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The 29th of March 1994 was not destined to be a special day for music. It was Bobby Kimball’s birthday, mostly known as frontman of Toto, as well as Perry Farrell’s from Jane’s Addiction among other bands. It was also the birth anniversary of legendary British composer William Walton, and the death anniversary of Carl Orff, creator of the mythic Carmina Burana. Not too much…
…But as a matter of fact, that day would mean a turning point for the Oasis career, even if they couldn’t imagine that after what happened.
They arrived in Southampton as part of a tour organised by Creation Records in order to promote Whiteout, a band “tipped to be bigger than them at that time” according to Pat Muldowney, owner of The Joiners. They had only released a four-track demo barely known by people, but Muldowney remembers they were already “very arrogant”.
The tickets cost only three pounds. “The back room was busy, though not jammed,” says Martin McNeely, a Northern Irish music writer who used to near Winchester 19 years ago. It was a really cold night, so it the attendees were “glad to be inside”. Due to the twist of fate, Whiteout played first that day. They had a great sense of humour and jollied the crowd, “a complete contrast to what would come next” in McNeely’s words.
Oasis jumped into the stage and started playing gently, motionless. The concert kicked off with ‘Supersonic’, one of their best hits until the moment, and followed with ‘Shakermaker’ and ‘Columbia’. Liam, main vocalist, “stood still in his structured pose” throughout the show, while the rest of the band “hardly moved a muscle”. Some people didn’t understand what was going on, and others let the skin, a gesture that Liam appreciated and encouraged. The rest of the public, a majority, were really angry.
Moreover, Liam decided to “trade insults” with them. “It was just verbal abuse, nothing more,” explains McNeely. The atmosphere was getting hotter and hotter, although at times “his accent was strongly Manchester that no one understood” what he exclaimed.
To top it all, they ended the concert with ‘I Am The Walrus’, a Beatles’ cover that they usually stretched up indefinitely. Noel Gallagher, the guitarist, reminded to the BBC that they hadn’t composed songs enough “to earn the fucking 25 quid” they received for half an hour shows. That’s why they “figured” that they would pick up a song and “just make it really fucking long”. And so they did. The concert lasted no more than 40 minutes.
People, including McNeely, thought it was just “a break before the encore”. But it wasn’t, and after a long wait some of the attendees, furious because of what had just happened, went to the bar and asked for their money back. Nobody got away with it. The contract was signed and Oasis had already received their 35% of gross receipts: 150 pounds.
Nonce, the Gallagher brothers had gone out and started to discuss about the show. The conversation boiled up and they were about to come to blows. “They had a row in the alleyway. Noel and Liam almost had fisticuffs out there,” Muldowney describes.
It wasn’t the first quarrel of the day. Hours ago, when they were having dinner in the bar, Liam was bragging before the employees they would be better than The Beatles. Then the “girl who was working on the bar at that time told him to fuck off,” which lead into an unpleasant argument among them.
Somehow Oasis had to leave The Joiners through the back door. While people were still trying to absorb if that band was for real or not, McNeely had the chance to interview them. On the one hand, Noel was a “nice bloke who kept up the whole rock star thing very well”; on the other hand, Liam was “aggressive”, “disruptive”, “hyper” and “lippy”. The only common feature between them, besides the innate ability to forgive each other, was their self-confidence. And they proved to be right.
Months later, they were “hitting the stratosphere” in Knebworth, where they played the biggest concert in the history of music: 250.000 people among the audience and nearly 3 million ticket requests. “I’m not surprised they became massive; not at all. They had so much hype behind them… they were surefire cool,” McNeely points out.
The Oasis’ way would be followed in the future by other successful band the likes of Coldplay, Franz Ferdinand or the Arctic Monkeys, who considered The Joiners, in words for NME, “a place where you have to play to get started”. “It says something about The Joiners that the band had to be seen there on their way to the top,” McNeely adds.
“It’s curious. Whiteout, apparently better, went on to do nothing, and Oasis went on to be one of the biggest bands in the world,” Pat reflects with pride.
