in all a great gig with a great crowd.
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