It’s not surprising that a good number of people braved the terrible snow when a band as good as Delta Mainline are headlining. However… I admit I didn’t stick around for their set as I had to work the next day and to that meant getting up at 4am the next morning. Rubbish I know, but it still meant that I got to see two great sets by two fifths of Toba Caldera and also This Condition.

Having being pleasantly surprised that Rebecca’s are serving bottles of real ale, I took to the floor to watch James Gilroy and Nevyn Stevenson produce a stunning semi-acoustic set, which included Room on Fire, with its acoustic guitar intro ripped from the guts of The Bad Seeds circa 1990 and an Earth shattering intensity that sounds like Electric Wizard doing Life on Mars, or Nick Cave taking on a Bond theme.
When it comes to so-called Indie music, if it starts with The Beatles, fuck it. It’s always been The Doors for me and these two fellas offer it up in slabs. Although I’m unfamiliar with the names of the tracks played, it has everything other than a pair of sharp suits.

This Condition take to the stage wearing winter warmers and what looks like a woolly Santa hat. In this climate, all is forgiven – I still had a snood ’round my face and some lasses had carrier bags round their shoes! They open with Crucified which was one of the highlights from last year’s EP. It has a great beat to it and is much more bass-heavy than it is on record, and the fall-out which is the middle section sounds mighty here. The second song is unfamiliar but is sung in a much higher range to the rest of the set and is pretty good to boot. There’s also a really fast number called The Key.
The final four songs all come from their EP and sound great. First up is glimpses of Helter Skelter in This Tortured Soul which is dark, brooding and shows the real fire in this band’s belly. Moral Panic is a much more standard affair but is likely to please those less familiar with the dark side and maybe more likely to pursue a Kasabian-like sound.

The closing two numbers flow perfectly. Hide From the Sun takes that Kasabian swagger but firmly embeds it in The Verve or Ride territory. Throwing Stones is the perfect way to end; not their best song but a great song nevertheless and one that has a brilliant reverb drenched spiralling riff at the centre of the verse, a vocal that soars and that will stay with you until that buzzing in your ears subsides tomorrow night and a closing jam that ends way too soon.
And like I said, it did end way too soon for me because I left after that for an early night. Those who saw Delta Mainline though told me I missed something special, but for now it appears that The Shotton Foundation and Noise Delays Recovery only put on special nights. Here’s to the next one!

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