BusinessKeith: Having felt relatively sprightly in a middle-aged John Cooper Clarke crowd last night it’s a galling wake-up call to be reacquainted with Saturday’s Kids, a Newport four-piece with a collective age of about 26. Their youth works in their favour though. I’d not seen them until their Lovvers support the other week, so I can’t vouch for the leaps and bounds they’ve apparently taken in the last year, but they sound like a band with a restless need to develop and experiment. They can knock out hard and fast punk bullets convincingly enough, and do so, but it’s the slower tempos – often within the same song – that surprise and impress. It’s here they call to mind bits of early Nirvana, Flipper, even the sludgy, creeping noise of the AmRep stable, albeit without any convincing physical sign that they’ve spent weeks in dumpsters drinking medicine. If they keep evolving at this pace they’re going to be pretty impressive once school’s out.
Saesneg: No sooner had I gotten my third lager of the evening had the lead singer of the Sick Livers (props: large quiff, one hairspray aerosol can, black shirt) assaulted Vivers with a rockabilly torrent comparable to a jet engine firing and taking off in his face. Once Mr Livers eased himself from the Steen he leaped onto the nearest bench and repeated his yelping, before entering into an endless semi-circle marathon jog with Duracell bunny efficiency. If there’s a word that defines the Livers, it’s effort. The other might be shameless – the band don’t care about the obvious age gap between them, others on the bill and the audience, and probably have “if you’re going to form a middle aged rock band, you should form a rock band” tattooed into their chest. Could we expect to see them on the next Sweet Baboo/Cate Le Bon bill? Unlikely, but you’ll rarely see a band so totally unpretentious and eager to please in the Cardiff scene. Not like this lot, anyway.
Vivers: It’s a night of bodily fluids. Spit and spunk are everywhere, metaphorical or not. At the front is where the action is, whether that’s being groomed for a knee-trembler by Sick Livers, or watching Louis Limits in his natural habitat: pacing a small crowd space, going feral to yobbed-up snot punk. The rest of Shitty Limits may as well be shaved robots for all I care; as long as they keep firing out the grey lumps of hardcore for their singer to ricochet off, no harm can happen. There’s furious alchemy here, bleak elements of US and UK harsh music stolen and rammed through into a triumphant whole, one big blur that sounds weirdly brainy even though you can’t hear the words. You can dance to it too, sort of. Your wet face beaming.