No Cause for Concern? Issue #7 | March 1983 | Page 5 | Screaming Bamboo
with THE RANDYPETERS
Screaming Bamboo came on first. They weren't destined to but inside sources report that one RandyPeter was rather adamant against having his drum kit taken off and on, as would have happened were the groups to have alternated sets. Too bad! Alternated sets tent to generate more of a party atmosphere. It usually happens when both bands are equal in stature and either band feels self conscious about making the other play first. At any rate, Screaming Bamboo came on at ten o'clock: nice and late in order to ensure they had a large enough crowd that they deserved. A lot of the audience consisted of aspiring local musicians themselves. Famous players from GASH, DESIGN and THE HOWLIN' Cs were there assessing Screaming Bamboo's performance. Design left after the first couple of songs (probably to go home and "plagerise Simple Minds records"). Gash and the rest of the crowd were quite an open minded, appreciative crowd. S.B. opened with a song called "18 Hours" which started with an eerie spy thriller type keyboard lead-in. The rest of the instruments crashed into a good, danceable number. The music is danceable with subtly discordant off-rhythms made by the "fingernails-on-chalkboard distorted telecaster guitar playing". The bass was rich with percussion-like thudding caused by the finger picking of the bass player. (One of the few local bassists who play without a pick.) Vocalist/keyboardist Colleen sings with a piercing intensity which other local female vocalists lack (e.g. Raw Sewage's old singer). The screeching vocals and whiny keyboards may make on want to dismiss S.B. as an inane B-52's pop band. Au contaire: the raw sound of the band dispels the thought from any mind which may harbour it. Ex-Virgin (he'll probably want to rid himself of this label) Jeb Bond keeps a heavy beat which tends to overshadow any pop impressions. The weight of his drumming was not truggled into the background as was the case of Steve Gelling's guitar in the Restless Virgins. Thus, every instrument in Screaming Bamboo has its niche and does not overextend to another's territory. The overall sound of Screaming Bamboo is basic yet full-bodied. Another example of basic full-bodied sound is the Psychedelic Furs' black album (just an example, not a comparison).
The RANDYPETERS played two sets. The crowd was responsive though not active. I really shouldn't say much more but one thing should be said: they played a lot better than the previous night (I believe sound has something to do with a "soundcheck"). The highlight of the evening was Boris (the impassive keyboardist from Gash) singing "Money" after returning from the Roxy's "Blues Harp Championships". The drumming was speedy enough and heavy (let's hope the style stays...) The bassing was low and furious, the guitaring a bit too constrained (I guess you wanted to play more this time, Rand), the singing...
- Peter Botman
[After all this time, maybe I should add that Peter Botman was the lead singer for the RandyPeters.]