Sunday 31st August 2008
Loaded Dice are a Green Day/Mcfly/Rooster/Nickleback type boy-band from Shepperton (yes Middlesex) who write their own music (in an 80’s style -try to think 1980’s Genesis or Tears for Fears.) They possess a poppy upbeat sound and a certain pizzaz that is just right for the average weekaday modern audience who has a small appetite, short attention span and jaded earbuds.
You know those days when you fancy a Tizer or a glass of cold ginger ale instead of Stella extra strong? When life asks nothing more out of you than a desire for a dish of sticky toffee pudding cake or a slice of lemon meringue pie? When you want to leave the Marlboro country and head, instead, for a simple picnic perched upon a tuffet with your sweetheart, while the light fades? When you find yourself wanting music – not poison, and wanting sweetness, not an aftertaste. When all you want is ‘Not to Worry’. When you just want the kind of music that is ‘kind to your soul’. That is Loaded Dice.
They look and sound goo-ood. Smallest of the bunch, Lui Matthews (vocals) is a capable though diminutive ‘front man’ but is confidently backed-up by the big-bruvver drummer (wearing a mike) Steven Wilkinson, who combines percussion with some impressive supporting vocals. Curly haired Ian Lennon – on bass- who looks like Simon Amstell- belts out the bass notes well. And the guitarwork – oh yes, the guitarwork, is very competently played by slim Anthony Wilkinson.
“I Hurt So Much” ( actually named “My Call” ) is my favourite song and the crowd pleaser. It has a funky mid section with a simple but likeable lead break, good vocals especially the harmonies. All the lads in the band take part in the melodic structure of the sound. But whilst Lui Matthews uses his rounded voice as another instrument, the other lads provide vocal arrangements to support him.
Wow, is it Black Sabbath (paranoid)? No, it is “Ride Today”. Jangly guitars with nice fretwork mid-section by the talented Anthony Wilkinson in this ‘almost an ozzy cover-esque’ bit of soda-fizz. Refreshingly effervescent cherry-pop fizz for a summer day.
When I saw the band (at THE HOB, Staines) Green Day was present and correct, not only in the sound and the effort of the band but also in some nicely crafted coverwork. More surprisingly, though, was the joyful rock n’ roll number and even some funky jazz-type vibes. Chords and a complicated bass structure, supported by Steven Wilkinson on beat-drums, fill up ”That’s Alright” which is a solid and reliable pop-tune and will probably be a top ten hit once the boys crack through the caramel crust of the music world and ‘tap into America’ with their little silver spoons. “Mr Liar” has a funky feel but is akin to the ska sounds of the mod seventies with tempo changes and some over-familiar chorus and verse patterns. But it is a very clever lead guitar break that takes you into a new direction and brings you, gently, back the this century.
Try not to screw your face up when you hear that the band got to the UK final of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest a few years back. Because, currently, the lads are teetering on the very edge of ‘stadium’ success having won the title of the “Best UK live and unsigned band”. We wish them well. They are local talents and they have a clean image and wear sensible shoes and have clean hair. They use toothpaste and they floss. Why should we hold that (and the Eurovision thingy) against them?
Oh, incidentally, why weren’t you there?
Why weren’t you at the Hobgoblin… supporting our boys? Shame on you!
If you missed them on Sunday, try to catch Loaded Dice here:
Sep 14 2008 8:00P The Hobgoblin Staines
Sep 24 2008 8:00P Brighton Live Festival 2008