Gig Review

Plus BoyKillBoy
Bath, Pavilion
31st January 2008

Athlete                    BoyKillBoy

Despite having lived here for almost 3 years now, tonight was the first time I had been to the Bath Pavilion. Unassuming in nature and tucked away in a little corner next to the cricket ground and leisure centre, I was massively unsure as to its potential as a good live music venue. Upon arriving, I became even less convinced as the inside of the building seemed to resemble, in the words of Athlete's singer Joel, 'a wedding marquee'. However, throughout the night it did become more apparent that in fact the acoustics did not suffer in the slightest and the all round atmosphere was indeed very good.

It must also be said that the crowd was larger than I expected it to be. Gigs in Bath are never usually well advertised, further added to by the fact that despite other dates from the tour being there, tonight's event was not on the gig listings within the pages of NME magazine. There was also a good mixture of people, ranging from the usual menagerie of indie kids in their skinny jeans to the middle aged women who are still trying to convince themselves that they are young at heart and cool to the core. Having stood next to one such lady for the entirety of the gig, I can say that at best, she made herself look fairly ridiculous!

But tonight was about the music, and Athlete are a weird sort of band. They achieved massive commercial success off the back of the single 'Wires', which also propelled the band's album 'Tourist' to the top of the charts. After that, they have become a band that kind of plod around in the background, good at what they do but very unassuming about the way they go about it. This was evidenced by the gig itself, and also the prior interview with Carey Willetts from the band. He said that people find they know more of the songs in the set than they realise, and this was very true. The gig was a singalong near enough from start to finish, and the general mood of the fans was one of great relaxation and fun. Yet, Athlete also managed to present a bit of edge to their music, something that sets them out from any other band of a similar musical persuasion. Their style is very unique and also very loveable, as seems to echo the general attitude of the band who come across as very likeable guys.

Highlights, of course, included 'Wires', which was the only song where the whole crowd could quite clearly be seen singing along at the top of their lungs. But a lot of the stuff from 'Beyond The Neighbourhood' was very much to my liking. To be honest, I had only heard the single 'Hurricane' before the night's festivities, and even then it was only whilst they were playing it that I realised that I actually had. But songs such as 'Tokyo' and a slightly mixed up version of 'Best Not To Think About It' showcased the evident vocal talents of Mr Joel Pott. But as noticed by Thom at the previous Athlete gig covered by Alternative Vision, the set was very much lacking the song 'El Salavdor'. Clearly this must be a song that the band must not like playing live, which is maybe slightly weird as it was one of their earliest singles and better known songs. In fact, there were several calls from the crowd to play the song, which eventually proved to be fruitless. But who are we to argue with the band, and it was omitted with what they must see as good reason.

In terms of individual roles on the night, the lyrics of Joel Pott were very clear and resonated in a warm fashion, which could not help but get the crowd involved. Willetts on backing vocals and bass guitar was technically very sound and the focus of much attention from the crowd because of this. Drummer Steve Roberts was again very sound, but created the only hiccup of the night with the malfunction of his kit!

However, by the end of the set one thing was noticeable,and that was that in my opinion, the support band Boy Kill Boy actually provided a better show than the main attraction. This is not to say that Athlete were anything less than fantastic on the night, but Boy Kill Boy provided a more electrifying atmosphere which was more to my taste. The song 'Back Again', which was used to open the set was perfect evidence of this, a bouncy number which is infectious on the ear and easy to sing along to. For me, an example of a perfect indie song and one that is contained within the top 25 most played on my iTunes.

Overall, a fantastic night's entertainment.

Review By Anthony


Joel Pott (guitar, vocals)
Carey Willetts (bass)
Tim Wanstall (keyboards)
Stephen Roberts (drums)

Chris (Vocals/Guitar)
Kev (Bass/Vocals)
Pete (Keyboards)
Shaz (Drums)
 Band Related Links
Athlete Myspace
BoyKillBoy Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?