On a cold winter’s Monday night music lovers who braved the weather were rewarded when ‘Island’ heated up the atmosphere at the ‘Rough Trade’ venue and almost sent their fans to a musical meltdown.
The small intimate venue with its pitch black walls and beer keg stands for speakers to sit provided a up close and personal gig which fans of ‘Island’ won’t forget for a long time. Tonight was a display of ‘Islands’ developing an adoring fan base as the place was sold out before the doors were even opened.
‘Island’ have a hypnotic ability with their songs, they drift off to a dream like state and carry you along for the journey. It is a none stop high tempo ride with the band producing the same energy and power for each and every song.
‘Island’ are a band who enjoy their craft and bring a lot of fun to their gigs, the ease with how Jack Raeder and James Wolfe play their guitar and bass is fantastic to watch and they’re backed up by the absorbing drumming style of Toby Richards, which is then balanced by Rollo Doherty who along with his guitar brings a rustic tone from his voice which engages the listener in every track.
Every single member of this band displays their individual personality on the stage and they combine them all to make a sound that can equally light up a party or settle you into a calm musical mood. During certain songs the band were delighted to jam along together with a drum stick flying in the air and the odd guitar face off.
‘Island’ have developed a polished sound and have an understanding of what makes their music appealing, a drum beat that drives the tracks along with guitar strings striking out recognisable tones and lyric which are easy to sing along too.
‘Island’ are a rock band so I wasn’t surprised to see how at ease they found it to communicate with the audience between songs at the same time as having a quick swig of a beer before the next song started.
‘Island’ provided a stable of their hits, such as, ‘Day I die’ and ‘Ride’ but they saved a treat for the end, by playing one of their earliest songs ‘Girl’ which had their diehard fans singing along before they departed the stage!
I must also mention Eliza Shaddad who received a very positive reaction from a large crowd at the start of the gig, I have got to say Eliza is one of the best support acts I have seen for a while with lyrics which are personal to her and honestly sung which gave Eliza a great authenticity as a songwriter.
Eliza is a performer who feels every beat and chord she produces, standing on her tiptoes to belt out the notes of her songs and dominating the stage without a band to supporting her. She supplied the volume needed to get the audience’s attention and keep it for the whole of her set.
Written by Kess Anthony
Hy-Brasil played host to an exciting young singer songwriter on Friday evening, the small stage covered with fairy lights was the perfect venue for Emily Capell’s first gig in Bristol. She provided the audience with great music in an intimate and personal setting. Hy-Brasil is in the centre of Bristol’s busy city centre and is becoming the hub of a very active music scene.
The first thing you notice of Emily is not the beehive hairstyle or her Mod style, it’s her massive personality which is fun, active, and interesting. Emily seems at ease on stage and engages fantastically with her crowd; between songs she was providing antidotes about her song lyrics and sharing her amazement about Bristol accruing four Nandos restaurants in one city.
“101 Walteron Road” the track that kicked off Emily’s gig is a new song which will be included in her upcoming album, due for release in August this year. We quickly understood why the track is on the album as the song is fast paced and easy listening with a strong vocal performance.
Emily is an intriguing wordsmith, with her style of observational lyrics, she manages to bind messages from modern culture and political worries with a burst of a celebrity gossip to drive the messages home. Tonight her tracks explored people wearing band t-shirt who have never heard of the band before, to not being able to pay rent prices in London, Tupac wannabes, and a plane which crashed with an amazing group singers onboard.
The sound that Emily and her band make is a mixture of so many genres but they have handled these well to develop a polished sound, we felt the best way to describe Emily was a mix of Ska and Indie with catchy quirky lyrics.
Emily also has a impressive vocal range which we witnessed today in songs like ‘Calypso’ and ‘Until Monday’, she was able to maintain her sound and the balanced tones of her voice throughout all of her 12 track set.
During the song “Joey” Emily playfully pointed out her special guest Joey Barton, albeit a cardboard cutout of the footballer, who when he originally heard the track tweeted saying the song is about him and has since become a running joke that comes with a track that is playful and well worth a listen.
Emily sent the listeners home happy with her last song ‘Bonanza’ which is driven by a guitar beat and is a fitting way to finish the gig, as it’s a bubbly, fast paced and layered with a strong and reaching vocal display.
A mention must also go to the nights supporting act, Hush Mozey, this is a young band developing their craft and they are developing well. With a tight musical performance driven by a steady bass beat and backed up by the rustic tones of the lead singer. They have added the harmonica and trumpet within their sound which provides an extra layer to their music. They also seem to enjoy being on stage and showing people what they can do.
Written by Kess Anthony and Matt Nicholson
What an amazing gig! That is all that needs to be said! But I will expand, and tell you about ‘Area 11’ and the supporting bands who gave their all and showed off what they are all about, when each of them tore up the Fleece on Monday night.
Outside the venue, before the doors were opened we were met by an army of ‘Area 11’ fans stretching back around to two sides of the building, and ‘Area 11’ are by far the best merchandise selling machine I have seen in a long time with every member of that army sporting their band’s colours.
The Fleece, the venue for the night’s action is a building with a dominating and historical presence in the heart of Bristol. Inside you find black walls and strangely placed pillars, which are convenient for the listeners to hang onto when the roaring vibrations of the music rattles through the space.
