Oxford Zodiac

Ultimately, the whole experience sounds rubbish on record. And that's why [a]Symposium[/a] find themselves jaded and irrelevant, hurtling fast towards a long retirement.

Oxford Zodiac

Ross Cummins looks knackered. His T-shirt drips with sweat and he can barely muster the breath to introduce the next song. Whether it's Symposium's recent break from touring or hitting his 20s that's done it, tonight every jump seems a little too high, every sprint round the stage too far.



See, though the moshpit is still endless and the crowdsurfing persistent, some things have changed. Instead of the five hyperactive teens who once triggered a Glasto mud fight, Symposium have grown hair and grown up. They seem awkward in their excitable pogo-pop roles, even embarrassed to be peddling the same old kiddy punk, but they go wearily through the motions anyway.



Perhaps too scared to mess with a successful formula (last year, remember, saw them sell out London's Forum) Symposium have simply decided to shut up and stay bored. Even a recent split with Infectious, allegedly over their links with Rupert Murdoch, hasn't phased them; they're just releasing new single 'Killing Position' themselves.



When it's played tonight, it slots unnoticed among the old songs. It starts with the usual noisy, crashing guitars, slips into Ross' weedy nursery rhyme-style verse and then erupts into Wojtek's usual shouty punk chorus. None of the crowdsurfers even notice they don't know it yet. The records have never mattered to them anyway, it's the sweaty, energetic gigs that count. And, if you don't watch too closely, Symposium are a great live band; smashing through ska-metal-punk-pop, spraying water bottles, bouncing off speakers and never, ever singing when shouting will do. 'The Answer To Why I Hate You', 'Drink The Sunshine' and 'Impossible' are all brilliantly, exhaustingly exuberant for it but, when the gig's over, none of it matters.



Ultimately, the whole experience sounds rubbish on record. And that's why Symposium find themselves jaded and irrelevant, hurtling fast towards a long retirement.



So, let this be a lesson to you, Britney Spears. Age catch

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