Archive for the ‘GIG PHOTO’S/REVIEWS’ Category

  • Avenge Thee + Naime
  • Hunter/Killer
  • Skull Tank
  • Slaughtered
  • Hours To Destroy

Friday 31st May 2013 and I got an invitation to come along and chill out at gig.  One look at the line-up told me straight away that there was not a chance I would chill at this gig.  I had to work it.  Camera in hand off I went to a new venue for me, the Blind Dog in Canterbury, excited for the night ahead.

This started as a 4 band gig but Avenge Thee + Naime were added as a late addition so I knew this would be a lively one, having seen them on a couple of occasions before.  I’ve also seen Hours To Destroy a few times and interviewed Hunter/Killer for the GIGgle Pics Podcast (formerly called Kent Sessions) but there were two new bands on this for me.  Always great to see  new bands and one being a touring band from France, was a great opportunity to see something I’m not likely to again any time soon.

Before I write about the bands I need to say a little something about the venue.  As I mentioned, I’d never been to the Blind Dog before and although not the largest pub in the world, I love this place.  As soon as you walk in it just feels warm and friendly.  Not always the case with an off the beaten track pub, but here you instantly feel at home.  Lovely little backyard garden, the bar is cosy and wood laden and the staff couldn’t make you feel more welcome if they tried.  Very accommodating, from the off making it clear I could stand on furniture etc to get good photo’s and even suggesting I put my equipment behind the bar out of harm’s way of drinks etc.  Never once did they complain with me back and forth behind there, getting in their way.  Highly recommend if you are in Canterbury, popping in for a drink, I shall be going back for sure.

Avenge Thee + Naime – A two drummer, Metal/Experimental band from Canterbury, although the previous couple of times I saw them were specials with 3 drummers.  I reviewed those gigs and will post links to the reviews, I seriously suggest you go and read them, I won’t cover all those things again.  I will be brief here as I’ve comprehensively reviewed them before, but as those were 3 drummer specials you can’t miss them (07.03.13 Beercart Arms Review & 22.03.13 RokanRolla Review).  So this gig may have been a drummer less, there may not have been such a large turnout, but the standard was just the same.  That speaks volumes to me, this band is all about the drama of performance and they do not drop their standards when playing to a smaller audience.  I wondered whether they would struggle in a small venue, as they do require a lot of space but no.  Adam put on his usual quirky show which is both alluring and slightly uncomfortable all at once.  He really is an amazing show man and nothing I have ever seen before, I don’t think I will ever see again either.  The drummers are obviously a large focus and how they never manage to miss a united beat always astounds me.  So frenetic is their performance, not one passes without splinters of wood flying around the venue from the numerous stick breakages.  With the addition of a new guitarist you always wonder if the appeal will still be there.  Ronnie was previously in Artemis Redeemer who I reviewed a little while back, but he slots into this band perfectly, like he was always there!  Awesome, eye popping performance as always, a band I will NEVER tire of watching.

Hunter/Killer – A 4 piece Metal/Thrash Metal/Death Metal band from Herne Bay.  I’d not seen these guys perform before but had interviewed them as I mentioned before for my podcast show (listen to the interview here – lots of fun and all from a beer garden).  Already knowing these are really great guys and liking what they have recorded, I was looking forward to watching them.  Very new on the scene still and this being only their second gig I was slightly apprehensive for them.  The set did start with sound technical issues (none of which was their fault) so I stepped outside for a while until it was sorted.  It’s very easy to judge a band on the first sound you hear and I didn’t want to do that.  Once the issues were addressed I came back to enjoy what they had to offer.   Some hard hitting metal ensued, performed on guitars/bass that had other musicians in the venue drawling.  They certainly look the part.  Yes it is evident that they are still new on the scene but it’s also very evident that they have something here.  I know they struggle with busy lives and fitting in rehearsals can be tough, therefore I also know that listening to what they already have, this is going to really grow!  I certainly wouldn’t have known this was their second gig from listening and watching so all credit guys.  A band to watch for sure!

Skull Tank – A 3 piece … wait for it… Anti-Litter Hardcore Death Sludge band from Ashford/Canterbury.  Just reading their about section on Facebook brought a huge smile to my face, so you guys have seriously got to head over and check them out (click that like button too).  How I have not come across them before I do not know, and how they produce so much noise with only 3 is another enigma.  I have to say from the off that I thought this band were all kinds of awesome, so much so that I didn’t hugely analyse their sound or get too many photo’s.  Why because I remembered I was on a night off and for the first time in a long time, could be found head banging with hair helicoptering everywhere.  I’m still feeling the effects now a couple of days later.  This is hard hitting stuff and I don’t think anyone a fan of this genre could fail to not love it.  A set full of moshing, head banging and general metalness ensued all around, this is a band I need in my life.  Currently having their EP mastered, I’m sitting on the edge of my seat, impatiently tapping my toes and fidgeting waiting for this.  I’ve already asked them for one of the first copies (digital) so I can review it.  There you shall get your technical review, this night was not a night I was meant to review and therefore I didn’t take notes or pay particular attention to all the things I normally would.  Of that I’m really glad, I had the most amazing night and got to appreciate the bands in a way I don’t normally, as a fan.  I am a fan!

