About the gig
How do you follow a launch gig by the legendary (Brit Lifetime Achievement Award winner) Paul Weller? You put on one of Britain’s freshest and most exciting new bands – The Automatic. Following close on the heels of The Arctic Monkeys, these four lads from South Wales are set to be one of the biggest bands of 2006/7.
Live, they are quite simply brilliant. With keyboard player Pennie managing to use every square inch of the stage - including the top of the speaker stacks. They are still playing the odd small venue/festival over the coming months, but with a Kaiser Chiefs tour and a sure fire hit album to released in Spring – catch them in a small venue now. It's worth it.
The Automatic were supported by Polytechnic and Hordes. Both support bands were a match for The Automatic – which says a huge amount about the quality and depth of British talent coming through.
About the band
Four cocksure teenagers from South Wales who whip up a frenzy of energy, punctuated by razor sharp lyrics. Their debut single is described as 'a perfectly formed pop Faberge egg that throws its arms open for you all to adore'. Heady stuff – but not far wrong. The Automatic define a particular moment when music will unalterably shift from one underground movement to another. Edgy, energy ridden lyrics and a street-wise anger - that will link arms with fellow protagonists (and Perry die hards) The Artic Monkeys - to rip the pop charts asunder.
Rated as the must-see band at 'In the City', caught by the NME Radar and rapidly picking up every imaginable industry plaudit that can be found – don’t be surprised to see them appear on next years Mercury Music Awards nominee list. Are they that good? Well, we guess you will be the judge of that, but there is just room for another word from our friends at NME describing the bands first release, 'In 50 years from now, when the musical academics come to show the world what music was like in 2005, they will put this on'.
NME 14 January
If 2005 was ruled by Kaiser Chiefs debonair chirrup at one extreme and the deranged melodrama of My Chemical Romance at the other, then the most exciting new band of 2006 is bridging both. With an average age of 19 and just one single under their belts, Cardiff's The Automatic are already the most refreshing racket you'll hear all year. Their emo-glam crossover is currently affecting a local sea change, putting fun and mischief back into a south Wales scene dominated by army of be-rucksacked hardcore jessies. They've even managed to enter into a stand-off with emo's elder states men Funeral for a Friend, over the fact that they both have a song called 'Monster'. So, whose monsters are harder?
"Our monsters..." slurs singing bass player Robin Hawkins, "...are drunk." "Our monsters are badder than theirs..." adds bouncing keyboardist' Alex Pennie, who usually just goes by his surname. "...They kick ass. The big scary monster off Star Wars Jabba the Hut's pet - that's what our monster is. Theirs is more like Elmo. Emo Elmo."
Monster is a glam clarion call for pop's new provincial agenda; basically an 'I Predict a Riot' with one foot in the dark side. "The verses are describing a really horrible night out..." explains Pennie, "...and the chorus is about getting drunk and strange things happening. Like people turning into monsters." Before that though, there's a second single, 'Raoul' (theirs tribute to the owner of a local café) and "something like touring, touring, get an album out, touring, touring".
How are you planning not to lose it? "The main thing is Top Trumps..." muses drummer Iwan Griffiths. "...as long as we keep playing Top Trumps, it'll stop any arguments."
And who's going to be the first to go crazy on killer drugs?
Guitarist James Frost is first up "Me. I'm going to have a good time and then in July I'm going to quit and form my own band."
Pennie "He’s going to under dose, and die by going cold turkey."
Rob "And we're gonna get Graham Coxon in to play guitar for us instead."
The Automatic - a band with a game plan.
Fake DIY - Class of 2006
Who? What do you get if you cross a gaggle of just-out-of-school boys, buzzsaw punk and incredible songwriting? Simple: the most pant-wettingly exciting band for ages. Even though their combined age would still be less than Alex Kapranos', The Automatic have come further than they could ever imagine in such a short space of time. Already they've bagged a deal with B-Unique records and had their debut single 'Recover' released to mass acclaim: not bad for a band who shunned higher education in favour of a cramped tourbus.
2006 is undoubtedly going to be the year of The Automatic: there's a huge tour with The Kooks this spring, a debut album released this summer (full of the finest gonzoid synth-rock you could ever imagine) and numerous headlining tours planned in which they'll promptly blow everyone's ears off. Sounds like: Post-hardcore legends Refused beating Blur in a gruelling Space Invaders battle.
Steve Rudd - ULL.com
Viciously vibrant, dynamically deadly and extraordinarily exciting are just a few ways of describing this thoroughly refreshing blast of music from the amazingly young band in The Automatic... a quartet of guys who are clearly plussed-up on the type of music that makes the masses tick.
Busting out of a small Welsh town, they sound destined to take the world by storm with their highly charged brand of rock music that is both fiercely melodic and exceptionally energetic. Having worked with ace producer Richard Jackson (who's previously worked with the awesome Crashland) has clearly worked wonders too, as the music of The Automatic loudly and proudly stampedes along with the whirling splendour of the Kaiser Chiefs' and Maximo Park's finest moments.
Hell, as Recover leaps into its magnificently anthemic stride, these guys even add a new twist of coolness to 'call and response' vocals, confiding that 'There's no escaping the facts.' And they're damn right, too... for the fact is that The Automatic cannot fail to amaze one and all with their mighty collective talent and lofty ambition to dominate the UK rock scene.