‘Area 11’ owned the stage and had the crowd jumping, singing, and shouting for more. The band was full of energy which radiated out to their fans who responded in equal measure. Lead vocalist, Tom ‘Sparkles’ Clarke mentioned during the set that he had been suffering from a cold but there was no need to worry as he provided a great vocal display and there was no suffering for anyone else to be had. They have an aggressive and atmospheric sound, driven by a heavy drum beat from Leo Taylor and that provided the base to the amazing performance, then added to by Alex ‘Parv’ Parvis who provided his layer of high clarity guitar riffs which sent the crowd into a frenzy. While Jonathon ‘Kogie’ Kogan stead heavy tones tied everything together.
This was a homecoming gig for ‘Area 11’ and it is clear they have built an impressive fan base which welcomed with a chorus of singing along to the bands lyrics whenever Tom pointed the microphone towards them. Their sound allows them to be highly charged with loud heavy beats and a mixture of vocal volumes and tones to press home the fine points of their lyrics and the crowd loved it, when the door opened after the last song the pure wonder on the faces leaving the Fleece was great to see.
October Drift were the support act on just before ‘Area 11’ and these wild animals rampaged on and off the stage and really got the crowd going, you could physically feel the crowd buzzing from the performance Kiran, Chris, Alex and Dan gave tonight. All of the band members have an energy that is a natural talent any band would love to have. October Drift’s sound is raw and exciting, with nonstop guitars and drums hammering beats out with beautifully crafted lyrics.
They bring everything which is good about bands like ‘The Editors’ and ‘Joy Division’ and moulded them into their songs to create their own unique sound. The fans didn’t know where to look as Kiran was in the crowd, on the dance floor, and on the bar where beers had to be stopped serving to allow this defiant musical performance to take place, then the listeners would turn to see Chris, Alex and Dan playing full speed on their instruments.
‘Misery Kids’ provided a fun element to tonight proceedings with their crafted alternative pop/rock they had the crowd in the palm of their hands for all of their songs. They eased between tracks when they chatted with the crowd to produce a solid overall performance. The green and pink lights bounced off the bands summer shirts and informed the listeners that there was a party about to start. Their alternative rock and disco vibes and pitch perfect vocals from Nic and Alex blended well together.
First on the stage was ‘Sinclair’ and they had a very good size crowd and rewarded the early birds with a great indie display, the band played their first ever track which was intriguing listen and a brand new one. I can’t wait to hear this song released as it’s a banger. The band is driven by a bass beat that keeps giving, and a softer toned guitar and drums, Olivia has a good vocal range which she showed off during Sinclair’s own original tracks and a couple of polished cover copies which meant the band provided great entertainment.
This was a very good gig and we encourage you to book a ticket to see any of these bands live.
Written by Kess Anthony
If you ever needed a rude awakening that the weekend starts on Friday night, it didn’t take long for Sœur to inform you as they tore up Friday night with roaring guitars and constant drum beats.
‘Moles’ is a legendary venue in the heart of Bath city centre, as you walk through the doors you're met by the faces of artists that have inspired the bands of today with their posters plastered to the walls. The place has a history of influential music that seeps into the foundations.
Music when performed well can enrich the lives of the listener and engulf their lives with joy, and Sœur understand this concept and delivered on each and every track they provided.
Sœur has a haunting grunge sound drenched in heavy chords and backed up with well developed lyrics.
They produce a sound louder than the three piece band of Anya Pulver, Tina Maynard and James Collins should be able to, but together they come out with roaring and blaring guitars with a heavy drum beat added with an occasional softer cymbals which adds layers to their records.
Sœur exude energy and challenges the fans to match the momentum on stage, the regular faces in the crowd stood up to the challenge and the new faces in the crowd followed suit. All three members, gives a physical performance and seem to have fun and enjoy their time on stage.
Anya and Tina dual front the band and seem to blend effectively together with Anya’s heavier riffs which mould well with Tina’s more spiky tones from her guitar, the same can be said about the tones of their voices which allows all three band member to grow on stage to form a dynamic force.
Sœur have beautifully crafted and written songs which bravely explore the complexity of our daily lives and the struggles which become entwined with our state of mind. This allows the band to demonstrate the emotion in their lyrics in tracks such as ‘Left living’, ‘Whole me’, and ‘No show’ which is the latest record released by the band.
‘Fight’ was an excellent track to end a gig as it sent electric into the crowd that engulfed the fans into a frenzy, then the mosh pit ascended at the every crescendo of the record, the crowd were left wanting more but knew that Sœur had given everything and left to an applause of appreciation.
Vrillon opened tonight with a good sized early crowd they have intense heavy tones and an angry booming vocal display which is great to hear.
ILL WILL provided non-stop guitar riffs and powerfully sung tracks without taking a break between songs but when you’re enjoying the sound of a chief support act why would you want to take a breather because you just want more music and this is what ILL WILL did really well.
Written by Kess Anthony
Yonaka produced the complete gig with an display of musical brilliance at The Fleece, Bristol on Sunday night. Vocals and instruments, pitch perfect with an on stage presence you would not forget.
Yonaka’s trademark bright red logo and lights contrasted well with the harsh black pillars and walls of the venue. Which was packed with willing Sunday night fans of all ages and gender, showing just how wide reaching their music is.
Their set was a mixture of known and loved tracks for the crowd to sing along to and new material they want to share, a balance which is always hard to achieve. Yonaka drove a sledgehammer through any worries that a band may have when performing new material, as they kept up the momentum all night.
They opened the show with tracks; ‘Bad Company’, ‘Awake’, and ‘Creatures’ with the thundering drum pedal from Rob Mason that sent ripples to your spine and the frantic guitar playing of George Edwards and Alex Crosby which left the place in awe of the band.
Theresa Jarvis is a fantastic lead singer, she rampages around the stage switching between her rapping style and vocal singing with ease. At the same time engaging with the crowd to a level which made everyone watching feel like she was personality singing to them.
