Review: Soil and Puddle of Mudd at the Waterfront, Norwich

By Georgi Bomb

The return of Soil was met with nothing but excitement this evening. Playing with duel headliners, Puddle of Mudd, it seems that most people were here for the latter. Soil took the stage engulfed in, almost an awkward atmosphere, launching into one of the more well known tracks, Breaking Me Down, which led to closing with the dance-floor filler hit, Halo. The icy environment slowly melted during the set as comments could be heard from the crowd such as “I fucking love Soil, man”. Although the awkwardness started to disperse, this may have been due to the band’s alcohol levels, which were slowly rising along with everyone elses.

Vocalist McCombs demanding his drink be replaced when it spilt and refusing to play until he had his rum seemed a little off but the crowd enjoyed the relaxed banter. He possibly pushed it a bit too far when the crowd booed him for saying he was glad he quit Soil which all resulted in him telling the crowd to “shut the fuck up”. Hopefully all in jest of course but the crowd loved the interaction regardless. The incessant referral to the ten year anniversary of the Scars album merely reminded everyone that this band has been kicking about for a lengthy time, enabling them to still play on form despite knocking back the booze. An ironic use of the term professionalism here but these guys did in fact play well from a musical point of view despite the heavy flow of liquor.

The band really got involved with the crowd, demanding middle fingers in the air, leaning so far into the audience and posing for the cameras that arose simultaneously. Former Stained member Wysocki who was filling in on drums sat quietly until his time came for a crowd-pleasing solo.

Another saving grace was the fact that despite the slight animosity between McCombs and the rest of the band, they were there to have a good time; that much was clear. Their enjoyment came across as time went on and they went through all the greats from Scars: Unreal, My Own and personal favourite, Need To Feel was performed with as much passion as when they were first starting out back in 2007. They may be sick of each other but they perform superbly together.

Closing hit Halo saw McCombs storm into the crowd, much to the concern of the stage crew, and there he stood while performing the song in its entirety. After a performance of such mixed emotion, it may be bold to say but this was probably the last we have seen of Soil, but at least they went out with a bang!

Puddle of Mudd offered a completely different kind of show, albeit a bit short. A more structured performance, vocalist Wes Scantlin bopped back and forth as they played the true POM classics: Blurry, Control and of course, She Hates Me which were sung in unison with the whole crowd. Scantlin appears almost endearing when addressing the crowd between numbers, asking for confirmation if he really is “the biggest embarrassment to rock n roll”. The only disappointment really was that they barely had a set, walking off for their encore after what only felt like 20 minutes, leaving the crowd a little put out.

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