Supporting Dreadzone - The Wedge - October 2005by Armchair Anarchist
Long-time fixtures of the local scene, in their current form and their previous incarnation (the infamous Gone To Pot), Wiservice have a broad popularity. At least half of the 300-plus punters are here just as much to see them as headliners Dreadzone, if not more so. Rumours of a new mini-album, six months in the making, has also helped to generate a good local buzz.Once the crowd is warmed up and nodding to an eclectic twenty-minute mix from Wiservice’s DJ, they take to the stage and launch into a broad set of punk-and metal-tinged dub reggae. And it really is only a tinge, harking back to the early days of GTP who started out in the ska-punk vein that ruled the local circuit in the post-millennial years. The superb sound quality allows a detailed exploration of the band’s style. The spaces provided in the basic dub landscape are carefully populated with subtle hooks from all the instruments, from bass to brass and back again. The turntablism is clear but not overpowering, linking with the bass and drums to provide a rock-solid platform for the top end of the tunes. Which are fun, indeed playful at times, but informed with a certain knowing street-suss. The guitar chops and shimmers, the brass swells and stabs out unexpectedly, often breaking into little solos. Charismatic front-man ‘The Hat’ mooches around the stage, interacting with his band-mates and the audience to an equal degree, toasting in a gruff but cheery voice and trading vocal lines with assorted members of the line-up. Halfway through the set, the audience are treated to a combination of human beat-box and high-speed, white-boy ragga-rapping. And here they are bigging up their home turf of Southsea all the way. The audience are enjoying every moment; even those who have obviously come for the headliners seem to have been impressed by the energy and sense of fun that washes off of the stage. Wrapping up with a few justifiable plugs for the afore-mentioned CD, they leave the stage to hearty applause and cat-calls. This is the sound of ska-kids grown up. A band who have found their voice and are starting to use it; A rewarding live act for fans of almost any form of alternative music. Should they get to play at summer festivals they will be performing in an environment which could almost be designed for them.