Theresa readied the crowd before the band played their new material ‘Lose your Heads’ and ‘Punch Bag’. After hearing theses new tracks I will be waiting with even more anticipation for their new album, which is due for release on the 31 st of May.
George seems to have a mad amount of energy on lead guitar which seemed to encourage Theresa to involve the crowd even more during songs like ‘Rockstar’ and ‘Fucking with the boss’, at one point the crowd was instructed to get down then in unison the fans popped up into a mosh while Yonaka played on.
Ending the gig with the same attitude which was present throughout the night, Yonaka played ‘Fired Up’ with Theresa pointing the microphone towards the crowd who belted back the lyrics of the track, then as the lights bounced back to stage every band member delighted the crowd with blaring guitars, tank like drum beats and wonderful singing!
Chief support tonight was Valeras and like Yonaka they have a lead singer in Rose Yagmur who has star quality, Valeras are a polished and well glued group with soft guitar riffs with a steady drum beat which produced bobbing of heads in time with their music. Rose has a great voice which has character and provides an added layer to the bands songs and there has to be a special mention for the cow bell which found its way into one of the tracks, any band that’s creative to be able to add that instrument into their record is well worth their salt.
Cassyette opened tonight and had a good size crowd which they entertained with their Glam rock sound and image, there was some amazing guitar solos thrown in which caught the eyes and ears of the gig goers. At one point at the end of the set there was a little miss beat which meant the band had to start the track again but they were professional and it did no harm to the overall
‘Spit Out’ is the song which got the most reaction from the crowd and it’s on the new EP Cassyette are releasing soon and it’s full of energy and excitement which this band brings to the party.
Written by Kess Anthony
Like many others of a certain age Beth Orton has been part of the soundtrack to my life for the past 20 years. So when the ‘Queen of comedown’, who's collaborated with the likes of William Orbit and the Chemical Brothers, comes down to the South west I had to go and see her.
She is best known for her come down tracks of the 1990s, and in a concerted effort to please the crowd at the start of the gig she announced that the performance would consist predominantly of these works. There was not a synthesiser or very much else on stage, just Beth with husband, Sam Amidon and two acoustic guitars.
This was a stripped back, intimate performance and to listen to acoustic guitars
playing in such perfect harmony was a delight and a real crowd-pleaser. Simplicity not polished was the watchword, and it was delivered in this rustic set.
Kicking off the set with ‘Someone’s daughter’ and ‘Sweetest Decline’ before moving onto other favourites including ‘Pass in time’, ‘Sugar Boy’ and of course possibly her best known number ‘Central Reservation’. One of my particular highlights was ‘Call me the breeze’ from her 2012 album ‘Sugaring season’ which was delivered with particular panache.
There was a real honesty about the performance which self-effacing at times and conveyed a rare and endearing vulnerability, something Beth Orton wears very well indeed.
Written and pictures by
The Slow Readers Club entered new territory this evening, almost half way through a 3 month tour and not showing any fatigue, last Thursdays gig was the first time the band have ever played in Cornwall. The fairly packed venue shows the Manchester based band are developing a strong fan base, in in the furthest reaches of the country.
The Old Bakery is a strange and unique venue in the heart of Truro as you enter your engulfed by a black tunnel with brightly painted walls that lead you through the maze like building to the pit of the dancefloor.
It’s not until you watch The Slow Readers Club live that you understand how integral David Whitworth drumming is to the sound of the band, David sets a driving beat which is the foundation of the rhythm the band plays to, you then add the guitars of James Ryan and Kurtis Starkie and you start to get the well-crafted reverberations of the band’s signature sound.
Opening with ‘Fool for your philosophy’ and ‘Lunatic’ the crowd seemed transfixed on Aaron Starkie who was prowling around the front of the stage, it was almost a reserved appreciation from the music goers as they watched Aaron perform a quaintly vocal display. This didn’t last long as the crowd warmed up to the task very quickly and found their bobbing movements and singing voices with songs like ‘Sirens’ and ‘Supernatural’. Aaron is an intriguing frontman for the band, he is captivating and at times he appears lost in his own world, tortured by the lyrics he is trying to convey, but at the same time you can see an enjoyment which he is getting from seeing the crowd singing back his lyrics. James is also an interesting character on stage marching along to his bass beats with a focused mask over his face. The lighting display was a great added element, which lit up the band in time with Kurtis and his blaring riffs which really got the fans blood pumping.
The set list was a nice blend of older well known songs and fresh new tracks off their latest album, ‘Build a tower’. Their trademark big and anthemic sound maintained the a good momentum for whole gig. By the time ‘Plant the seed’ and ‘The Wait’ roared out of their guitars chants of “Readers” boomed from the crowd as they shadowed Aaron’s hand gestures. The sound poured out of the
band when the last two songs ‘Ghost’ and ‘On the TV’ were played, the band are a well bonded unit and blend well together musically, at this point of the gig and the crowd was reaching their boiling point after bubbling away nicely throughout and chorus of clapping to the bands beat provided a loud backing bass. Chants of 1 more song rang out and to the surprise and delight to the crowd The Slow Readers Club appeared and announced “as this is our first time here we’re going to play the first encore of the tour” and the crowd was treated to 2 extra songs ‘One More Minute’ and ‘Grace of god’.
A mention also to tonight’s support act, Alice Jemima who provided smooth tunes to start the
Written By Kess Anthony
Indoor Pets descended on Moles Club in Bath this Tuesday (9th March) night meaning the venue was packed with Jamie’s hands gang and other fans, this was the opening gig of their tour and they started with a bang. A month ago Indoor Pets chucked out their debut album to the world and now they’re following up with a 9 show tour around the UK, featuring all the top tracks.
