Ligament & Bob Tilton

the Bunkers Hill Inn, Nottingham

This started out as a big, dumb road trip starring me, Matt, Tom and El Tanno jumping into Matt's metro to go from Colchester to Nottingham via Leicester in a day and back. It got pretty stinky in there, as all good road trips do, and saw all sorts of arguments rage including a hairy one about Garry Bushell for some reason. Things picked up immensely as we neared Leicester onto to have some crazy fool running at lightning speed along the country road directly at us. Matt avoided him when I hoped he would plough through the fucker. Then seconds later we met and overturned caravan in the road. We giggled with dread. The cheeky sod had obviously nicked it, spun it and ran away like a little girl. And what does this have to do with Bob Tilton's last ever live show?

We arrived in Nottingham........sometime and met up with others. We had endured listening to the same soul and R n B three times over so I was relieved to finally gain freedom from the car. I really dug Nottingham, it seemed a really nice place. But then again, anywhere that isn't Colchester is cool by me these days. Things soon got tense as I became the ringleader of the negativity circus.

Fortunately we made it to gig time and the entertainment mellowed us (me) out. The first band on were called Lazarus Clamp. They were very modern independent rock and made their Southern record collection show, they main band of choice being June Of 44 with the occasional Fugazi-like shouty bit. Still, an improvement on what we get down our way (Essex). They had a violinist and it had no impact whatsoever on the sound and eventually seemed just for show. He failed to make it through the whole set. The carried on apeing Slint and went for a big shouty DC ending, the singer looking the straight edge part. I liked the bassist best, I thought she was cool.

Bob Tilton were frightening. It was indeed (sadly) their final gig and their was an air of depression to their performance coupled perhaps with discouragement and anger. They opened with a trumpet player taking centre stage. I don't actually think the song worked as the horn got lost but we appreciated the effort. From there Simon hit the stage and all hell broke loose. As per the recent usual it was entirely a set of new and currently unreleased material although much of it was pretty recognisable and an effort to get into. Again Simon blew me away with his performance and the passion displayed therein. When the songs eventually dropped their muzzle the result was devastating. Watching Neil let rip was astounding, I have never seen him (in the few times I have seen them) get into the music so physically, to the extent of knocking the hanging monitors a worryingly bit too hardly. When they desire so, they can be the most direct band imaginable. At the end people called for a last few additional more songs before THE end. Bob Tilton checked with time but it didn't seem feasible. Instead Simon thanked the crowd for their support over the years and the band whimpered off the stage and everyone was already left with a sense of loss.

It has to be said, far less people stuck around for Ligament. Oh well. I actually really enjoyed Ligament. You could criticise them for fucking about too much but it looked like fun. After Bob Tilton their approach and output seemed a bit simplistic but it was still good. The guitarist had this LOUD! way of shout-singing and it was to his credit. And boy was their drummer impressive. The set was easy to get into and very likeable. I don't really care that some of it sounded "borrowed" it just reminded me of Trumans Water crossed with say someone obvious like Nirvana. Their set was long and took us into the early hours.

Afterwards we staggered onto the streets of saturday night Nottingham. It was pretty illuminating to see the nightlife from another part of the country, so many young females dressed like prostitutes, disguised as fashion. I slept most of the way home except for when I took a piss in the women's toilet at some motorway petrol station we stopped at.

Jason Graham [taken from No Pictures 10]