No, the Father-in-Law are not some guitar band you've never heard of. I mean my actual father-of-my-wife-father-in-law, who we all trundled off to visit. It was alright, as it turned out, but a slight delay in leaving combined with the excitement of heavy snow slowed our return trip. Consequently, I arrived at the Custard Factory to find the evening's entertainment well under way. Unless you count missing Belouis Some opening for Queen at Knebworth 1986, I think this may be the first time I've missed an act at a gig. It was a shame, because I'd been looking forward to seeing the band in question, Mothertrucker, as my chum Russ speaks highly of them.
Hooking up with Pete, I bought us a beer. Pete divulged his plan to campaign for tea at gigs. You know, it was chilly and we're none of us getting any younger. I'd have laughed if hadn't been speculating on the possibility of a nice mug of hot chocolate on the way over.
Jesu are a band I've wanted to see play for a good long time. Rather, frontman Justin Broadrick is. As the force behind Godflesh, Broadrick went a long way in changing my view of what music is and what it can do to you. Jesu are as intense as Godflesh were, but uplifting rather than punishing. I may have been the only person in the crowd grinning like a loon at the end of the set, though. That might be a function of the age of the crowd, which wasn't as grizzled as I'd expected. The young shoegazer types with their little chin-beards take themselves far too seriously to crack a smile in public.
No grins on anyone's face at the end of Mono's set. Having retreated from the left hand speaker-stack, I found myself lulled by warm air from a wall vent, intermittently dazzled by the whirling-twirling lights overhead, and mesmerised by Mono's melody, power, and dynamic range. They did something crazy in the middle of their set where everything broke down into howling feedback for a very, very long time and I started to lose my balance. I wasn't blacking out, but I had to really fight to stay upright. Marvellous. Somehow I doubt they can capture the intensity and purity of the their live sound on record, but if you stare at this photo while listening to these tracks you might get a flavour of the feeling.