Rob Simpsons fasted paced drum beats and Ollie and James Nunn’s guitar riffs blaring in their opening songs ‘Cutie Pie’ and ‘Hi’ set an equally High tempo to the gig. The band have a dirty pop music style which is perfect for a live performance. The way the band have constructed their records means they are mosh pit ready, with sections of these tracks dedicated to strong lyrics and musical instruments.
After the opening tracks Indoor Pets played ‘My Amnesiac’ live for the first time which meant as soon as the guitar tune played the crowd gave the band a roar of approval. Jamie Glass is the frontman and he has great charisma and a unique undeniable style which makes him intriguing to observe on stage, then when he starts to sing he has tones in his voice which lifts the tracks up a level and makes the words and sound easily identifiable.
Indoor Pets created a party atmosphere within the venue; guitar riffs and notes sent waves of sound into the crowd who reacted with jumping in the air and waving their hands towards the band and beer flying everywhere. Jamie also ramped up the personal engagement within the crowd as he leaned into the gig goers and eye balled them whilst singing the tracks ‘Teriyaki and Thick’, the crowd loved it and an energy went up another notch.
The performance was so red hot that Jamie had to de-steam his glasses before playing ‘Being Strange’ but that didn’t take long as Rob, Ollie and James then thumped out beats that caused even more reaction from the listeners. Indoor Pets had a very polished display tonight considering that this is the first show of the tour. By the time they finished the gig with ‘Barbiturates’ and ‘Pro Procrastinator’ the venue was buzzing with what was unfolding, all the band members gave a great display and these final two tracks had Jamie’s hands gang bouncing around and singing the lyrics back at the band.
Main support tonight was from Animal House who I will openly admit I found a bit of an oddity at the start of the set but the fun the band brings and the vocal range of their lead singer made me start to weirdly enjoy the spectacle in front of me. They have a fun indie pop style going on and add in their dancing on stage and you start to embrace the bazaar part of your human existence and accept that you like this madness in front of you.
Gum Soul opened up the gig tonight, the band is from Bath which meant they had a sizable crowd to play in front of, they are very entertaining with a guitar driven sound with a hint of grunge mixed into their alternative indie style. Their track ‘The Knees' which they left for last on their set was a stand out and very good track to listen to live.
Written by Kess Anthony
The sight of the massive queue to get into the O2 Academy, Bristol on Monday night was the first clue of what was to come. With 10 studio albums in the bag and over 20 years of making hits. Papa Roach deserve the title of Legends, but tonight they also proved that their still relevant in the music world by providing a spellbinding performance.
Papa Roach kicked off the night in a roar of glory with tracks from their famous ‘Infest’ album which sent chills down the spines of the crowd, who have held a place for the band in their hearts and ears since their teenage years. There seems to be a shared devotion between Jacoby Shaddix and the fans of Papa Roach and this fuels Jacoby and the rest of the band members, the energy is grabbed and dragged through the performance, from first song to last with an amazing on stage presence.
Jerry Horton, Tobin Esperance, and Tony Palermo have an effortless ability to change the style of the band’s sound between the heavier riffs and beats from earlier tracks to the more softer guitar and drums tones of the latest offerings from Papa Roach’s newest album called ‘Who do you trust?’, the new sound has an added layer of texture to the tracks with the addition of the keyboard taking a more prominent part in the records, which has been quietly growing on us since the album release.
Jacoby provided a brilliant vocal performance tonight switching between singing, rapping, and rock screaming which lit up the songs and added to his engaging personae on stage. Jacoby is a live wire running around and pumping his chest whilst challenging the band’s fans to chant the words back to him which they gleefully accept.
Papa Roach have been on a long journey as a band, they have evolved and changed their sound and now come full circle, this is a brave thing for a band to do; to explore new corners and bring new direction to their tracks. From what we saw it worked, with different people singing along to different tracks from their favourite albums. The band seemed to be in awe when the crowd gave the same energised reaction to their lesser tracks as well as their most commonly known pieces. Papa Roach have an aggressive instrumental sound live with intelligent lyrical meaning which is tailor made for live audiences to go wild to.
All in all, Papa Roach delivered an amazing gig on Monday night, they throw out a stadium sized sound and experience into a smaller venue and deliver an inspiring demonstration of what every band should try and emulate live, Jacoby uses the time on stage as a form of therapy explaining the meanings behind the bands songs and spreading a positive message. Just before the end of the gig Papa Roach paid a fitting and well deserved tribute to a under forgettable front man Keith Flint of the band Prodigy, covering the track ‘Fire starter’ the crowd went crazy and took on a new energy as the band thumped out the iconic sound of the track. It is a wonder to behold when Papa Roach send out their heavy beats and spiky riffs backed up by lyrics that ring true to so many people's ears, the crowd had mad energy tonight bouncing, moshing and singing back at the band with pumping fists in air.
Nothing More was the support act for Papa Roach tonight and they more than warmed up the crowd the poked and started a fire in the heart of the dance floor with their heavy rock tones and smooth vocal exhibition. Nothing More are an intense band that absorbs you into their songs and spits to back out again with the energy of their tracks, there was added excitement when at the end of the set there was a hydraulic machine which set the lead singer up over the crowd where he roared out the last tracks before they departed the stage.
Written By Kess Anthony and Jimmy Rock
October Drift have been building momentum for their ever growing fan base and now have taken another step to the next level on their journey; Friday night was the biggest headline gig for the band, as they played to a packed out crowd at Thekla and kicked off the venue’s 35th birthday celebrations with a bang.