Monday 29 April: Trupped Under Ice (£10.00).
Formed in Baltimore, MD in 2007 and paying homage to Metallica’s song, Trapped Under Ice are a hardcore band that has composed three albums to date. Involved in a tour since the release of Big Kiss Goodnight, their last LP, the band is characterised by a powerful sound that reaches the utter brutality in most of their songs.
Support bands: Broken Teeth and Climates.
Tuesday 30 April: Infamous Nobody (£5.00).
Infamous Nobody is a metal band based in Southampton born in early 2011 with the aim of creating music to be enjoyed by all kinds of publics. After touring around Southern England, the band has obtained a solid fanbase that support them everywhere they go. They’ve been influenced by bands the likes of Bullet For My Valentine or Trivium.
Wednesday 1 May and Thursday 2 May: Solent Uni 2nd Year Showcase (£2.00).
Solent Showcase is, according to their promoters, “the first major addition to Southampton’s emerging cultural quarter”. Opened in 2011, the organisation features “contemporary visual art that encourages engagement, discussion and participation with the whole community” in order to “provide examples of the best contemporary art” and “inspire students and a wider audience”. This time, Popular Music Performance students will perform sets containing “original material and cover versions”.
Friday 3 May: 13th Floor EP Launch (£5.00).
Founded in 2012 in Southampton, 13th Floor is a duo that tries to bridge the gap between R&B, pop and hip-hop. Since their first concert in July 2012, the band has been working hard to compose their first EP, which will be released next Friday.
Support bands: New Mantra and 4BZ
Sunday 5 May: Attack! Attack! (£7.50).
Attack! Attack! is a 7-year-old rock band formed in Wales whose influences include pop, punk and grunge. Attack! Attack are touring the UK for the last time, since they recently announced they would split after the planned gigs. The band will be presenting at The Joiners their new album, Long Road To Nowhere, released last April 1.
Support bands: Gavin Butler (The Blackout), Forever Can Wait and Pump Action Radio.
Monday 22 April: To The Bones (£4.00).
To The Bones compare themselves to Nirvana: “Singer Rhys possesses the most glorious guttural growl since Kurt Cobain shredded his larynx for our listening delight”. Besides that, the band stands out thanks to their mad riffs, which don’t hide a style that looks really similar to The Pixies.
Support bands: Gentry Underground and Witness The Phoenix.
Tuesday 23 April: Hope & Social (£5.00).
Hope & Social is an alternative, indie rock band created “one drunken night in the Grove pub in Leeds” in 2007. Their aim is to make real, meaningful and good music, not “just another set of love songs”. That’s why they have taken influences from the best: from Led Zeppelin to David Bowie.
Support bands: Cloudi Lewis, Flash Sundown and Charlemagne.
Wednesday 24 April: Dinosaur Pile-Up (£7.50).
Dinosaur Pile-Up is a worldwide popular indie rock band with grunge influences that comes to Southampton to exhibit some advances of their new album, Nature Nurture, which will be published next month. During its existence, the band has amassed a huge number of sales and has played along with bands the likes of Cage The Elephant.
Support bands: Tour support and Drawings.
Thursday 25 April: Silver Orchids (£5.00).
Silver Orchids is a based on Southampton alternative rock band that has taken influences from the most important models of the genre, especially Dave Grohl and his different bands –vide Nirvana, Foo Fighters… Their style revolves around the peculiar voice of Lara, the main vocalist.
Support bands: Kyshera and Inferior Complex.
Friday 26 April: Green Circles Club Night (£5.00).
Once again –as it’s planned to be done every last Friday of every month– the Green Circles Club Night will lodge a celebration in which all local musicians, promoters, independent music writers, music fans and revellers will have the opportunity to “come out and recreate the ‘scene’ of forgotten years and watch 2 of the best upcoming bands take to the well trodden stage and dance the night away” to the rhythm of all kinds of music.
Saturday 27 April: Muddy Wellies (£5.00).
