16th April 2004

A little tour can go a long way - even if it's just around the north of England. Two bands, one from Carlisle and the other from the Leeds/Yorkshire area, get together and trail the road for a week, playing in seven different venues, taking them from side of England to the other, playing in some venues they have never played. And now the tour ends at the Brickyard, in front of a fairly good turnout. Many good reviews have been floating during the tour, which has taken them to Kendal, Lancaster, Pontefract and Sheffield. But how would they handle on this the final date?

The local support came courtesy of Annan's own Snooky, who supported both bands the night before in Annan. I was expecting more from this set, as I felt they lacked something at One Big Monday. They took to the stage, and started the live music with their raw prog rock sound, mixing the best of alternative from the 90's with the emo delights of the 00's! They had a better stage presence and their music seemed to have added what sounded like a blues riff, as well as performing their band of songs, including "White Boxes", which is on their EP and the compilation from the Motive Sounds crew. They got a good response from the crowd and improved from One Big Monday. They are well liked in Carlisle for a good reason - and this set was one of them! - 8/10!

The Yorkshire Dales called - and they were missing a band. Well the Machine Will Take Over took to the stage next, and upon seeing them, they had a female guitarist with them. The sound was very hard rock, but whereas many in the crowd seemed to like them, I wasn't impressed at all. The vocals were all shouting and never seemed to work with many parts of their songs, and the songs didn't have that X Factor that made them unique. Even with a lady guitarist, the stage presence wasn't as strong as what Snooky had. They closed the set with "Talking To Mirrors", dedicating to Second To Last. And from their reason for the dedication, I could see them actually talking to mirrors! Maybe even have a fight, but who would come out worse? OK band, but they didn't delight this soul - 7/10!

Time for the headliners! It is the homecoming for the Second To Last lads, and the crowd started to increase. The band took to the stage and began their set with their contribution to the MS compilation "This Boy Ain't Right", which I thought was a strange choice for an opener, but it got the crowd going. They played some new songs, as well as the nicely titled "I Used To Be With It But What It Is Now Isn’t What It Was Back Then And what It Is Now Scares And Confuses Me". What was strange was that guitarist Lee was using a laptop computer to no doubt add his effects and the sounds for the songs they would be playing. But the set didn't go without its hitches. The volume definitely sounded like it was turned up too loud, and Lee's vocals were distorted. That and they were definitely a bit tipsy before going on stage. After their set full of post emo core hard rock sounds, I can say that even though it wasn't a strong set, it was good enough for the people of Carlisle! - 7.5/10!

OK night of music. Snooky improved and to me should not have been the better band. No offence guys, but STL and TMWTO should have equalled or even surpassed what Snooky brought. But Second To Last have a strong following and no doubt they will not see their set as a downer. TMWTO did make a good impression to those in attendance, but it didn't present something different. Fony and Linea 77 will be bringing their bags of tricks to the Brickyard this Wednesday.

Until then...