Thekla for the gig goers who don’t know is one of the coolest venues around, it’s a f**cking boat! Fitted out with a stage and dance floor to entertain the best up and coming artists around and tonight this boat it rocked, and it rolled, with the pounding feet of the crowd who jumping up and down and moshing all-night.
October Drift introduced themselves with the track ‘Losing my touch’ this gave the listeners a taste of what was to come and why the band are quickly becoming known for their high energy, dirty guitar, and heavy drum beats, with an absorbing on stage performances from Kiran, Chris, Alex and Dan. They smashed out their established tracks of ‘Cherry Red’, ‘Robots’, and ‘Come and Find Me’, this gave the lads the chance to show off their fast paced thumping riffs over laid with dark moody lyrics sang in a hypnotic tones.
With a setlist of powerful, fast paced, rock songs by midway through the gig energy levels were rising to fever pitch, both on and off the stage, with the band members bouncing around like wild animals. Kiran decided to jump on the shoulders of one of the band’s biggest followers who paraded the lead singer around the dancefloor, which led to Kiran climbing onto the balcony section of Thekla and singing to the fans below.
A birthday treat was served up to the crowd with a new song called ‘Oh the Silence’ full of dark lyrics which the crowd started to chant back to the band before the track finished echoed by big storming rock tunes. Then, a haunting quiet descended as Kiran leaned over the crowd and sang the start of ‘The Past’, then a boom out of nowhere as Dan, Chris, and Alex, come thundering in with their blaring instruments to ramp up the track and break the silence with the gig goers allowing the lyrics to wash over them.
The night had one more gift to give, after shouts of “one more song” from the crowd October Drift accepted the invitation and turned out to provide a smashing extra track which gave the crowd a chance to create a whirlpool mosh pit to end the night’s entertainment. It’s hard to not feel like you are witnessing something special with October Drift as we continue to watch them establishing themselves and progressing into the next stages of their musical path.
Support acts were Some Bodies and Belishas. Some Bodies produced a wonderful display of music and performance that is an unadulterated pop rock cockiness. They are interesting and intriguing with their own unique style and sound. Belishas started off the gig tonight to a good sized early crowd and their track ‘Chlorine Maureen’ best showed off their punk rock sound.
Written by Kess Anthony
A green neon glow bathed Moles club on Wednesday night with an excitable atmosphere that something different was coming for the night’s music fans, with three bands showing why metal is alive and kicking in the city!
Back in the winter months earlier this year NO:IR tore up the stage at Metal for the Masses which blew away us at Off the Hook Music and this was made even more impressive when you learn the band was only formed in November 2018. We came back for a second taste of their sound as we feel there is plenty of potential in this roaring set up of Sam Davies, George Farley, Alex Roberts, Harrison Gazzard, and Jake Gazzard, and intend to do our best to document it.
With the dancefloor’s lights dimmed to a near pitch darkness the band pierced the through with their trademark neon green painted on the band members themselves to signal the event was here, NO:IR began with an instrumental intro of spikey guitar notes and heavy drum beats, a taster of what was to come.
Second track into NO:IR’s set and they unleashed ‘Modern Day Slaves’ which engulfed the crowd with heavy bass tones and demanding head dangling drums which battled for the supremacy over the lyrics, which are completely absorbing when the vocal performance is switching succinctly between screaming and rap singing. Then two songs later we had a complete change in direction with a cover of Gorillaz’s ‘Eastwood’, NO:IR dragged this record from its roots and poured metal all over it, creating a unique banger in it’s own right.
There was also time for a first hearing of a new song called ‘Placebo’ where the guitars take centre stage at the beginning setting a calmer environment for a softer key of vocals, but as you got comfortable with the new path NO:IR was walking down they tore out the place and stomped back to the soaring, screaming, and rap vocals which blended well with the heavier riffs and beats that came before. The crowd responded well with everyone in the venue applauding this new and interesting song.
‘Hive’ is a great record which the core fan base of the band has come to love, it is a track which highlights the bands lyrical talent and want to drive heavy alternative metal into the attention of any listeners they can get their hands on. NO:IR ended the show tonight with ‘Erase me’ which is the hardest track to sing but it feels like a fitting way to end the night, at the end of the track the excitement grew as there was one last mosh pit on offer which delighted the band and crowd in equal measure.
Tonight’s support acts where Lest we forget and Myst who both put on a good display of metal in two completely different ways which warmed up the crowd nicely for the appearance of NO:IR.
Written by Kess Anthony
On a gloriously sunny Tuesday evening Red Rum Club tempted music fans down into the dark basement dancefloor of Moles club, Bath to listen to their unique brand of alternative rock. The first thing you notice with Red Rum Club is the sheer volume and pace that they play, it is a wonderful sight to see a six piece set up with the added flavour of a trumpet.
This was the first time the band have dipped their toe in the Bath gigging scene and they picked Moles, the iconic Bath venue which has graced such legends as The Smiths, Oasis, and more recently Ed Sheeran. Red Rum club brought a sizeable crowd for their first gig in this particular part of the South West and should be encouraged to see the mix of people, in terms or age and gender, that attended, showing the widespread appeal of their music.
This tour is about exploring all corners of the UK and letting loose the ‘Matador’ album tracks which was released in January of this year, here it was met with a great reaction with spontaneous dancing popping up everywhere in this cavernous party.
