Stylish rebelliousness

Stylish rebelliousness – Bush at Nighttown
unknown Newspaper
June 1999

Rotterdam – Grunge was dead and all of a sudden there was Bush. The British band with its alternative guitar rock seemed to be a last convulsion of the ever so popular music genre, but they delivered a surprisingly debut album ‘Sixteen Stone’ that the band was able to stand on his own feet. But the second album ‘Razorblade Suitcase’ promised to be no good and Bush was predestined to die an inglorious death, despite a single classic as ‘Everything Zen’. And suddenly Bush plays at Nighttown in Rotterdam, where you get a feeling saying: hey is that band still alive ? That sensation is being strengthened by the fact that you haven’t seen a new album, usually the introduction for a tour. But yesterday at Nighttown we found out that a big tour was coming; for Europe in September this year.

But what the older Bush fans in Rotterdam could taste of the new album definitely wasn’t any better than the poor successor of ‘Sixteen Stone’. It’s always hard to get the audience going on new songs and Bush didn’t succeed in that for sure yesterday. It became living on the formerly ‘hits’, such as ‘Machinehead’, ‘Everything Zen’ and ‘Hollowed’.

Although the sound of Bush is unmistakable to associate with Nirvana – singer/guitarist Gavin Rossdale has the same subtle edge to his voice as Kurt Cobain – it’s a lot more decent. Bush’s guitar rock is quite heavy now and then, but it will never be so rebellious as Nirvana. Because it’s all to stylish for that.

That isn’t only due to the looks of ‘pretty boy’ Rossdale, who plays the bored sex symbol so much that you completely don’t trust it at all. Of course Rossdale is the kind of guy that likes to be appreciated through his music and who thinks his beautiful head is an advantage rather than something that’s disturbing. But with the Dutch crowd he failed, because hysterical scenes didn’t turn up while he was desperately waiting for it . And that didn’t seem to be the intention either.

Through the continued mix of known songs with unknown ones, Bush’ concert bounced gently up and down. When the good feeling just came in with a good sing-along song, they immediately played a song that brought the feeling down completely. In the sold-out club the peak was “Little Things” before a short break. Instead of building on the ambiance, which was simple after playing only 45 minutes, they cut it down.

Bush is alive, but we would like to keep our memories with the ‘old’ Bush who seemed to have the potential to make good music.