Muddy Wellies is an initiative launched by Tom Muldowney, Craig Rogan and Fraser Thomas, three “house music fanatics” who decided that Southampton needs more and new nightlife opportunities. Their plan is to bring regular parties to The Joiners with the collaboration of the best local DJs. And so they will do next Saturday night.
Sunday 28 April: Crashdïet (£10.00).
Crashdïet is a 13-year-old band that comes from Sweden to delight the public with his classic glam rock style. Their fame have made them the first Swedish hard rock band to sign a contract with a major label, Universal. Now they’re in a new adventure with Frontier Records, which they released their new album earlier this year: The Savage Playground.
Support bands: Jettblack, Western Sand and Hollywood Trash.
You can buy all tickets in advance (click here) or on the doors.
Monday 15 April: Acoda (£5.00).
This week starts with Acoda, an alternative metal band founded in 2008 that has extended his aggressive rock style all around Europe and the UK. With a couple of singles and CDs off, available in all musical platforms, Acoda can boast of having played in festivals like Sonisphere 2011 –which counted on Metallica, Slayer, Antharx, Megadeth or Slipknot as headliners.
Support bands: Seething Akira, Set Your Sails and Griever.
Tuesday 16 April: Bleed From Within (£5.00).
The biggest show of the week will be starred by Bleed From Within, a Scottish deathcore band that in its 8 eight years of existence has become established as one of the most important bands of the genre. Their music is characterized by a mixture between sweet melodies and a devastating brutality. The band has already recorded three albums so far and have a promising future ahead.
Support bands: Heart Of A Coward.
Wednesday 17 April: The Modern Fool (£6.00).
The Modern Fool is a local band “struggling to survive in a society spinning out of control”, and has as raison d’etre ”criticise and occasionally enlighten on the topics of today”. Their music style uses an indie rock basis to include original influences like ska and reggae, among others.
Support bands: Heinous Pianist, Three Times Over, Cavaliers and 5 Lives Left.
Thursday 18 April: The Reservoirs (£6.50).
The Reservoirs is a Southampton local band formed in 2007 that has taken varied influences: from the lightest rock of Arctic Monkeys or the very Beatles to other purists like Gary Moore or Jimi Hendrix. That’s why they describe their sound this way: “If dogs could play instruments, they would sound similar to us”.
Support bands: Coburg’s Widow.
Friday 19 April: The Book Club (£7.00).
Native to Sheffield, The Book Club is an indie pop band with folk touches that describe themselves as something that is not “what you want”, but neither “what you need”. Their style is characterized by a prominent bass line and a completely original and different sound.
Support bands: Stirling, The Arrivals, Billy Vincent.
Saturday 20 April: The Valiant (£6.00).
The Valiant is a hardcore, metal band from Southampton. Their music line, like Bleed From Within’s, is distinguished by melodic choruses enveloped in fierce, savage strophes with a heavy instrumental load. Probably the closest big reference would be Bullet From My Vallentine.
Support bands: Aurora, When We Were Wolves, Prolong The Agony and Pandora.
Sunday 21 April: Frank Hamilton (£5.00).
To clausure this replete and excellent week we will count on the presence of Frank Hamilton. The songwriter is one of the wittiest artists of the scene, a necessary attribute to succeed in this global world. This can be seen in his project #OneSongAWeek, thanks to which he recorded 52 tracks in the last year with collaborators the likes of Ed Sheeran or Gary Kemp from Spandau Ballet.
Support bands: Nothing But Theives and Matthew Ablard.
It’s 17:30 in the afternoon and Erik Perkins, drummer of The Ataris, can’t wipe the smile off his face. He seems to be excited in his first tour with the band since he joined earlier this year. He still preserves the innocence and the eagerness of the first concerts. There’s nothing out of the ordinary during the soundcheck except for the Kristopher Roe’s perfectionist ambition of making the most of the means that the venue offers. He even calculates the echo and reverberation that the proximity of the walls originates.
Two hours and a half after that, the stage is occupied by The Exposed, a three member band distinguished by the prevailing bass line that underlays their songs. Their music is explosive, similar to Green Day at times, with an underexposed guitar that riffs gently during the tracks. The best thing to remark would probably be the ideal balance between leading and backing vocals.
