The Null Device

The Nick Sanderson tribute gig

Tonight, I went to the Forum to a gig in tribute of someone named Nick Sanderson (the frontman of a band named Earl Brutus, apparently, whom I only know from the Gary Numan tribute compilation they appeared on around 1997). Playing were The Jesus and Mary Chain (headlining), British Sea Power and Black Box Recorder.

Black Box Recorder started just after I came in, and were great. They played almost entirely songs from their first album and B-sides thereof, which was good as those were the good ones IMHO. They did England Made Me, Child Psychology, Girl Singing In The Wreckage and a somewhat more dubby take on IC One Female. And Sarah Nixey's vocals were as archly breathy as ever.

When I heard British Sea Power a few years ago, I came away underwhelmed; tonight's gig has reaffirmed that assessment. Their music strikes me as rather dull; competent though uninspiring stadium-filling wall-of-noise workouts in the U2/Coldplay mould, with a bit of Magic Joy Division Dust sprinkled over them to give them some edge.

The Mary Chain, though, were great; they sounded just like the records they made two decades ago, and got the crowd moving. They played mostly more recent tracks, though did get in a few from Darklands and Psychocandy, and they also played one new song. Could there be a new album on the way?

One thing that left me wondering: why was there a huge tinsel rendition of the British Rail logo (you know, the one with the arrows) behind the stage? Is this the RAF Bullseye of 2008 or somesuch?

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