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the mexicolas + paperweight industry - bar academy, 22/09/2005

simon gray - 2005-09-22, 01:46:22

i have to admit to feeling a little sorry for the mexicolas after seeing them last thursday at bar academy. if the arguing about them, pro & anti, which took over the birmingham alive forum is representitive of real life, they've got a lot to live up to. 

now obviously a band can't control what people say about them in public, but when that discussion reaches the levels we saw here then you can't help but wonder whether their publicity machine has at least had a little involvement in it. it's a dangerous game to play, though, because when you create such a buzz about something, you've got to ensure you've got the product to match it - & sad to say, i don't think the mexicolas delivered. in any respect. 

in fact, when the previous band, paperweight industry took the stage, i actually mistakenly thought they were the mexicolas, as they had clearly brought a following with them - with audience members pressing right up to the front of bar academy's floor-level stage lead singerpaul ross was never more than a couple of inches away from his most adoring fans. i thought they were a band clearly with a lot of promise, but they need to do a lot more work right now, & maybe consider simplifying in the meanwhile - it's all very well having strong, distinctive songs (as they do), but if those songs are lost because the band has difficulties playing together & keeping their tuning together, & ending sloppily, there's not a lot of point really.

the industry finished their set, & on came the scolas themselves - with the audience drawing back a good few feet, & clapping politely. not actually hostile, since i'm sure everybody had turned up to listen rather than to heckle, but decidedly indifferent. the indifference of the audience was, to be frank, matched by the indifference of the band - they were just banging the songs out & barely making any effort to engage with us. 

apart from that, the songs weren't really anything special, to be honest. now don't get me wrong, i don't want to do them down by saying that - if i'd just turned up at a venue just to see a band or two, not expecting anything or knowing who was playing, i'd have probably thought they were alright. & i do admit for just three players they had a big sound which never thinned. but because i'd been led to believe i was going to see them before they became famous, my expectations were dashed & i was disappointed. 

perhaps they realise that themselves - as they left the stage vocalist jamie evans announced it was probably their last gig for this year, as they're "bored with playing the same shit over & over again". it showed, for sure. 

websites 
the mexicolas - www.themexicolas.com 
paperweight industry - www.purevolume.com/paperweightindustry

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