You could say one aim of The Basement Club is to avoid the norm. OK, so everyone says that - but, well, why perform to just a handful of your standard audience-figure and deliver the same old, same old...?
We're in luck tonight. Once again, the attendees are in for a treat. One starting with the inexplicable class-punk musings of Birmingham's Distophia - a ravaging quartet so ensconced with their idols (Pavement, Sonic Youth) and worrisome humour, that they instantly please, if only through sheer, urgent assurance.
Oh, but wait a sec - there's tunes here too; debut-single 'Joanne' is an arty piece of stompy pop, and the rest is a blistering racket of distorted, up-tempo angsty-avant-garde, complete with achingly wry band-remarks in between. Come a furious, combustible set-conclusion (replete with shouting in the faces of innocent, naive audience-members)... ladies and gentlemen, we bring you... the savage, youthful face of British rock's future.
Add to that the next lot - Matador Records' latest signings, and Notts residents, Seachange. They have a violin-player, ya know. And another five, bloody members. The fact they fit onstage is a marvel in itself - their music, another marvel, one clad with fast, stomping rhythms and blaring, angry agit-vox, as refined and classy as it proves challenging and random. The contents of their debut-EP proper, 'Glitterball' unearthed, and we're in love; add to the similarly named, frightfully ambitious league of up-and-coming prog-sters Oceansize.
Then a band that rockfeedback first met a whole year and a half ago, prior to a record-deal, before a debut London headline, and - indeed, prior to their producing of one of 2003's finest first records, 'Handshakes For Bullets'.
Kinesis have got a lot to answer for, having just come off the road with US nu-metal stalwarts Linkin Park, and they're fittingly rising to the challenge tonight - a Smiths cover in tow ('The Boy With The Thorn In His Side'); a rarely exhibited, squealing, early-gig fave ('The Flowers Are Dead'); and a whole truck-load of raucous noise-pop - '... And They Obey'; fiery new tune 'I Am The One'; 'Civilised Fury'; 'Bloodstained Lips'; 'Conveyor Belt Destruction'; and a closing arse-kick in the shape of 'Everything Destroys Itself' - itself a conclusion that sees a writhing mass at the front gently bob up and down with geeky inhibition, and an outro-ending which prompts guitarist Conor McGloin to dive on to frontman Michael Bromley's guitar-pedals. All following bold, bossy proclamations ('We're the complete opposite of fashion!') and 'shout-outs' to those present in the room which helped them perform this evening's low-key thang in the first place.
To alleviate the tensions and taut intensity just mustered via a couple of hours of searing, unrelenting live-tuneage, we all get pissed, naturally. Cult string-vest veterans Ten Benson join the party from across the road (themselves similarly achieving a memorable, sell-out gig at the Highbury Garage), and we don't stop 'til we're kicked out. Which is, in this case, 2:15am. See you in January.