Fran is an engaging and intriguing front person belting out lyrics to songs like ‘TV said so’, ‘Angeline’, and ‘Matador’ which got a delightful reaction from their fan base, the band have a polished sound which blends nicely with Fran’s rustic vocals and the softer harmonies of the backing vocals of the five other band members. You can’t help but notice your body uncontrollably bounce around when the lads turn up the tempo of their instruments and smash out track like ‘Remedy’ and ‘Honey’, but it is the natural response to the levels of energy displayed on stage.
Red Rum Club are funny, cheeky, and have great stage presence, but it is made even better when they match this with their great pop-rock beats and sounds. It becomes more than a music gig and more of a rock house party with the six band members leading you astray.
We were gifted two brilliant supporting acts tonight, first on was Azuli who seem to be in the early development stage of their sound but they provide a good display of Indie rhythm and their song ‘Forget my name’ is a cracker. Then the always on form October Drift cranked up the dial and delivered only a performance that October Drift have in their locker, great rock music and banging lyrics laced with an absorbing visual performance.
Red Rum Club and October Drift still have a handful of dates left on this tour, so check them out if you can!
Written by Kess Anthony
The Den in Bath was the perfect venue for the final gig of the Drawn Together tour with ivy hanging from the walls and soft lighting, it’s a bohemian hide away for music lovers to discover new music. The Drawn Together tour is the brainchild of HAVVK which aims to give new and established female and non-binary artists a platform to be seen, and more importantly heard. Tonight we had three gems of performers delivering different sounds but entertaining in equal measures.
Delight a Thief was the first band on stage tonight and instantly the psychedelic vibes blasted around the dancefloor and with a big sound, spacey guitar, and smooth vocals, there a was a good sized group of fans which enjoying the vibe. Harmony, Alejandro, Jake, Sindbad and Danny are a tight band with a polished progressive rock groove. With songs like ‘Keep it alive’ and ‘animal’ the small space was filled with energy and momentum, with so many different instruments in one band Delight a Thief have loads of layers and want to reach into every corner to explore where their music can go. Delight a Thief ended their set with an unadulterated jamming session which allowed Harmony to join the crowd dancing and enjoying the music on display.
With haunting and confronting lyrics at the forefront of HAVVK’s tracks it hard not to be affected by the words when listening, the experience only gets better when your blown away from the vocal range of Julie Hough as she processes tones in her with power that allows her to bang out that volume which makes your hair on your arms stand on its ends. HAVVK were mesmerizing with their grunge filled indie songs, most of which are from their recently released new album Cause & Effect Part One. HAVVK impressively fill their sound with rough guitar riffs and booming drum beats from Matthew and Sam. This was the first time the band played in Bath and from the response from the crowd, who hardly managed to take their eyes of the stage as they soaked in the music will definitely want a returned visit. Another treat for the crowd was a cover of ‘Can’t get you out of mind’ and I think this is the best way to describe this band and the how many will feel after being part of the Dawn Together Tour.
Ending the night’s entertainment was Menstrual Cramps with their yellow uniform they smashed out punk attitude and snappy beats. Filled with political lyrics which allows this band to be confrontational but at the same time shine a light on the areas of life which some would not like to talk about but that light needs to be shone bright as the message behind the songs need to be heard. Normally a five piece band, tonight Menstrual Cramps played as a four piece as their regular drummer was away, but the band did not need to be worried as Beth one of the bands guitarist stepped into the drum seat and provided a drum platform for the rest of the band to blare the punk sound around the room. There’s something enjoyable about a band who have short snappy records with loads of energy and Menstrual Cramps process this rare gift.
A mention needs to be given to Angus who stepped in for a unfortunately ill Ju Ju Jones, Angus warmed up the crowd nicely.
Written by Kess Anthony
Photo by George Rose
Monday night SWX, Bristol played host to an international star group in the shape of Mongolian Metal group, The HU. SWX was not the original venue for The Hu’s Bristol gig but the extra capacity was needed for the sell out crowd. As I walked in the arena was already bursting at it seams.
Recently the band have stated that they want their upcoming album to be their passport to the world and with a performance like they produced tonight they’re going to be traveling first class. The whole gig was absorbing from start to finish, this was a rare occasion when you could feel the excitement from the crowd before the band were anywhere near the stage.
When the band appeared a roaring chant of “HU HU HU” engulfed them and the chants only got louder as the band joined the roar, then when the first heavy beats radiated from their instruments the crowd became transfixed. The Hu seemed to hypnotize the crowd and kept them mesmerized throughout. It’s hard not to feel like you’re joining the Hu army with the screeching war cries of the fans around you, it’s only when you can draw your attention back to the band itself that you realise the sheer noise that the band makes as it shakes around your feet.
The Hu manage to blend a traditional Mongolian style of music into a modern heavy metal that just sparks something special, a huge number of different instruments were shown off tonight but the flute added a layer of earthy natural sound within the thunderous sounds which surround it and showed how a subtle sound can make a massive impact. I have never witnessed such beautiful instruments and the wonderfully unique sounds which they produce, this sets The Hu apart from any other band you go and watch.
The vocal performance of all of the band members is so memorable, it is raw and pure in every sense but with a polished touch to make it relevant, and when the crowd recognised the well known tracks the level of excitement rose again. At the end of the gig it was hot, sweaty, loud, and powerful and this is what every metal gig should be like! As the band walked off after a round of claps and further chants of “HU HU HU” they left an eerie quietness and an awestruck crowd, The Hu had clearly delivered on everyone's expectations!
Written by Kess Anthony .
On a gloriously sunny evening in Somerset we found ourselves engulfed in the excitement and delight of Frome Festival. We looked forward to an evening at the Cheese and Grain who were to play host to The Coral, adding themselves to the ever increasing list of well established bands to have played the venue.