The Exposed were followed by Versus The World, a much more mature band that proved their experience exhibiting a wide musical potency. The band, with three guitarists and up to four vocalists singing at the same time, also showed a strong domain of the pace and a high proficiency in guitar solos that reminded of the heaviest metal.
Then it was Mike Herrera’s turn to take command and reassure the fervid atmosphere. With his fully emotional lyrics and melancholic, rainy day rhythms, Herrera unfolded his best repertoire, which completed by the attendees demands. There was also time for the fun when, at request of a man form the public, he dedicated a song to… a tortoise.
But what everybody was waiting for is The Ataris performance. And they didn’t disappoint. The Ataris is one of the most eclectic bands on the scene as could be seen when they took the liberty to start with what they call an “echoey dreamy guitar part”. This gave rise to a long punk rock concert garnished by a sum of references, from math to post rock. All members gave free rein to his subconscious during the show and it ended up with instrumental orgies, guitar necks hitting cymbals and, above all, with a bunch of songs that speak by themselves but also for the public.
Kristopher Roe (1977, “the year of punk rock”), is in the upper floor preparing a cup of tea. He feels a bit ill. After two minutes of awkward silence, in which he offers me one of the hundred bottles of water there are in the room, the water of the teapot is still cold, so we have to wait a little more. Meanwhile, he tries to strike up a conversation. He talks about beaches –he can’t swim– and gastronomy –he always wanted to eat in El Bulli, the most important Spanish restaurant until it closed down. Then, once the tea is ready, he suggests to seat on the middle of the corridor. He has the teacup on his right hand and a Coca-Cola Zero in his left one and drinks indistinctly.
Question: Why did you decide to create this band?
Answer: Well, for me music has always been a way to express your feelings and all the struggles that are growing up in small towns in America. I’ve grown in an area where there wasn’t a lot of musical culture, and when I discovered rock music it was the first thing it really inspired me to want to break out this small town and search for something more in the world. If it wasn’t for all the bands I loved when I was a kid, like The Smiths or The Cure, My Bloody Valentine or pop bands like The Ramones or The Clash or The Replacements… I’d probably be a completely different person. I started playing music when I was 12-13 years old, I started touring when I was 19… I’m 36 now, we put on about 6 albums and it’s still going. I feel very blessed that people still come and see us.
Q: So you still sing the same songs you composed when you were 19.
A: No, some of them, but the ones that mean something to me. I feel like, as a musician, you gotta find a balance between doing things on your own terms and also doing things that you want to give in a performance. You can’t be an old arsehole guy but you can’t be an entertainer. That wouldn’t be fulfilling for me. You have to find a balance. We play the songs that we want to play but we also give fans songs that they want to hear as well.
Q: And when you look back on your old songs, is there something that you regret or something that you don’t like from them anymore?
A: No, no, nothing. I’m definitely proud of everything I’ve written by myself, but there are some songs that I wrote when I was young that… When you are that age you can only capture that sort of emotion at one time in your life. When you first discover a band or see a painting for the first time, you don’t feel the same way the second time. It might be like a certain naked quality, like a virginal thing… It’s not the same as when you are 30 and you’ve heard every song. Sometimes it’s a sort of a little diamond in a rough that comes along when you discover some new artists, new songwriters and you say: “Wow, that’s just as fucking amazing as when I discovered The Ramones or when I first heard Radiohead”. But more often there’s a lot of music today that I just hate (laughs).
Q: You’re wearing a Radiohead t-shirt. What’s the link between them and you?
A: If you watch us tonight, you’ll see that. There is a lot of drone and shoegaze stuff in our songs and some fucking guitar parts. You can play rock songs that have dreamy echoey guitar. If you hear our songs, old records might not seem that way but if you listen newer ones we do. But at the same time, just because you like Iron Maiden doesn’t mean you play Iron Maiden songs (laughs).
Q: Why did you choose the name ‘The Ataris’?
