Stephen LangstaffKin Kade/Ugsy/The Wombats/Blynd Zenith/ Clockwork Margaret/Stephen Langstaff

Zanzibar, Seel Street
2nd September 2006

Reviewed by Alicia Rose

There is absolutely no doubt that a Saturday Night Zanzibar event is indeed a music ‘coup’. Forget about the degenerating interior design aspect and the fact that any remarks in that area tend to smack a bout of controversy. Hell no, the stars of the show are the artists who take to the Zanzi stage along with all of the fans who gather and follow and strut their support on the dance floorboards.

The night confidently scorched its way to an amazing start with acoustic firecracker Stephen Langstaff (pictured). This young man is surreptitiously climbing to new levels and his future is ultimately laden with success. He chose this stage to promote new material from his forthcoming album ‘Let’s see your Armour’, and his given performance is sure to shift a stack load of the same.

Clockwork Margaret were up next and the apparent cautious lead into their set was proof of their first ever stage appearance. They do have a presence albeit time will perfect their cohesion as a group to be taken notice of.

Now we are talking, as three boys from Bootle and one from Anfield pull together to form Blynd Zenith. The four-piece opened their set with a g-force barrage of ammunition words and superior musical mastery. Without catching a breath, they raced into song number two, the penetration of their rocking attitude causing a stir and a gaping void at the front of the stage as revellers nudged backwards from the sheer dynamism of this rock resurrection. Check out their tunes like ‘Suicide’, and anti-drug song ‘Cocaine Blues’. In this band there is definitely a raw fluency of talent that would do well to head for the mainstream arena.

As always a pleasure it is to see and hear The Wombats. An accomplished trio, gloriously inventive with a sacred kinetic energy they perform in line with the best of them. Seriously though, the drummer should stick to whacking his skins rather than telling jokes. Must be something about their ‘Orange’ ampage too, it not only looks good but there was a quality of sound that stood them apart from all the other performers.

After all the frenetic mayhem the level softened a wee tad for Ugsy, a very un-stereotypical group of lads, the lead singer on keyboards seemingly commanding an audience with all due respect a ‘mightier than thou’ air, he defined echoes of Elvis Costello and Christian Mills and their set made a pleasant and appealing detour of musical representation.

And then for the grand finale, came Kin Kade. The sheer audacity of Dave Williams, lead keyboard vocalist, was nothing less than stunningly original. Together he and his band were a make-up of austere arrogance, ska back base and hillbilly hocking. It was a fantasia extraordinaire, sounding like a twenty second century cabaret straight out of New Orleans and paradoxically peeking into the crowd one found connotations of a cult following with young shirted lads whipping off their ties to bandage round their frontal lobes. Are these the ‘new age ninjas’?

The night bore some of the rawest musical talent in circulation, which expelled itself from darkness into the light. Rapturous applause was still ringing after all had left the building.

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Comment left by Mayflower on 19th September, 2006 at 08:09
Clockwork Margaret were really amazing. I had never heard them or seen them before that night but they blew my mind.

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