Slaughtered – A 4 piece open Death Metal band on tour from France.  Awesome guys and even more awesome band.  We all watched transfixed as these guys started up… this is metal at its best.  Hard hitting, thrashing, riffs, you name it, it’s all in there and they know how to perform it.  These guys totally love what they do and put on a show, real metal heads, head banging along to their own stuff and the photo’s show it.  Another mixed set for me, jumping behind the camera and head banging along myself.  I got so many good crowd shots on this set, everyone went mental, I’d defy you not too.  Hard, dirty metal at its best, deep dark vocals, thrashing pounding drums, oh and the bass… I can still feel the music from these guys pounding through my bones.  Screaming that sent shivers down my spine and hugely appreciative of their crowd which is always good to see. You really need to check these guys out on Facebook as they are still touring and I’m sure will be back again.  If they are, you can be sure I will be getting along to one of their gigs.  These guys are sick (did I really just say that, apparently I did but it’s been a long weekend so just ignore!).

Hours To Destroy – A four piece Experimental Metal band from Canterbury and I’ve seen them a few times now and reviewed them before.  Again I don’t like to cover old ground to much so I’ll post a link to the last review (Club Q Review).  Still fairly new on the scene but boy have these guys come a long way since they first started out.  I saw them at the beginning and its so great to have seen their growth.  A lot of bands start and stay static.  Not these, their sound has developed the more gigs they have done, although their visual performance has always been there.  This night they decided to dress up and the bassist sported a beautiful Pocahontas dress and headdress (after a little persuasion I must admit).  All the fun of the dressing up however did not detract from their performance and they have a slightly different style of metal to most bands.  I know what their influences are but I’m not going to tell you, I urge you to go and see them for yourselves and see if you can work them out.  I would also say what an awesome bunch of guys they are and they actually put this gig on themselves.  Not only fairly new to the scene, they are organising gigs, they are a really hard working band.  Go give their page alike and check them out on a live gig.  Their EP should be available very soon and I’m looking forward to hearing it!

So, not my usual review content wise.  I’ve not really covered many technical points of the bands on this one but then it was a night off and I wasn’t supposed to be reviewing at all.  Truth is, this was such an awesome gig with some amazing bands, that I simply could not let it run with nothing.  Great bands, great guys, great venue, great crowd, one hell of a sore neck and shoulders!

Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics

Avenge Thee + Naime – Ear Of The Horse

Find Avenge Thee and Naime on Facebook

Purchase albums here 

Hunter/Killer – Take Me Away

Find Hunter/Killer on Facebook

Find Skull Tank on Facebook

Find Slaughtered on Facebook

Find Hours To Destroy on Facebook 

Photos by Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics

As always this is a very small amount of photography taken on the night.  For the full nights photo’s, please go to Facebook, this gig only!

OPM European Tour – Beer Cart Arms – 27.05.13 – Review

  • OPM
  • Riskee and the Ridicule
  • Third Place Victory
  • Wheres Billy

A Monday evening on a bank holiday weekend and something a little bit special happened at the Beer Cart Arms in Canterbury.  OK, admittedly, more than a little bit special, something VERY special.  The Beer Cart Arms maybe a pub a little off the beaten track but its a great music venue with a fantastic reputation.  Below the Radar Events and Promotions often put on gig nights here but on this evening, they really pulled off an amazing gig.

OPM, yes you know them (Heaven is a Halfpipe) agreed to put on their only Kent gig on their European Tour with Below the Radar and a lot of people wanted some of the action.  Local band Riskee and the Ridicule were chosen as main support, followed by Third Place Victory.  The opening slot was put up for vote.  Bands names were put forward and other suggested and added to the voting list a few months prior then everyone was asked to vote.  The band that was chosen and won by a mile was Wheres Billy.  So there you have it… lineup confirmed and the tickets sold like hot cakes.

I’m not going to give a huge review on how the bands all performed on this night, as I would normally.  My usual reviews are a break down, band by band and an in depth review on how each of them performed.  This gig does not warrant this.  I’ll give some details on each band and a brief account of how they did but I’d rather focus more on the gig as a whole.  The atmosphere was so electric that I’d rather focus on the overall feel of the night.

