Zombie Shack, Manchester 28/04/2017
No Komodo are a decent little high-octane four piece held together with some exceptional drumming by Andy Walsh who would give Queens of the Stoneage a good run for their money. Tonight we’re at Zombie Shack which is quite possibly the worst-lit stage venue I’ve been to. For some obscure reason, only the bassist is illuminated, still I digress.
Watching them perform we see that this is band who actually look like they’re having fun. In fact their bassist comes across as a complete and utter lunatic lost in big beefy riffy ecstasy as he flails around the stage willy-nilly. He’s called Dave apparently and only learned all the songs two weeks ago. He does a bloody job. We like Dave.
At times you’d be forgiven for comparing them to an hybrid of the Arctic Monkeys and Green Day, with some excellent catchy hooks from lead guitarist Sam Barton, nicely complimented by the effortless vocals of singer Jack Leonard. They’re young and smell of testosterone which seems to seep into the audience and makes all the girls swoon. Jack is very easy on the eye and you can see the ladies are getting gooey whilst drunk boys comedy mosh.
You can tell that they really believe in what they’re doing and clearly have a lot of potential. However – they ain’t quite there yet, mate. Following an explosive start which really got my right foot tapping, the entire tone of the set was brought to a strange and sombre mood when Jack went it alone on a warbley croony number. You half expected this to be an intro – which goes on a bit – and no, the band aren’t joining in yet – maybe now.. and hold on, no, now the song’s ended. Oh.
It feels really confusing in terms of energy and we begin to suspect that this non-event number is really a tea break for the band who by that stage look bloody nackered from all the willy-nilly flailing.
Now, as I previously mentioned they remind me of a sort of angry Arctic Monkeys WHICH MEANS that they should never play Arctic Monkeys songs in public lest people might go, ‘Oh! Hark! They’re a bit like Arctic Monkeys!’ Unfortunately all of a sudden they launch into a carbon copy rendition of, ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’ with absolutely no variation on the theme (to pilfer an Alex lyric). At this stage, myself and our photographer grab our faces in our hands (not each other’s though – that’d just be weird). Karma intervenes at this point and Jack’s mic stand collapses. We do a little sigh.
They’re not exactly polished and at one point someone embarrassingly manages to pull a lead out of a guitar. This, coupled with the some of the in-between chat being ‘a bit shit’ makes them come across as a college-esque band rather than the tight little rock group I’m sure they can be.
Despite a fantastic start followed by that perplexing mid-section, they did manage to pull it back on the last song which was really flippin’ good. If they were brave enough to cultivate their own style further I feel this is a band which would do incredibly well. They have all the necessary ingredients just not necessarily in the right order. Schoolboy errors withstanding, I’d still give them a big chufty badge and a firm pat on their sweaty young backs.
Definitely one to watch out for in the future.