It is a gem of a venue which is establishing itself as one of the most go to venues for well known bands and artists. It a great size with a great viewing space, a good sized bar, and good acoustic, it has been known to get a little hot at times but what’s a little bit of shared perspiration between music lovers!
So now let's talk about The Coral’s performance tonight; the band came on stage with purpose and the swagger of a band that has full confidence that they could entertain the sold out crowd who had amassed. You’ve got to be envious of any rockstar that has the authority to wear sunglasses in a dark venue even though there is no chance they can see out to the crowd but knowing they don’t need to see the faces of the fans to know that their going to have a great night listening to your music.
The Coral were straight to business opening with the smooth guitar chords and crisp vocal tones of tracks from their first two albums which has made the band a household name. These immediately drew a reaction from the fans as they sang along and gestured towards the stage. The band seemed to progress with ease through their earliest albums to their newest material, keeping momentum at a high level with no time to take a breath as they rolled out hit after hit which the gig goers knew off by heart.
During the set the band amazed everyone watching with a number of instrumental jamming sessions between songs, which appeared to replace the time that is usually used for the front person of a band to engage with the crowd, the instrumental jamming was so good that the fans ended in a hypnotic respectful state that only exploded when James Skelly rang out the lyrics of the next track.
By the time the track ‘Dreaming of you’ came around on The Coral’s setlist the crowd was ready to sing along to every word while dancing to the drum beat, this turned out to be the last track of the show and after which there was a ringing call for “one more song” which lasted for a long time and never got answered. There was a hint of disappointment in the crowd and I overheard one fan say “It was a great gig, but £25 for an hour I thought they would of played for a little longer”. A sentiment I felt rang true for the majority.
Tax the heat were the support band at the gig and they set a good tempo and engaged the audience really well with very polished rock songs by the time they finished they had got the crowd hyped for the headliners, a good job well done.
Written by Kess Anthony
Pip Blom sailed into Bristol on their European (and UK) tour on a wet Monday evening. The venue, Thekla was sold out before the night showing the amount of support the band already has here. We couldn’t help but turn up to review the nights gig after watching Pip Blom opening the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury festival this summer, on that Friday mid-morning there was clear promise that this band has an impressive live sound which we thought would be even better in a more intimate environment, and we were happily proven right.
You’ve got to love the irony of being on a boat in the middle of Bristol when Pip Blom’s debut album is called ‘Boat’ which brought them to the Thelka tonight, what you have to be delighted about even more is the fact that Mother Blom made a special guest appearance on the mech table with wooden boats available for you to buy.
There is nothing which this writer can not like about this band, Pip Blom have style and know how to construct a record which is made for live shows, they build up to a chorus which demands a response from the crowd and they certainly do get a response. From the fourth song onwards a moshing dance floor took over the venue which added to everyone’s night. In the air you could taste the party atmosphere, the stage was full of energy and pink flamingos lit up by pink neon lights which was also a visual spectacle.
Pip and Tender Blom’s vocals blend really well together and gives the records the band produce a real contrast of sounds, which is just reinforced by Darek Mercks bass notes which provide the songs the strong sounding foundations it deserves. It’s not untill you find yourself halfway through Pip Blom’s set that you realise how many bangers the band has in their locker, Gini Cameron’s drumming style is like an art form which you can’t help but be absorbed into during some tracks. All In all, Pip Blom delivered in a big way tonight and reaffirmed what we through back in the summer, this is a band you need to add to your must watch list.
Opening the show tonight was Personal Trainer, firstly you become aware of the sheer size of this band with 8 members adding to the sound on stage tonight and after a bit of a wait for them to appear we can say it was well worth the wait. Frantic and fun are the key words to express when reporting on Personal Trainer, the energy on stage was infectious and it rippled into the crowd. At the end of the bands set we witnessed the effects of this ripple as gig goers turned to their friends and stating the band were freaking amazing and then following Personal Trainer on their Spotify apps.
If I had to sign up to joining any band, after tonight this would be an easy question to answer, it would be this band. Why because they sound great, they used every instrument available to them and I’m sure they used instruments which aren’t meant to be present in any song but they managed to perfectly fit these sounds into the records with ease. We also witnessed what can only be labelled as New Age Bez (Happy Mondays) Dancing and don’t feel alone to wanting to sign up for a class, again like Pip Blom add this band to that list of bands you need to see as both Pip Blom and Personal Trainer made this evening a night that will live long in our memory.
Written By Kess Anthony
On a wintery feeling November night, the expectant crowd of Sports Team fans stood under the fairy lights outside Thekla in a queue stretching far beyond the length of the boat's hull waiting for it’s doors to open. The otherwise glorious sight was only marred by a few unscrupulous ticket touts trying to sell their fakes, giving us a gentle reminder to always buy our from respected sellers.
Sports Team are burgeoning with excitement, having just returned from America. There is a massive hype around them, and you can’t afford to miss them when they appear next near you!
The fans were practically falling over each other to pre-order the band’s album and ‘seed tin’, which is due out next year, and judging by this performance we would expect to see that album hit the top end of the charts, and possibly claim a Mercury Prize nomination as well!
Robbie William’s ‘Let me entertain you’ blared out when the band entered the stage, then like being in a Sports arena a bellowing chant of Sports Team roared back from the crowd when they saw the first sight of the band. Believe the hype people from the first song to the last Sports Team are amazing in so many ways. Thelka went absolutely mad with every member of the crowd transfixed to a mass wave of energy from the stage, when watching the faces of the crowd they feel connected to this band in a very personal way. Sports Team are more than a band, they are a counterculture of happy and youthful faces with their own style and identity, which people really want to be a part of!
