Jolt/The O @ Esquires, Bedford

Maybe it's because it's the first night of the tour, I don't know, but Jolt are not on top form tonight, rarely reaching the vitriolic, spleen-venting heights of last year's Cambridge Junction gig with Uncle Dick Dale. An overlong set, so-so sound and an apathetic crowd more interested in the sludge-by-numbers of support Satellite Beach weren't quite made up for by an excellent down-played and slinky Pixies cover and two ferocious closing numbers: "Was it wild?" and "Sex and Cheques". It's a long way from "Too much kissing" but Mark Keds has developed into a wall-of-noise guitarist, making up for the limitations of a 3-piece with great swatches of distortion. Worth the journey then? Well yes, despite the Bedford curse-of-the-guestlist operating once again, Jolt are definitely a band you should see.

The O have dropped out of this tour---a fact not advertised in the venue, although no doubt in large part responsible for the advance sell-out---I doubt that'll harm the chances of new single "Now" doing the business for them though, it's another dollop of their mish-mash hip hop pop, this time with a heavy psycho-sixties influence and super singalonga-O lyrics.

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