3 COLOURS RED
LLAMA FARMERS
Wedegewood Rooms, Portsmouth, Sunday, November 1.
5/5

"THANK YOU," says Llama Farmers' vocalist Bernie Simpson with listless sarcasm. "You weren't expecting us, were you?" he continues. Crucified by nothing mare than polite applause, he proceeds to effect a limp Jesus Christ pose. Llama Farmers are a good band, in a post-grunge stoner-rock kinda way: all exquisite melodies and diluted angst. Trouble is, we'd like the openers to a 3 Colours Red show to be a threat. Picture 3CR following such sonic reducers as, say, the Backyard Babies. War with Sweden, that's what you'd get - and that's what we want! Instead, the Llama Farmers face a tank with a pea-shooter.

Following the show, you'd have found 3 Colours Red up in the squat-like dressing roam, downing JD's and Coke while raving about the eighth wonder of the world, the new Gillette Mach 3 disposable razor. An endorsement must surely beckon. Maybe we should lust cut to the gig...

Bathed in bleach-out strobe lighting, the groove and grind riff of 'Paralyse' kicks in. Pretty fuckin' cool, coming on with your new single. The crowd swarm to the stage like iron filings to a magnet. Pretty soon people's legs can be seen jutting out from the throng.

Vocalist/bassist Pete Vuckovic surveys this chaos of limbs with a casual air. Meanwhile, that roguish Chris McCormack entity is busy hacking away at that guitar, hungry for some stage. As for that other flanker, Ben Harding. he careers around his allotted space with no apparent regard for his bruised. er. rectum. Seriously. Seems our Ben took a tumble down the steep steps leading to the kitchenette at the back of the 3CR tour bus. Kickin ass with a kicked ass. That's gofta be a first.

The foursome -completed by pounder Keith Baxter - dish out some ace new stuff from their impending second album 'Revolt'.  Highlights include the cry-tough 'Beautiful Day', which gives a furious set an effective breather. and the amazingly hooky, somewhat Wildheartsesque (ooh!) 'Calling To The Outside'.

3CR encore. The lights go up, and the buzzing, satisfied audience make for the exit. Next thing. the lights go down again. as they return to belt out the deadly duo of 'Sunny In England' and 'Pure'.  The crowd go ballistic.  A band who award themselves an encore.  Now that's enthusiasm.

RAY ZELL