Fightstar / Cry For Silence / Hollywood Ending
A quick glimpse around the venue tonight it's clear that most people aren't here to lick the sweat off Charlie's eyebrows. Of course there are a few Busted fans splattered around with skirts up to their asses, but you get the feeling they'd be better off sniffing around the fast fading Matt Busted rather than Emo Simpson.
Tonight's support bands flicker between the two of Simpson's bands. Locals Hollywood Ending have the phwoar factor with a singer that looks a cross somewhere between Richey Manic and Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran. They even break into a "Love Spreads" style Roses riff during a breakdown for one song. While they've got potential they lack the killer song or killer riff to leave you wanting more.
(Pic: Cry For Silence)
Cry For Silence end up in the middle ground of From Autumn To Ashes and My Chemical Romance. A point where old skool metal riffs meet an almost prog like work ethic. Each song hits you round the head in a "You've had it coming for 20 years - thwack" sense of the word. CFS's frontman Adam Petite has the beguiling look of a homeless and a messiah, they're spellbinding from the outset and are one of the best emo, and we use that term loosely, we've seen in a long while. Every riff, every lyric is essential, even the S Club paraphrasing "There ain't no party, like a Fightstar party" is excused.
As we head back to see Fightstar we're greeted by five men of the law. It's the most unintentional rock n roll moment in the bands career as a bunch of chavs try to fight their way into the gig. The mood inside is one of trepidation, anticipation and the mood hangs like waiting for a car crash to happen. Charlie looks like a permanently damaged and deranged Howard Hughes, schizophrenic twitching and glassy eyed stares. In many ways it soon becomes clear that Simpson is lost without the songwriting talent of James Bourne by his side. Whereas Busted took punk-pop and made it something more then the sum of it's parts, Fightstar are steeped in the route of pedestrian emo. It's no less genuine than a hundred bands you'll find playing the circuit each week, at the same time it shares the same lack of inventiveness and ambition.
Bizarrely enough it's the poppier tracks - "Palahniuk's Laughter", "Lost Like Tears In Rain" and "Mono" - that really make the impact. The latter is Fightstar's own "3am" as read by Radiohead and you sense this wasn't what Simpson was aiming for when he started Fightstar. While he's escaped a similar fate of S Club's Paul Cattermole (who left his successful pop band for more serious endeavours) and gained the thumbs up from the press you can't help but feel it will be the fans who have the final say when it comes to the 2nd EP release.
At the moment Charlie Simpson stands at the crossroad's with important decisions to make. He can leave Busted behind once and for all and be truly inventive like Cry For Silence or he can tread the more poppy route as fans of his former band seem to crave. At the moment this middle ground isn't appealing to either and if it stays this way the interest will wane faster than Fightstar came to prominence.
Words: Alex McCann
Photos: Karen McBride www.karenmcbride.com
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