Two years ago, I first saw Hundred Reasons at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, supporting Idlewild. Though they only had one single out at the time, their ability was clear. Sadly, poor sound slightly reduced the impact of the first half of their set, so I was looking forward tonight to seeing the complete Hundred Reasons experience, and to see how far they have come as a band.

The Great Hall is a large venue. Apart from the Plymouth Pavilions – which will soon be playing host to the Manics and Oasis – it is the largest in the South West of England. And Hundred Reasons practically filled it entirely with teenage skate punks. For the first time ever at a gig, I was one of the tallest people there! People over 20 were at a distinct minimum.

Kinesis are in the position Hundred Reasons were two years ago. Now that they have released a few singles , many have tipped them for the top. Walking on stage, they did look incredibly natural, and there is a ton of promise in their angular indie rock. As yet they don’t have the songs to make me want to buy their records, but I’d go and see them again.

Having been adopted by Kerrang! magazine and labelled “the best young band in Britain”, and also “the best live band in Britain”, Hundred Reasons are now incredibly popular. The young crowd’s reaction to the performance was basically mental, and the laid back security team made up almost completely of students, was more than happy to let them kick off. A constant stream of crowd surfers duly streamed towards the stage.

When Hundred Reasons played their best songs, like 'Falter', 'Silver', 'Remmus' and' If I Could', it was really easy to see why people love them so much. They also played a couple of new songs, which were both awesome. But some of their set was a bit samey, and I felt that they lacked a little charisma, though singer Colin is really energetic. After another album the fillers will disappear from their set, but at the moment their live show is good rather than brilliant.

Main support, Sparta, stole the show in my eyes. Lets face it, when a band features three of the former members of At The Drive-In, how could they possibly not rule? I saw them at the Reading Festival and was deeply impressed, but inside a proper venue in Exeter, they blew me away. Their set is simply packed with the very best in emo-rock, and was pure gold from start to finish. It was a more rocked up set then their mellow Reading performance, but the anthemic qualities of songs like 'Cut Your Ribbon' shone through again.

In singer Jim Ward, Sparta has the charisma that Hundred Reasons slightly lacked. He is also a gentleman, making it quite clear he disapproved of losers who were trying to grab at girls crowdsurfing over their heads by shouting that each one is “someone’s sister, and definitely someone’s fucking daughter, so act like adults!” Most of the time, though, he just seemed delighted to be here, and overjoyed that on his first British tour, and only as a support band, the response could be so positive.

If you don’t yet own a copy of the debut Sparta album, then make your way to a record store – fast! It’s called 'Wiretrap Scars' and is on the Dreamworks label, also home to the Eels, Rufus Wainwright and Jimmy Eat World, so it is surely the best major in existence.











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Commenting On: Exeter University Great Hall, 11/11/2002 - Hundred Reasons/Sparta/Kinesis








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