“What’s that smell?” ask support Intercom Set, as the distinctly legitimate, rock-club feel of Doncaster’s Vintage Rockbar hangs within the audience. “Rock n’ Roll!” the answer on everyone’s minds that were present to see both them and Headlining ___ U.V Pop up close and personal.
I meet with John White (U.V’s continuous driving force since the founding of the band) in the live room whilst Intercom Set start with their opening number. Having shared a stage with them back in September whilst playing at Tickhill’s ‘T-Fest’, I have been exposed to John’s ambitions during live performances, to keep moving forward with new material, and this night was to be no exception. “We’ll not be playing any of the old favourites tonight” he said, but I was happy to see songs like ‘I Dream’ and ‘Turkey Bones’ making appearances as I checked the set list I’d obtained to help me keep a track of the gig. It was also said that a brand new, never-before heard song titled ‘Made of Stone’ would also be performed on this night.
Anthem-like songs continue to spill out of the stage one after another before Intercom Set’s…. set comes to a successful close. It’s now time, 30+ years of experience and constant forward thinking come together to create a completely original sound, it draws no comparison, this is UV Pop, and nothing else. The opening song ‘Just a Game’ sinks into the crowd. Huge echo, and hypnotic bass hooks, courtesy of Tony Nicholson, leave a stylised impact that will remain for the rest of the evening. Within a short space of time in comes the familiar, tremolo heavy, ‘Anyone For Me’ a hauntingly spacious number that wouldn’t be out of place being the soundtrack for a psychedelic art installation on mars…
When the final echo finally dies down our personal tour of the collective mind of UV Pop begins in the form of ‘Lucky Star’ travelling towards the impression of cynical happiness before crashing into a funked-up rendition of ‘I Dream’, which lightens the mood drastically. On the height of this joy arrives ‘Mr Mystery’ a simplistically intriguing number that is a smooth juxtaposition to the previous number.
The new song ‘Made Of Stone’ is surprising, in that it seems to completely encapsulate the feel of the band in one track. Drummer Steven Howse, has shifted at this point to using a sample pad at the side of the kit to create a simple loop-styled drum beat with a more definite human touch. While the rhythm of the song is definitely reminiscent of early UV, John’s personal, arpeggiated guitar parts are much closer to the more recent material, leaving a good gateway into the Jive-Worthy ‘Turkey Bones’.
There’s a reason that this band have had such a long career, it’s because there’s nothing else like it, and it has to be seen live to be truly understood. If you want to know your musical heritage as a citizen of Doncaster, UV Pop is the place to start.