LIVE: Capdown @ Moho Live, Manchester (30/07/2011)

Date: July 30th, 2011
Venue: Moho Live, Manchester
Support: The JB Conspiracy, Chief


One of the few good things to come out of Milton Keynes, Capdown have reunited, and are celebrating their recent reunion with a UK tour, mainly in small intimate venues. Tonight, they are stirring things up in Moho (the venue with the fucking huge staircase in the middle of the room).

Kicking things off in stupidly loud style is Liverpool’s own Chief (***). Imagine, if you will, if Paul Barnes (the bassist from Sonic Boom Six) started a band of his own, then this is what they sound like. They play a tight set with catchy and energetic punky riffs, with the odd laid-back reggae interludes peppered here and there. As good as their performance is, they fail to get the crowd moving much. There’s the odd swaying and head banging here and there, but other than that there’s not much spark. Once they establish themselves more in the scene though, Chief will be laying down killer shows left, right and centre.

Up next are The JB Conspiracy (****), who are essentially Surrey’s answer to Streetlight Manifesto. Their set is a solid 20 minutes of catchy and thought provoking songs. Plus, they’re so god-damn talented: the forever wandering bass, the played-to-perfection brass section and the flourish of an organ adding colour to each anthem. Frontman Lank looks out with a huge smile on his face, as does the rest of the band for that matter. It’s refreshing to see a band who loves performing as much as they do. A familiar name in the land of ska-punk, JB make the perfect support for tonight.

Capdown (****) don’t waste much time in taking to the stage (unlike that pesky time-waster Axl Rose). Unfortunately, the drum seems to drown the rest of the band for their opening song, but this is quickly resolved and the rest of the night goes off without a hitch. After a couple of punk-heavy songs, they drop the almighty ska-bomb that is ‘Cousin Cleotis’ which causes sheer havoc and destruction in the pit. Having been to my share of gigs, I can safely say that the most violent gigs I go to tend to be the ska-punk ones, this being no exception. If you weren’t skanking, then you were moshing, or recovering at the bar.

Frontman and Seth Green look-a-like “Shakey” Jake Sims-Fielding grinning throughout takes a few minutes at the end to mention how they “reunited for the fans and for the love of playing”, which is followed by the one and only ‘Ska Wars’. As the house lights rise they remain on stage saying “keep them on if you like, but we aren’t leaving ’til we play one more song”. As they launch into ‘Home Is Where The Start Is’, everyone uses up the last of their energy in one last almighty pit, creating a phenomenal atmosphere and a memorable finale. This is how every gig should be, an epic end to an epic night.

Written by Andy Roberts