Artist: Miss Black America 

Venue: The Studio, Hartlepool

Date: 21 July 2001  

It was Saturday night and we were looking to get our kicks from our regular dose of Rock N' Roll. Tonight we decided to head down to Hartlepool and see Sigue Sigue Sputnik in action. Not quite sure what the support band would be like, as we had never heard of them before tonight. The flyers simply said … 'Supported by the excellent Miss Black America'. Who or what would we be seeing here onstage tonight?

Hitting the stage about 9 o' clock we finally got the see Miss Black America in action. Rather confusing perhaps to find out very early on that they are (a) not black, (b) not American, and (c) most definitely not female! (Although their lead singer Seymour did look rather fetching in his black eyeliner). Here before us we had four very fit looking young men looking fuelled for noise and ready for action.

Opening with the loud and lively song 'Infinite Chinese Box' we saw them burst into action. Pretty boy Seymour thrashed about the stage while giving it all his little lungs would allow and did in fact knock the microphone stand flying. Whoah! What a start!

The venue was actually quite busy tonight, in fact I can honestly say I've never seen it look so full as it did tonight. The crowd that had assembled here tonight looked on in stunned silence at the wonderment that was to be known as Miss Black America.

The band said a quick hello and then launched into their second song 'Car Crash For A Soul'. A song that although it started slow soon gathered pace and really got us all going. A female member of the audience who could not restrain herself any longer took to the front of the room and danced along with the sounds thrown out by the band.

Quite a nice catchy indie song, which combined soft vocals against a good strong background of both guitars and drums. It certainly had plenty of life in it and a good tempo running throughout.

By the time we'd reached the third song in the set we were well and truly hooked on this band. 'Talk Hard' was it's name and it reminded us a bit of a cross between Suede and Placebo, only with a bit more edge to it. If you like My Vitriol then you would have liked this one that's for certain.

The band continued to flood the room with what was indeed excellent songs. Seymour thrashed and flung himself about the stage. Taking a closer look you might have noticed the message scrawled down his right arm in black marker pen proclaiming … Dead by 30 … Let's hope this certainly isn't the case as this is one very intoxicating individual to watch perform live.

Topped with the rest of the band who are all hugely talented and extremely polished in what they do this was a real treat to see billed as a support band. I doubt whether they will stay in this role for long however. Talent this plentiful deserves to take centre stage and show you what they are really made of.

I've already told you who supplied the vocals to this mighty impressive band but let me introduce you to the rest of the lads in this wondrous band: Beating seven shades out of the drums was Neil Moses Baldwin.
On bass looking mean and moody was Tripod Mike. On guitar we had a very cheerful looking Gish. An endearing character who really seems to enjoy performing in front of others.

About half way through the set we were introduced to the band's new single 'Don't Speak My Mind'. To us older ones in the crowd (yes some of us are in fact over 30!) this sounded very much like a modern day version of The Cure. A band we loved so much when we were young and discovering that rock came in more than one shape and form.

The band taunted the locals by saying.. 'I hear you are into construction … you like to hang monkeys… well here's one for all the sister fuckers!'

If nothing else you have to hand it to these guys for having guts. Not many people would brave the wrath of Hartlepool and it's locals and come out with a comment like that. Still they managed to survive the night without being indeed hung for a comment like that.

One song that really stood out as a potential big hit with the Uni crowds was ' Scream For Me'. Any student Uni's worth their weight in gold should check these guys out and get them up for a gig sooner rather than later.

With bands like these you know they are going to make it big time sooner rather than later and so it's better to have them play now at half the price than it's going to cost you in a years time when the music media have latched on to them big time.

The band started to close down their set with their title track 'Miss Black America' which again is loud, lively and highly addictive. Last up we had 'The White Noise' which is taken from their current 'Adrenaline Junkie Class-A Mentalist' EP.

Well worth checking out believe me! The closing song saw guitarist Gish play for all he was worth. Neil the drummer was largely thrown into darkness during this song, but thrashed the living daylights out of the drum kit towards the end of the performance.

Mike looked mellowed out, which was a bit of a contrast to the adrenaline junkie himself lead singer Seymour. The band finished their set and promptly stomped off stage. A lone guitar lay disguarded on the stage still stuck playing its last chord. The stage in darkness this went on until a sound engineer pulled the plug and switched on the interlude.

Like the sticker on their guitar said 'Mean People Suck'. Quite why anyone would want to be mean to such musical sweethearts as these is totally beyond me.

You are now looking at the newest coverts to MBA and their infectious grooves. Just goes to show there are so many great bands out there just waiting for you to discover them. Also not all support bands suck so make sure you get there early!

Setlist: Infinite Chinese Box, Car Crash For A Soul, Talk Hard, Human Punk, Strobe, Don't Speak My Mind, Road Kill, Scream For Me, Personal Politics, Miss Black America, The White Noise

 

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