Quicksand, Live in London

Reunited post-hardcore legends warm up for Download

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QUICKSAND FANS ARE EXTREMELY LOYAL Walter Schreifels, Tom Capone, Alan Cage and Sergio Vega formed Quicksand in 1990, each member a luminary of ‘80s New York hardcore. In accordance with that scene, an indestructible bond between band and audience is established early on. Despite being nearly two decades since their last album, loyalty to this band has remained unwavering, and - just like Refused and Texas Is the Reason - their fan base grew in their absence. Tonight revealed a host of mature faces chanting along with a far younger crowd who have only recently discovered the delights of Quicksand’s music. This evening is all about trying to re-establish those connections, old and new. THE MERCH PRICES ARE ANYTHING BUT PUNK The loneliest person in the room is the merchandise vendor and the sales-point remains a barren place throughout the night. It’s no real surprise when fans are asked to pay £40 for a hoodie or £20 a T-shirt. Come on, Walter, this is a club show and we’re all ageing hardcore kids with rent to pay. Even the overpriced beer seems more attractive. SLIP IS THE DEFINITIVE POST-HARDCORE RECORD Some may contest that Fugazi hold the crown in the post-hardcore stakes but on balance, Quicksand’s first album Slip has been a greater influence on the genre. The setlist tonight reflects this and only two songs from the album are absent. Opener Omission guarantees a positive reaction appearing on both Slip_and the self-titled EP pleasing the early purists too. Quicksand fill the first six songs of their programme with tracks from the groundbreaking album including the immense groover Fazer. After 80 minutes they say goodbye with track eight on Slip, Can Opener. WALTER DRINKS FROM THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH Walter Schreifels has been central to many projects over the years. From Gorilla Biscuits in the late 80s, through to Rival Schools in the early 2000s and various reunion gigs leading inbetween. One thing’s for sure, the guy never ages. I wonder if it’s something he has on his hospitality rider? When performing, Walter bounces across the stage with a playful demeanour. At the end of the set Alan Cage steps away from his kit leaving an empty drum chair. Among the feedback and looping guitar sounds, Walter sneaks behind the kit and knocks out a few chops like a schoolboy mimics a teacher when he leaves the room. SMALLER THE CLUB, BETTER THE SHOW Probably. Overall there is something not quite right with tonight’s performance. I loved hearing Slip live for the first time but the Electric Ballroom was only half full and this lessened the wow factor for what should have been a great spectacle. The mid-tempo quality of Quicksand’s sound and a very clean mix from the PA weakened any impact the drums and guitars might have had. Soon the general chat in the back of the room started drowning out the music. Perhaps it’s the cynical punk in me, but I can’t help but think that if tonight had been in a room half the size all of us would have left saying we had witnessed one of the greatest comebacks ever.