After all the touring and recording Trampolene have something of a messy yet splendid evening ahead of them at this their hometown show on the run-up to Christmas. But first tonight, they are supported by two bands that I managed to miss and I just about enter the venue in time for The Sandinistas to take to the stage and knock out their set of well, early Manics tunes if I were to describe them to somebody having never heard the band before seeing the white jeans and White Les Paul and naming yourself after a clash album might be a bit of a no-brainer for most haggard hacks and I guess the band didn’t disappoint on that front. The songs sounded decent to be fair and one or two actually had decent choruses and hooks. The band sounded tight with a really good locked in rhythm section. As was noted when the drummer fired on the snare it was very Tommy Gun like and along with the bass player they drove the songs really well. One I’d like to hear more from on record to see if they have the chops in the studio.
With a packed house, this rowdy hometown crowd are treated to a young lady playing the national anthem on her violin causing a sigh of relief as a potentially horrific Yoko moment was averted had she played on the violin whilst someone read poetry or warbled out of key over the top of it anyway with a further ten minutes but thankfully it was just the national anthem but the band took the stage some ten minutes later so the intro sort of flopped on the dancefloor that was quickly filling up with beer spillage and sweaty young men chanting.
Jack Jones climbed around the PA with his coat on and full of Tonsillitis but once he clocked the crowd his beaming smile gave him the adrenalin rush he needed after being forced to cancel a couple of shows earlier in the week and it was straight into the mele of bodies rolling across the dance floor as the band hit the crowd over the head with song after song – it might not have been their tightest performance but the energy was fantastic. ‘Under The Strobelight’ followed by ‘It’s Not Rock and Roll’, ‘Alcohol Kiss’ were all present and accounted for and sounded huge and was exactly what this audience needed to lose their pre-Christmas shit to which was nice to see them duly obliged.
By the time the band smashed into ‘Tom Hardy’, it was a beautiful racket, beer, sweat, smiles and ringing ears all around just what a club gig should be. It wasn’t all full tilt mind as one of the highlights of the evening was a magnificent performance of ‘The Gangway’ but they did save the best til last as ‘Storm Heaven’ in all its extended glory was groovetastic with the band locking into one another and just churning out that riff hypnotising and mesmerising in equal measures.
Being a Friday night and in their hometown it wouldn’t be right if Jack didn’t attempt a rendition of ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’ or some other recognised Crimbo classic but in true rock n roll fashion he didn’t really know it but neither did he know his way around a verse of ‘Ever Fallen In Love’ which he dedicated to Pete Shelley who passed away the night before which was touching besides the crowd took over for the chorus then it was a final hoorah as a joyous rendition of ‘Friday I’m In Love’ and finally ‘Poundland’ before we were kicked out onto the street smiling; knowing that we’d just seen one hell of a band that even when under the weather can achieve great things and hometown shows can either bomb due to the pressure or soar as the locals carry their heroes off into the sunset over their heads tonight was the latter as Trampolene smashed it they well and truly smashed it. Next time they play locally it won’t be in this venue it simply won’t be big enough. Swansea needs nights like this. A sweaty little venue fizzing with rock n roll – awesome.
Author: Dom Daley
Pictures: Nigel Drean