Medium 21/ Good Cop Bad Cop/ Kapowski

Northampton Racehorse, Saturday 22/11/03

On the day England won the rugby World Cup what we want is music to celebrate to but Medium 21 and Good Cop Bad Cop couldn't liven up a funeral. Kapowski, on the other hand, could start a riot in a morgue. More on them later.

Good Cop Bad Cop are a noisy three piece who want to be System Of A Down but are, in fact, a very bad pub rock band. So bad in fact, people run for the safety of the bar next door and the soothing tones of Sisters Of Mercy on the jukebox. Yep, that bad.

Headliners Medium 21 are, according to Steve Lamacq, "Northampton's premier rock band" which is hard to believe. For a start, that name is dreadful. Why not just call yourself 'Average, Lacklustre, Mumbling, Indie Band' because this, sadly, is what Medium 21 are. As for being a 'rock' band, well, Medium 21, are no more a rock band than I'm Johnny Wilkinson, who should have been here to kick this sorry bunch into touch.

Unfortunately, Wilko was elsewhere but he would have found Kapowski - Nik, Luke, Kev & Tucker - on inspirational form. Really, if ever he suffers a crisis of confidence, he ought to get himself along to a Kapowski gig and be thrilled by the strident, urgent likes of 'Need Rest, Love' and 'Faith Is Not In A Floor Plan'. Even he would have found himself singing along to the epic 'Day One', and coo-ing appreciatively at frontman Nik's stadium rock moves.

So, how to bracket Kapowski? Emo? Punk? Pop? The 'ski embrace all three and draw comparison to variously Dinosaur Jr, The Cure and more current acts such as Biffy Clyro and Hell Is For Heroes. Indeed, Kapowski wouldn't sound out of place on played alongside these acts on any radio station you care to mention.

On this evidence, will soon be wresting away that 'premier rock band' title from the limp wristed grip of Medium 21 and making it, rightfully, theirs.

Anthony Gibbons