50 Foot Wave – London, Garage (Live Review)

50 Foot Wave
Amusement Park On Fire
Garage 23rd September 2004
Reviewers : Mr Hoob & La Ginge

The evening was built around two short sets that kicked off with a half hour of indie rock from Amusement Park On Fire. Very much of an if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it affair; with a slow build up to every song, a load of loudness and then a few minutes of feedback to show that the song had finished. While it wasn’t broke as such it did get a touch dull. This was mostly due to the indifference to the crowd. This was a shame as the crowd were surprisingly interested given that they were a support band. I was reminded of seeing Revolver about ten years ago (or maybe more?). The early nineties were in evidence, fittingly for 50 Foot Wave gig. My companion, La Ginge, said they were “like a bad Sum 41”. I thought this was a touch harsh as I wasn’t aware there was a good version. I’d be interested to hear an Amusement Park On Fire recording to see what they could do. They need a few years to develop.


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Moving on to the reason we were there – 50 Foot Wave. We were told by one of the roadies, just before Kristin and co. took the stage, that tonight was the bands first sell out show outside the US. The crowd loved Kristin and hung on her every word; as you’d know if you’ve been lucky enough to catch any of her solo acoustic shows. That is not what 50 Foot Wave are about. They are all about being harder, faster, louder and more. The ‘Wave are the complete opposite of Kristin’s solo work and they know it. Each song builds upon its predecessor and the overall effect is that of being steamrollered as each note strikes you. Kristin screeches out her lyrics as if battling demons (which she quite probably is); meanwhile Bernard blasts away on the bass. The band clearly enjoyed playing these new songs. Making comparisons with the throwing muses is inevitable and lazy, which I am – Muses fans will know where the band are coming from and 50 Foot Wave have achieved everything they set out to do. They are Throwing Muses plus. This is an entirely necessary chapter in Kristin Hersh’s work, your music collection and music in general.


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Set list:

    Bug
    Petal
    Long Painting
    Lavender
    Glory Weed
    Sally
    Bone China
    Ginger Park
    Pnegma
    Clara Bow
    El Dorado
    Diving
    Dog Days

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