Surface Unsigned Festival

29th February 2008 at 00:00

"Raw talent"; "Unsigned bands"; "Good".

One of these words doesn't belong in this sentence, and I think we know which one. Unsigned bands have become a byword for bad hair, unsightly leather and angry temps airing their inner angst.

So why are we plugging the Surface Unsigned Festival, which exists only to further the careers of these work-dodging reprobates? Because, you've got to admit, there's something fun about hanging around in sweaty cellars pretending to discover unknown talent while making bitchy comments about the bassist's hair dye.

Everyone needs to air their inner Malcolm McLaren sometimes. Indeed, when The X Factor was barely a twinkle in Simon Cowell's evil eye, band nights were the only way for the public to indulge their sadistic appreciation of bad music.

That's not to say the likes of Victor Buggerguts, Elephant Head and (why didn't anyone think of it before?) Fat Camp are going to bomb but there's bound to be enough dross on show to make a rubbernecking trip worthwhile.

The festival starts this week with venues all over the North West, the Midlands and the South East, meaning that no one is safe from the aural equivalent of a dusty Woolworth's pick 'n' mix. Bon appetit.

Madeleine Brettingham

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