Those of you who know me will be aware that I don't usually go to see teenybop rock bands with singles in the charts. But Eastbourne's finest Rooster (currently riding high at, er, number 12 in the UK Top 40) are being supported by local lads Endorphin. And local lads Endorphin are managed by my sister's boyfriend. So what the hell, it's not as if I've anything better to do on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Endorphin kick off proceedings with a well chosen set of up tempo, bouncy numbers that go down well with the predominantly teenage crowd. It's been almost a year since I last saw the band and they're sounding pretty damn fine. A little ragged round the edges to start with perhaps, but their sound soon tightens up, and they actually look as if they're having fun, too.
Their new material is less angst-ridden and more upbeat than older songs - less Muse, more REM in a jolly mood, with some really quite virtuoso axe work (ahem) from guitarist Andy. Their new acoustic number (sorry guys, I'm rubbish at remember song titles) slows the pace a little, losing the interest of the younger members of the crowd, which is a shame as it's a nicely written tune and gives the set an emotional depth that shapes it well. Here's hoping they've won themselves a few new fans tonight, anyway - nice one!
Next up are a band called Chains Undone, a name which strikes fear into the heart, evoking as it does scary images of some ghastly hybrid of Alice in Chains and Girls Aloud. So an Ian Astbury looky-likey in skinny ass jeans, with a Poison T-shirt hanging out of his back pocket, singing head-down glam-tinged mosher music for half an hour could only be a pleasant surprise. Like Endorphin, they seem to have imported their own fans, which helps the crowd atmosphere no end. A pretty slick and professional set that held the attention and certainly entertained (come on… a Poison T-shirt!) but I can't say I came away singing any of their hooks.
And so on to Rooster. 'A poor man's Aerosmith,' I sniffily declared, having heard their single on the radio half an hour before leaving the house. Yes, but a poor man's Aerosmith is still a lot better than a rich man's Darkness or Green Day. With anti-fit jeans hanging half way down his legs, revealing baggy boxer shorts that could do with a wash, lead vocalist Nick Atkinson has all the swagger and reeling, snake hipped walk of a Steven Tyler tribute singer, with Beastie Boy arm swinging thrown in for good measure.
Infectious riffs and catchy choruses get right under your skin, until you genuinely can't help moving your hips (snakelike or otherwise), with the ubiquitous single (somewhat unimaginatively entitled 'Come Get Some') a surefire crowd pleaser (even if its most enthusiastic fans are… Endorphin). And they have a delightfully schmaltzy 'Crazy'-style power ballad too. Hooray! Loud, proud and amazingly professional for such mop haired children, Rooster strut their stuff like heroes. In the absence of Aerosmith, they could well rule the roost…