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Pitchshifter, The Ambassador, Dublin, 21st September 2002

The last time Pitchshifter played Dublin, about two years ago, they were supported by the excellent Brinskill Bomb-Beat. What happened this time around, however, is anyone's guess. The Kennedy Soundtrack, despite being heaped with praise in the English music media, are firm believers in "someone else did it before us, that means we can do it" and "why write good songs when we can just rob bits off of everyone else's". Sorry lads, but it doesn't work that easily. What we've got here is a band that is attempting to practice the rap-rock formula (a rapping front man, complemented by his singing guitarist), but have picked up bad habits that they can't seem to shake. They're a band who fleece riffs and melodies from the likes of Fun Lovin' Criminals, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against The Machine and yet come out sounding like Crazy Town. Fuck of back to Wales and take your shit music with you.

Thank Christ for Pitchshifter then, a band that sound a million times bigger and better live than on record. Playing the Ambassador may have seemed a bit ambitious and, sadly, they only managed to quarter fill it. The crowd that was there, though, was really up for a good time and this energy fed the band. JS Clayden, armed with his mic, lead the 'Shifter through a great set that touched on every era of their back catalogue. The more accessible recent material sat soundly beside the highly infectious, heavy with dance beats material from "", which in turn fitted in comfortably beside their much heavier and much more industrial material.

'Genius' was thrown in early and blew the pit into submission, much later on 'Scene this' (introduced by Clayden as a love song) did exactly the same. The entire set was an ongoing series of highs and highs. There are two important things that make Pitchshifter special live. The first is that you don't just have to mosh or slam, you can dance to the music as well. The second is that they've got the same stage presence as One Minute Silence, seeing those two bands live on the same stage, now that would be genius. 'What's in it for me?' and 'Down', both equipped with huge choruses, lured the crowd in nicely for the perfect finishing blast of 'Please sir'. Hopefully it won't be another two years before they come back again.

Ken McGrath.

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