Tuesday, 17 April 2012

2:54, The Cockpit, Leeds

The best/worst band name debate is something that has raged since the birth of rock and roll. With each passing decade, more band names are added to the columns marked 'sublime', 'ridiculous' or 'indifferent' and music lovers make adjustments to their personal favourite/hate lists so that they are armed and ready to state their case should the topic ever come up. If, when forming a band, you dream of fame and fortune and travelling the globe playing to adoring fans, then surely it's worth investing a little bit of time to consider the name that will adorn your album covers and be splayed across merchandise the world over. Some of our greatest bands, revered from continent to continent, selling millions of records and who regularly find themselves featured in top ten lists for best band/album/live act have done so under monikers that most of us wouldn't even consider calling our budgie.  The two main culprits here have to be The Beatles and Led Zeppelin.  Two of the biggest and most influential bands in the history of popular music. Two bands who wrote the blueprint for anyone who has picked up a guitar and dreamed of a life in rock and roll. I mean, come on! Here are two bands whose creative juices seeped out of every orifice, yet these are the best names they could come up with? 

In-offensive yet uninspiring, the name 2:54 was never going to find itself amongst my own list of great/worst band names of all time (for the record The Smiths, The Stooges and ? and the Mysterians are my top 3 favourites) but how the sisters Hannah and Collette Thurlow came up with the name is certainly far more interesting than the pun-ishing method used by Lennon and McCartney. Apparently, two minutes and fifty four seconds into A History of Bad Men by grunge pioneers The Melvins, is the time the song gets good and the bassline becomes both dreamy and doomy - two terms which could certainly be used to describe the band's sound. Live, the band's infectious and haunting songs are an interesting blend of early PJ Harvey and nineties shoe-gazing darlings Curve and is quite captivating during set highlights You're Early and Creeping.  Unfortunately, the Cockpit is only a third full tonight, and is therefore missing the kind of breathless and claustrophobic atmosphere that I feel these songs and the band would thrive off.  Because of this, the band are a little inconsistent, and at times carry the air of a band suffering from an end of tour hangover. With America calling (the band embark on a US tour in June) maybe it's time to recharge the batteries. As for how the Americans will take to the band name, I don't think they have anything to worry about as this is the country that took Hootie and the Blowfish to their hearts.  



  1. Because of this I have never been able to take the Arctic Monkeys VERY seriously. Surely the worst band name ever...


  2. Not sure why VERY went in capitals mind. I didn't mean it that much...