A: Oh, it’s just a stupid name. I remember when I was a kid I used to play the Atari games. You remember? I mean: how old are you?
Q: No, I’m twenty.
A: Oh, you are twenty! Well, back when I was a kid we liked to play this stupid PlayStation shit that was like a little square, another square… And there was a game called ‘Atari’. Atari was a really, really big pop culture of the late 1970s and the early 1980s. So if you were a kid growing up in that time, Atari was a big thing. It’s a Japanese word that means “prepared to be attacked”. The air forces would say “Atari!” as they were killing each other doing the kamikaze. It’s just a silly word. The name doesn’t mean anything. It’s a terrible name.
Q: Since you created the band, you are the only original member…
A: Yeah, but the way the band works is that I record all the albums myself, so… I’ve always been the only original member because I record all the albums on my own. I put all the instruments, so… Except the drums. I write the drum parts, show them to my friend and he plays the drums.
Q: How many instruments can you play?
A: Just the guitar, bass, singing, a little bit of piano, keys… percussion. Everything except the drums.
Q: Your music style is punk rock, right?
No, no. We’re just a rock band, you know? I like punk rock music but I’m more into music that kind of pushes down. For me punk rock has become kind of safe. I just like music that is dangerous, or honest, or very natural. When I was a kid, punk rock thought that way. Now punk rock feels like too fucking perfect, like a fucking bunch of guys that are more interested in they way they look and not the way they feel in their hearts. So for me, we’re just a rock band. Call it what you want.
Q: What is your opinion about yourselves from the outside?
A: I feel like we are four really good friends creating music that makes us proud. It’s really sincere, honest from the heart. And ultimately we’re just out to have fun and… you know, we don’t really care of what people think of us. We’re just travelling and having a good time. I’m proud of what I do, and at the same time, what I listen to and what I play. I try to brace that gap but I like a lot of snobby fucking indie music. I try to incorporate my heart and my passion into everything I do.
Q: What is true about the myth of sex, drugs and rock and roll?
A: I don’t know much about that because I don’t do drugs, but for me I’ve dealt with a lot of people that did. I think if you wanna make the party and be the biggest party of your life, I think you’re gonna miss a lot really good things in life. But if you can find a balance between excess and actually seeing the world and having fun and not imposing on people around you, that’s great. But I guess no one who talked about that would call it excess. So… you know. I like sex, I’ve tried drugs before and I like rock. But, again, if you wanna play in a band like fucking Aerosmith or Mötley Crue, this isn’t the band (laughs). One drummer killed himself because he was addicted to heroine, and another drummer was addicted to painkillers, and another bass player addicted to cocaine… I try to keep my bands been equals and not putting the party first (laughs).
Q: Tell me a band you admire.
A: There is an American band called Wilco. The musicianship of that band is really incredible. My Bloody Valentine is also one of my favourite bands ever. When I was 15 years old there was an album called Loveless that changed my life. My first show ever was Metallica and the Justice For All tour… When I was a kid, like 7 or 9, my favourite band was Kiss and I disguised myself as Kiss for Halloween… It just changes such as your life. I also listen to a lot of old jazz like [John] Coltrane or Thelonious Monk. Anyone who pushes you to be a better artist or musician, I admire. The only music I don’t like I guess is music that comes from fashion… I mean [David] Bowie had fashion and he was a fucking genius. But I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about boys’ bands that it’s all about image and they’re out of tune or it’s bullshit.
Q: A perfect album?
A: (thinking) Mmmm… It’s a hard question, ‘cause I love music, but… probably… [The Rise And Fall Of] Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. That album is fucking amazing, that Bowie album. Or Hunky Dory or Diamond Dogs. Maybe… But I don’t know.
Q: Your favourite song.
A: Probably ‘Thunder Road’ by [Bruce] Springsteen. It’s just a perfect narrative. The song doesn’t have a chorus at all, it’s just the story, and I think it’s kind of how I tell the stories. All my songs are me just telling a story about my life, and there’s a lot of depth and vivid imagery in my verses. And the chorus is something you can sing to. Springsteen managed to write songs that told a great story and they didn’t even have a singable chorus, but still is one of the best songs ever written. So that’s a great song.
