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Tam o' Shantie Class of '03 Summer Tour - The Portland Arms, Cambridge review.

Adam Easy Wishes

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"By the time I'd arrived I'd missed the first band, but by their relative youth I'm not too bothered, I gather they were local so no doubt I'll see them again soon.

Next up is Aberdeen three-piece 10 Easy Wishes. On first glance three rather unassuming young gentleman but get them up on that stage and they seem more at home than many acts who've been doing this for years. 10 Easy Wishes remind me of Captain Everything its like you've walked out into the road and you turn to the right and see a Ferrari speeding towards you, its that same heady mix of speed, power and harmonies. But 10EW ARE different, and that's important I feel. First up they all sing, all three of them, most of the time, which to be honest is a sight to behold. Second their sound isn't the straight-up pop-punk of C*E. 10EW are fighting the pop-punk battle but as their weapons they've discarded the power chords and predictability, these Scots boys have seemingly chucked in all sorts of influences and what's more its working. We get sort of surf/blues motifs, blast beats, an 80's early Cure feeling cuts in every so often and is then battered into a bloody noiseless lump on the floor, and the kids love it.

Tonight the Portland is probably the sweatiest venue I've ever been in but 10EW crash around like they were home in Aberdeen with the heaters on full. As the sweat pours off them they don't miss a note, their songs are laced with rhythmically difficult parts and what's more they can pull it off. Drummer and lynchpin Tom Banks is a real powerhouse of a drummer, his technical ability though is matched blow for blow by his band mates. With Singer/Guitarist JJ Bull its almost as though he's playing with another band and its really Bull who gives 10 EW their individuality its his guitar that kicks out all sorts of mangled blues chords and his unique voice that gets the audience screaming for blood. That's not to say the others can't cope. Adam Morrice (bass) and Banks are one of the tightest rhythm sections I've seen for a long time and without either of them 10EW would be nothing, their spectacular "2 days" made their performance and after seeing Tellison re-established my faith in the underground scene. Somebody sign these boys, they deserve more than photocopied CD artwork and The Portland Arms on a Monday night.

With Paranoid Simon, who are terrible. That's all I can really say.

Encouraging a club-full of sceptical rock fans to go home and read some Graham Greene probably wouldn't be that high up on my list of things for a band to do on stage. But I imagine such thoughts wouldn't cross young Steve Davidson's mind, in fact I'm positive they don't. The thing is Davidson and his band come from a new school of British rock bands, where acts like Million Dead, Kinesis and a whole quiet host of others encourage people to read, listen and take an interest in the world around them, sure we've got The Darkness and bands like them promoting flamboyancy, stupidity and sex and the whole "Detroit"/Garage movement that, thank God, we're emerging from, but its bands like Tellison who aren't pretending everything is fine and neither are they saying its terrible, they're simply looking at the world they've been given and commenting on it and the people who live here.

I suppose its very British, but its also very good.

We all know the best things come in threes and Tellison are no exception. They have the skills, the intelligence, (the looks) and most importantly the songs. Displaying a cool disregard for current "press-friendly" trends they're carving out their own little niche already, OK none of them are over 20, but one feels their youth is almost intrinsic to their sound. Guitarist and frontman Davidson, at 17 already commands an audience as though he holds a gun to their heads. Despite some frankly bizarre guitar problems that sees him go through four guitars in one song he comes out on top. Singing and throwing shapes all over the shop without missing a note. Bass player and Davidson's foil Rory Andrews pins the band down. Where Davidson crashes and soars, Andrews remains tight-lipped, oozing the kind of confidence that only

being 17 and on tour with your band brings. Tonight he provides pinpoint harmonies and in fact his performance that really makes the nervous chemistry between the two singers work.

As rock bands go its very difficult to stand out as a drummer and perhaps one of this trio's most original assets is Henry Danowski, tonight he is as tight as a ten year old, attacking his kit through epic soundscapes and displaying a real genius in the faster songs, he pushes and pulls at tempos and works with Andrews' bass to provide the backbone to Tellison's songs. And of course its these that matter, and with Tellison you get the feeling that they really DO matter. Davidson looks almost pained as he hurls the songs out one after another with barely the briefest respite. But when he or indeed Andrews do speak its with an insight and an intelligence that belies their relative youth. Read up, look out. Tellison are coming, and they don't suffer fools gladly."

- Gavin Younger

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