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flag England - Full Moon 86 - 10/10/03

Capdown
The Charlotte, Leicester, UK, 26.09.03.

Capdown are a UK based bunch of ska punker's returning less than Fresh faced from their Kerrang! supported US tour with Punk rock blue tuxedoed Bowling For Soup.

Just for the record I'll describe the atmosphere tonight: The little paper tickets inform us that the audience should consist of sixteen plus years, and instead of this the majority of the crowd are thirteen and fourteen, and there's a distinct feeling of inexperience and claustrophobia, as apprehensively a few are doing their best to get served at the bar.

There's a lot of unease and excitement as Jake Sims-Fielding (lead vocalist and brass musician), finishes his last cigarette and finally opens his mouth to sing, everyone is relieved, or reassured, or even more excited than before; mainly because one thing is for certain, Capdown have an undeniably massive following, they were playing in Milton Keynes from the tender age of fourteen and embody every adolescent boys dream of rock recognition.

Unfortunately their humble beginnings have remained that, and even though they are managed by Dave Holland (ex-Judas Priest Guy) and have a neat alternative signing to Household Name records it's easy to see why, (as I elbow a gothy kid with wonder-bra cleavage out of the way of my view): Their fans are too young, too green, and especially too deaf and inexperienced to realise that Capdown are not new or inspirational, nor are they as patriotic and quirky as aging ska punk band Madness.

Their songs lack definition and widespread appeal - they are their own worst enemy, especially as they mercilessly hack their way through a (poor) cover of Rancid's "I Wanna Riot" . Followed by a repetitive and off beat "New Revolutionaries" and of course a highlight of mediocrity, new single "Mr Music".

You'd think with five of them up there, one of them could even pretend they're not just going through the motions.

As the evening comes to a close, half of the kids will admit to me that they are a little disappointed, the rest have never seen an exceptional live band before, and are still proud nonetheless of their CAPDOWN badges and tip-ex'd logos on rucksacks.

So all in all, dismaying. With Capdown it's not who they are it's how they are, no charisma, emotion or originality. Which is sad, and even admitted by Jake himself as he praises his support band Douglas (who are, like Jake says, far better than Capdown).

Like they sing "I Wanna Riot", well where is it lads?

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