Q: And the song you enjoy the most playing?
A: It’s ‘Fast Times At Drop-Out High’, because there is this big instrumental parts with lots of dreamy, echoey, delay stuff. We sound like Mogwai or Godspeed [You! Black Emperor] or those bands. We just play that instrumental part for four minutes in the song. For me sometimes as a musician, I sing and get stuck in the microphone the whole show because I’m always singing. I don’t tend to write songs that let me enough time to stand away from the mic and play guitar, but sometimes I just like to play guitar and I wish we had another singer that would take some vocals. But I think it’s good to have only one singer. I don’t like these bands that are always doing harmonising things… It’s good to get a little bit on the records, but one vocals is good. It’s not necessary to have four people up there on the microphone. It starts to sound too much moody.
Q: Tell me a present band that will leave a mark in the future.
A: Ok. There’s an American singer songwriter named A.A. Bondy. He’s a real dark folky guy. He used to be in a band called Verbena. He’s great. He has a record called When The Devil’s Loose’ and there are really good rainy days songs. He has left a mark in all of us. You know, there’s a lot of great music out there, but unfortunately sometimes the best songs you never heard (laughs). That’s the beauty I guess.
Q: And an overrated band?
A: Overrated band? Wow, that’s pretty easy! Well, the obvious would be all these American bands like Nickelback… but I don’t know. I don’t really care for naming names of people or hating anyone. Just like I said, any band that puts energy before substance. Particularly… I don’t know, just look on… the radio or the Internet and find anything that looks like Justin Bieber… It’s probably overrated.
Q: Justin Bieber… A genre of music you hate?
Q: Something funny that happened to you during a tour?
A: I was gonna fly in Australia from Melbourne to Sidney and they grounded all the flights in the airport. They let like only five flights take off. And I was waiting to take off when they said they were gonna close the airport because there was a big giant storm, big monsoon. And I said: “Oh, please, don’t let us be one of the flights to take off”. But of course we were and then they closed the airport. And when I was waiting in the runway, the sky was turning black and the others were like: “This is gonna suck for bad”. And so we take off with the storm, the lightnings strike the plane with us on it and the plane loses power and starts falling 10.000 feet down. And we get stroke by a lighting again and people were screaming and crying. I’m fucking praying to God. The blast of the storm was pushing us to the ground and suddenly… (clap) we pick up and after twenty minutes we leave. It was kind of fun (laughs). It’s scary.
Q: An advice for new bands.
A: Just don’t listen what anyone says. Write your music just from the heart and don’t fall prey of all these trends about… You know, music is about music, not about who’s a good salesman and who can promote himself better than the other guy. I think that’s the problem. The Internet has let people a really good outlet to discover new bands but it’s also given people a lot of problems (laughs), because people don’t pay attention as much anymore. They’re so desensitised. So just be yourself and write music that makes you happy. And if it’s good, people will catch on to it.
Q: What does coming to The Joiners mean for you?
A: I like The Joiners, it’s a big club. I did a solo acoustic tour and I played here. It was really fun, a big pride to be here. This is the only type of places I like to play. Because to me, when there is crowd and it’s close and unified and people can sing along and get on stage, make it more like a family. It’s good if you can have this interactive experience, and this is one of my favourite clubs I’ve played in the UK. And that’s why I went out of my way to book a show here. I told my friend who books the gigs that I wanted to play at The Joiners, to please book a show. And sold out, and that’s good. I like it.
Q: Is there anything else you want to add?
A: Yeah, there are four new songs free to download in our Bandcamp, so if anyone wants to check them out, you can download them. (very slowly) Theataris.bandcamp.com. Check them out, it’s free music!
Q: And anything that you would like to ask yourself?
A: I guess I would ask for my fans: “Why does it take me so long to make the fucking new album?”. Because I’ve been writing songs for five or six years… And I guess my answer would be: “I recorded about twenty songs and I just have to finish vocals for these songs before I get the record completed. And when we finish this tour in the UK and Europe, I’ll go home and I’ll try my best to finish the album and hopefully make myself proud. But until then, people can wait” (laughs).
