Sleeper Agent! - Better than average sound quickly comes out of this four-piece with drums, bass, guitar and a vocalist. Strong punk sound with good musicians and very good guitar moves. But the singer looked way too much like John Stabb of Government Issue. He had the facial expressions, the stage moves, a similar voice, hmmmm. Could it be? He's got a little age on him, but looks good. Note to myself to check later. Well, when he comes out later wearing a Double O shirt, I am convinced it is him and finally I see via Myspace that it is the new John Stabb band. A good one, too.
Ego Likeness - Interesting three piece. A tall blonde woman singing with a guitarist and a standing drummer on an electric kit. Very goth rock. Singers looks somewhere between Annie Lennox and Jennifer Miro (Nuns) and sounds somewhere between the former and Siouxsie Sioux. Decent enough songs and a nice style contrast between the opener and the headliner.
New Model Army - This long running UK punk/post punk band has recently been touring pretty hard on this side of the ocean and still releasing good material. They have a nice mid-tempo anarcho-rock sound clearly out of punk, but a bit on their own, not unlike what the Ruts did, although the style is a bit more rock oriented here. Keyboards were inaudible at first and sound took a while to become as strong as the music behind it. I find it odd the roadie was still signaling the sound man to change the drum monitor during their final song, but if still ain't right.... An engaging frontman with the classic British smile kept things interesting between songs and the hour-ten set plus a couple encores thereafter went over well with the sizable crowd. A recommended act, for sure.
Quote of the Night: From the singer who I now know to be John Stabb: "Thanks to the Rock'n'Roll Hotel for having us. It only took us six months to get a show here. So note to bands, plan on six months to break in with the owner of these three clubs." Interesting enough quote from an opening band, but Stabb has played here before with a Government Issue reunion/benefit show, so if it is tough for him...