Puddle Of Mudd/Soil - Cardiff, Coal Exchange - 26th October 2011 Print E-mail
Written by Ian Bell   
Friday, 04 November 2011 04:30

puddlegigposterQuite a lot of excitement to be gained enroute to tonight's gig, the main factors being Ryan McCombs the voice of the classic 'Scars' album from Soil is back in the band, albeit a touring arrangement and on loan from Drowning Pool, whilst co headliners Puddle of Mudd are embarking on their first UK tour since 2002. It's hard to believe 10 years have now passed since the release of both the classic albums to be celebrated on this tour, Soil's 'Scars' and Puddle of Mudd's 'Come Clean'. The test for both is to prove what they can deliver in 2011 because, in fairness, 10 years ago this tour would have stopped at the Shitty I A or the Whatsthepoint Arena as now known just up the road as opposed to the much loved but much smaller Coal Exchange.


Soil enter the scene following the sounds of Thin Lizzy's 'The Boys Are Back In Town' and Aerosmith's 'Back In The Saddle' presumably to mark the return of Ryan McCombs, the voice of the celebratory Scars album and the opening track from that album 'Breaking Me Down' gets things started nicely with a warm reception from those positioned stage front. The twisted and funked up 'Need To Feel' keeps things chugging along nicely for us but not so for the band apparently as the band are having problems with monitors and the like ''but not that it matters shit, it's been a long time for all the old school Soil fans'' and this 'fuck it' attitude from the band wasn't going to let any technical problems spoil their night and, more importantly, that of the paying public. 'My Own' builds nicely for the energy of 'Redefine' and tonight Soil ooze power but it's as though there's an almighty engine being underused or not quite in the right gear, the gear needs to drop a level and the accelerator pedal floored and this beast would truly roar leaving a mass of dust swimming around the unbelievers. Tonight is about 'Scars' and you are reminded what a quality album that was and what could have been without the enforced line up changes that, in most cases when it comes to singers, only goes to floor the ampuddlegig240abitions of most bands, McCombs reminds us that he didn't exactly waste his time with major success fronting Drowning Pool and it's not as though Soil were doing badly without him as still surfacing on the major league festival circuit and with some half decent releases under their belts. 'Black 7' truly gets the bounce going in Cardiff tonight only to be beaten by 'Halo' as the final song of the evening, with McCombs disappearing from the front of the stage to be swallowed by the pit in front of him leaving only the band visible looking as though they were playing along to recorded vocals, the effect only lost on those not braving the pit.


Puddle of Mudd haven't toured over here for some time now and as they jump start with 'Out Of My Head' even the neutral could only be impressed with the quality that this band have in their possession and why 'Come Clean' sold in its millions. The sound though is obviously causing problems as the crew try to sort out the monitors but the band continue with 'Control' and 'Away From Me', 'Drift And Die' and 'Famous' keep things going nicely or so it appears. The band launch into 'Psycho' and things start to go wrong from here on in and, in hindsight, there had been inklings something was happening with Wes Skantlin as he could be seen pointing, and what looked like whinging, in the direction of lead guitarist Paul Phillips but most just presumed it was about the sound problems which, to be honest, weren't exactly ruining our night in the crowd. Before we even get to the end of 'Psycho' though there's a loud thud through the PA as the mic hits the stage quickly followed by Skantlin leaving the stage with the band looking more than a little confused, a few awkward moments later the band bow out as well. The talk between the now confused crowd was of Skantlin having a hissy fit over the on stage sound and the tension builds as, let's face it, two of their biggest hits which most have paid to hear tonight haven't been played and the singer is having what appears to be a tantrum over sound problems that Soil battered their way through to deliver the goods. Skantlin returns to the stage proclaiming "We have been on the road for a while and my voice is a little achey," this, for obvious reasons, doesn't really go down too well but the band get into 'Nothing Left To Lose' and we're back on track - that is until Skantlin now decides to bring the show to an abrupt end telling those assembled "If you were as sick as me then you would do the same." The problem with Skantlin is he forgets is that there is a modern phenomenon called the internet so any half interested music fans are aware of the stories of his recent antics, fans buying puddlegig240overpriced meet and greet tickets and him not bothering to turn up, as well as his apparent drug and drink problems since his marriage imploded; whether they are true or not nobody cares in Cardiff tonight but to give playground excuses is a little insulting.


So once again Skantlin leaves his band mates hanging, Paul Phillips followed him from the stage looking bemused and as Shannon Boone gets up from behind his drum kit to follow suit bass player Doug Ardito and guitarist Adam Latiff finish a hurried discussion with Latiff declaring they are staying on for one last song to the applause of the crowd and, with Latiff taking over on vocals, they kick into a superb version of Nirvana's 'Breed'. The energy coming from the three remaining on stage fires up the crowd and the band seem to relish their moment in the light and just went for it and despite the situation we were seeing a real rock'n'roll guts and thunder show now and I, like many, loved it. Thinking that was that, Phillips returns to the stage and after some more onstage debate Latiff removes his guitar and they declare they will carry on as a four piece, Soil's Ryan McCombs joins them onstage like a true star to help his touring mates but it becomes apparent that Latiff has this singing lark sorted and McCombs is last seen jumping into the crowd to continue his support alongside the fans. Finally then we get to hear 'Blurry' and 'She Hates Me' before finishing with the AC/DC classic 'T.N.T.' with Coombes now allowed to help with backing vocals.


Tonight became an event, one of those events that won't be forgotten; we only hope Skantlin gets either the help he needs or stops trying to drag down what are a quality band and letting both his band mates and fans down. Phillips, Ardito, Boone and Latiff - Cardiff salutes you. Skantlin though, with your nonsense, well, all that can be said is Cardiff have inkling as to why she fuckin' hated you.