Monday 8 April: The Ataris (£14.00).
The Ataris, doubtlessly the biggest group The Joiners lodges this month, is an alternative rock band with punk touches led by the American songwriter Kristopher Roe. They have been playing since 1995 –that’s 18 years– and have taken influences from the most important heavyweights of the scene like Green Day, The Offspring or Blink-182. So don’t miss out!
Wednesday 10 April: Circle Of Contempt (£7.00).
Directly from Finland, Circle Of Contempt will bring their best progressive metal on Wednesday. Formed in 2006 under the name Thrust Moment, the band combines powerful and aggressive rhythms “into one unstoppable unit”. Their first album, Artifacts in Motion, was recorded in 2009 and is available in most of the musical platforms.
Friday 12 April: Bulletproof Donkey (£6.00).
Bulletproof Donkey is an alternative rock band formed in Southampton with more than two years of experience. The foursome mix influences from artists as opposite as Dream Theater and Skrillex, as well as other like Muse or Everything Everything. Bulletproof Donkey can play from acoustic, slow songs with piano basis to other heavier stuff with electronic influences.
Saturday 13 April: Mintsouth: Road To Blissfields (£6.00).
Southampton –The Joiners in this case– will have the opportunity again to decide what band deserves to win a place at the Blissfields Festival this summer. There will be a change to get tickets for it as well! We will count on Science of Eight Limbs as special guest and Skymarshal, Woven Bird, The Harlequin and Brother Goose as candidates.
Saturday 14 April: Masked Intruder (£5.00).
Masked Intruder define themselves as “the best pop-punk band you hope never gets out of prison” characterized by their vestment: they all wear a mask. That’s probably why their names are, according to their website, Blue, Green, Yellow and Red. Masked Intruder take influences from bands like Broken Hearts or The Criminal Justice System, and will be supported by Frighting Fiction, River Jumpers, Watch Commande and Plus More.
Tony Newton, bass player and Glorious Leader, according to the other members of the band, walks around the venue grinning and smiles at me while looking at my chest. We are casually wearing the same Iron Maiden t-shirt. At the same time, Matt Pearce, one of the guitarists, rehearses with the initial riff of ‘Supernaut’, by Black Sabbath, as Luke Purdie and Chris Jones, vocalist and guitarist respectively, look in awe to their new background “curtain”. It’s a portrait of Voodoo Six, a band that never forgets their masters.
And that’s exactly what Ravenous does as well –they all had t-shirts from different artists. The stage was gradually becoming full when the band started their show, in which they flaunted a style characterized by a splendid bass line occasionally eclipsed by swift, wild solos and a thunderous barrages of music. They are doubtlessly direct disciples of Slayer, gods of trash metal.
After Ravenous, Velvetine took the stage to the rhythm of an instrumental piece of music with epic tinges. Hoisting a pop-rock style with similarities to Steven Tyler in the vocals and a glam touch in the attires –probably My Chemical Romance’s legacy–, Velvetine played most of their repertoire for their public and growing female fan base, and also dared to perform covers like AC/DC’s ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’.
It was around 9:30pm and the attendees were awaiting the band that will support Iron Maiden on their European tour. That’s Voodoo Six, which showed up raising bottles of beer and sheltered by a cartoonish intro. Their music is a constant gallop, a sound that can’t let you stand still and obliges your body and extremities to keep up with the music. Voodoo Six play a sort of Alice In Chains grunge with some ingredients that bestow them an original, cracked and heavier sound.
Luke Purdie is the life of the party and can lead the crowds with his staging. Like old times, he makes people interact, sing and even feel happy. “Do you wanna make some noise back to me?”, he asked, and the mob answered with a massive shout. The guitarists also delighted them with cross-linked solos.
It as half an hour of concert that Voodoo Six had to close down with a joke full of pride: “Sorry, but we’re a bit tired because we’re touring with Iron Maiden next month”.
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