The band have developed records that are designed for live performances, they are confident, cocky, and raw! Their style of confrontational indie rock punches through the wall and provides a beat that bounces a crowd up and down for 45 minutes without taking a breath.
Alex Rice is delicious as a frontman, he leans over the crowd purring out his rustic identifiable voice and it is so hard to take your eyes off of him dancing and strutting around the stage in his Mick Jagger-esque style way. Then at the end of the gig he found himself surfing over the crowd in a hot bed of adoring fans.
After the first night of their tour, Sports Team have hit the ground running and are a must see, if you are able to get your hands on any remaining tickets! Sports Team are incredibly special and we here at Off the Hook Music believe that they will have a big 2020!
An honourable mention to Alfie Templemen who started the evenings gig, he and his band brought their groovy indie sounds which lit up the party atmosphere, it was fun and massively enjoyable!
Written by Kess Anthony
Saturday night, with the wind and rain of storm Dennis is full force, gig goers were happy to take refuge in the Cavern, Exeter to see King Nun. After practicing their craft as a support act for some of Dirty Hit’s top bands, It was a step up for the band to be headlining their very own tour and is a sure sign of the confidence the label has in them.
King Nun delivered on that confidence with an excellent live performance, within two songs they had brought out ‘Chinese Medicine’, a massive track that took the party atmosphere created by their support act, The Raznor, to a near riot! The crowd in the cavern was electrified with excitement.
Theo, lead singer, announced during a break between songs that the night was a celebration of escapism, indeed it was a great distraction of grunge Rock. King Nun are full of energy and an engaging band which the crowd absorbed, the scene on stage was even more dramatic when you added the two brightly lit screens showing visual art to match the amazing sound from the stage.
The songs kept coming one after the other with no time to take a breath or for your feet to stop bouncing up and down, by the time the special track ‘Black Trees’ came out, the crowd came alive with a wave of movement in front of our eyes.
There were calmer periods within the set when some new material was tested out on the fans with an approved look on the faces from the dance floor, there was also a change in tempo when the acoustic guitar came on stage
The Razner arrived in Exeter for the first time to display their musical wares as chief support for King Nun. There was a fun carefree flair about the band and they brought the party atmosphere they were looking for, make sure you watch out for their new single released to the world last Friday.
Kingfisher did a good job for such a new band, only recently formed as a group, they threw out a set of half original tracks and half covers from bands like Arctic Monkeys.
Written Kess Anthony
Cuffs have changed their focus at the start of 2020 with the decision to release new material instead of the relentless gigging which the band did in 2019, but don’t fear if you enjoy what you hear from this new single then you are going to be able to catch Cuffs on the road again promoting and gigging this new song with live shows in towns and cities near you as they branch out of the south west to play their music. This is a follow up single to the debut record ‘Bones’ which has amassed over 1,000 listens on Spotify already and the band will hope for similar results with ‘Scandals and Vandals’.
‘Scandals and Vandals’ is riddled with frustrations of how the UK government uses religion to justify it’s oppression towards the working class in our society, Bristol might have been where these insights of this frustration has come from where the band formed during their time as students in the city.
When you first listen to this track you can feel this band can easily find a place within the emerging post punk scene within the UK. The track starts with a menacing beat that evolves and bleeds well into the voices which gives the beginning of the record a gritty strength, the lyrics take centre stage in the song and makes everyone stand up and become aware of the content and message the band is throwing out there.
There is part of this record where the layers of sound completely change and the hard rock tones rip a new life into the track and the beat forces you to drive along with it, there could be a argument that this track would be puncher if it was a bit short than five minutes but a small observation like this isn’t going to stop the enjoyment you receive when you hear the song in full.
Written by Kess Anthony
Based in Manchester Disconnected Souls are an interesting band that doesn’t fit into any current genre, they have been born out of a desire to incorporate and bend three pillars of music; electronic, classical, and metal, and somehow mash it although to form a new sound of their very own.
This is their debut EP following quick behind the single ‘Oathbreaker’ which hit YouTube in mid February, so with the momentum of the single hitting the ground running the band throw out a collection of material.
The intro to this collection of material that allows Disconnected Souls bare their identity to the musical world is ‘Emergence’, a hit in the face electro rock vibe running at a fast pace and drawing energy from the beginning.
‘Divergence’ is like walking in a haunted classical metal track of a house, amazing contrast is painted all over this house with the soft reassuring female vocals with meaningful spirit, is then washed away with a typhoon of water when the male vocals roar over the song a real honest roughness. There’s so many layers to this record that you can’t help but feel like you have a gothic orchestra in every room.
As mentioned earlier Disconnected Souls chose ‘Oathbreaker’ as their single before this EP was released onto the world, it’s a fast paced affair with a steady beat like a resting heart beat on a nice sunny day. Which at a number of occasions is rudely awakened by the adrenaline that’s pumped into the track by the spiky guitars.
‘Shatter’ and the EP title track ‘Warring Elements’ represents a slight change in the movement of the record, with a throwback to the early noughties metal scene. Both songs are more stripped back and pure rock metal, you can be forgiven for memories of the band Korn entering your mind when these tracks are played to you.
Bonus track ‘Mischievous Spirits’ brings you back down to earth with a calm ending to this rollercoaster of an EP. This is so different and so interesting that I can’t give the EP the deserved summary apart from you’ve got to hear it to comprehend the sound this band tries to invoke.
Written by Kess Anthony