It’s a Saturday afternoon, three pm and I step out of a black cab onto St. Marys street, Southampton. Why am I here? It’s certainly not to soak up the sights. Surely not for a gig, a matinee rock ‘performance’ perhaps… no, it’s to interview 65daysofstatic, the band which should be on the Joiners’ stage in around five hours time. So why am I here so early, am I really that keen? The reason, it transpires, is that I am the first of six, yes six, people interviewing the band in the five hours before the show. Upon hearing this, my slight irritation at my peaceful Saturday afternoon being disrupted melts into understanding and with it a newfound respect emerges.
65daysofstatic are an instrumental rock band hailing from sunny Sheffield. There’s Paul, the guy who gave the interview that day, who plays guitar and does the electronics, Simon on the bass, Rob on drums and headman Joe who plays guitar. So, you might be thinking, “The usual four-piece out to provide the world with more indie-themed dribble ala The Wombats?” But you’d be wrong. For one, 65daysofstatic are more fun than that. Without a singer in the band they’ve already shot themselves in the foot as far as the charts go, but their mission, whether they know it consciously or not, is to instead plough themselves a somewhat independent and altogether more dance-driven path.
They kick the night off with ‘Piano Fights’ from their new fourth album We Were Exploding Anyway. It’s a violent number to start with, initially passive with a simple drum beat and persistent piano loop, but then everything changes when the two guitarists declare all out war on the poor loop and the thing gets drowned in a glorious deafening racquet of static guitar – an impressive start.
The Joiners at this point, all sold out at the princely sum of £15 a ticket, starts to resemble a TopMan sale, as the number of vintage Christmas jumpers being dumped in any available corner skyrockets. With everyone now set and ready for more… err, ‘sweaty action’, 65daysofstatic launch into a further set of dense electronic tracks from their new album. Frontman Joe’s ‘dancing’ is now becoming ridiculous but also incredibly entertaining as he mimes all sorts of actions to the crowd. With the newer and frankly slightly weaker material over with and the set reaching around it’s midway point, the age-old ‘Retreat Retreat’, ‘This Cat is a Landmine’ and ‘Fix The Sky A Little’ makes an appearance creating some of the most insanely energetic scenes of the night. The band wrap it all up with another run of newer tracks and by the end of it the kids in the mosh-pits all look like they could do with an early night.
This is what this band does best. They maintain monumental pace throughout their sets and always drain the crowd of every last Joule of energy. You’d be forgiven for thinking that instrumental music was all pseudo-classical but here 65daysofstatic show that it can be so much more direct than anything a normal rock band could muster. The new album might be so-so but live, these guys are incredible.