Wheres Billy – A 5 piece Rock band from Tunbridge Wells, Kent and I’ve had the pleasure to photograph and review before (Beer Cart Arms – February 2013 Review).  It’s not hard to see why these guys received so many votes to open this gig.  Strong lineup, amazing songs and lyrics and always delivered with quality.  The band were on form as you would expect, with some comical moments of man hugs and snuggles on stage and free t-shirts and wristbands thrown out to the audience.  They started the evening with really strong and fun set and set the tone for the night.

1 Wheres Billy (10) - Copy

Third Place Victory – A 4 piece Rock/Pop Punk band from Thanet, I’ve seen them a few times now and reviewed one of their performances fairly recently (RokanRolla 01.03.13 Review).  I love this band and they guys but they have to be one of the most unlucky, accident prone bands out there!  This gig was no exception, the Beer Cart jinx returned with exactly the same problem as on their last gig there.  The amazing Jordan in his over enthusiastic jumping around whist playing his guitar managed to yet again pull over his head and break the output socket, rendering his guitar useless.  Did this stop him or the band?  Hell no!  He then decided he wanted to have a crack at being co frontman, much to the amusement of the band.  Not being able to sing hampered this slightly and he metal screamed his way through the last few songs with his fellow band mates falling round with laughter.  Fair play boys, you pulled it off and its always a pleasure to see you on stage!

2 Third Place Victory (10) - Copy

Riskee and the Ridicule – A four piece band hailing from Ashford who describe themselves as: “RepRah, the sound of the modern day reprobate. Ska tinged rap-punk”.  This is a band with attitude, but not bad attitude, the right kind and needed to carry off what they do.  I saw them at the Beer Cart Arms support the amazing Imperial Leisure when they were on tour (Beer Cart Arms 04.12.12) and I do believe they will be doing so again soon in Camden.  I love what these guys do and they have so really loyal fans.  Fans who got their mosh on and cleared a huge space on the floor of the Beer Cart with their enthusiastic moves which spilled over onto the stage at times.  High energy and a set that gets me very excited when I have my camera in hand.  Guys, you smashed it!

3 Riskee and the Ridicule (60) - Copy

OPM – Shouldn’t need any introduction but they are described as:

Reggae / Hip Hop / Alternative

Straight out of Southern California, the reggae/hip-hop/rock sensations OPM hit the ground running more than ten years ago and are still running hard! From their first major hit and teen anthem “Heaven Is A Halfpipe” to their most recent single “Feel the Vibration (feat. Jim Perkins)” OPM has been writing hit-after-hit for more than a decade.

4 OPM (74)

Me I’ll say what an awesome bunch of guys.  Their performance ran over by around half an hour and the crowd loved it.  I’ve never seen so many people packed into the pub before and it was great to see.  The audience surged forward over and over, falling onto the stage at times which meant I ended up on the edge/side of the stage with the guitarist for most of the set.  They went out of their way to give me some great shots when all the paying photographers were battling it out to get photo’s.

Their set was a mix of originals (old and many new) with a few covers thrown in.  The heat and sweat generated told the story of what was happening out on the floor and the entire set was greeted by a sea of hands.  At points crowd surfing occurred with men being lifted high up to the ceiling and the atmosphere was pure electric.  The air literally felt charged and alive making your skin tingle and the hair on the back of your neck stand up!  I cannot put into words enough the energy, atmosphere and excitement contained in this pub on this night.  I can only hope that my words, combined with my photography will paint a better picture for you.  As always I’m only hosting a few photo’s from the night on here.  There are 227 in total over on the Facebook page and I urge you to go and have a look.  Oh and please give it a little like while you are there!

The end of the set they guys did a meet and greet and were only to happy to spend lots of time with their fans, having pictures taken with them, signing things.  Lots of merchandise was purchased and it was so good to see them milling around with everyone after.  An awesome bunch of guys, oh and I even got a hug from the vocalist and guitarist so all can’t be bad 😉 lol.

All in all an amazing night, an amazing gig and huge congratulations to Below the Radar for pulling this one off.  Also a massive pat on the back to all involved for making it such a success, the bands all rocked, everyone who helped out did an amazing job and the staff at the Beer Cart were amazing as always!

Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics

Find Wheres Billy on Facebook 

 

Find Third Place Victory on Facebook

Find them on soundcloud 

 

Find Riskee and the Ridicule on Facebook 

Official Website 

Their brand new single:

 

Find OPM on Facebook 

On Spotify 

Tour Dates etc 

 

As usual here follows a very small amount of photography from the evening.  For the full gigs photo’s please go to Facebook, this gig only (please give the page a quick like while there).

Photography by Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics

Club Q – Ashford – Bank Holiday 27.05.13 Review

by Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions

  • Slam Cartel
  • Crashgate
  • Thumbscrew and the Flicknife Barber
  • Jukebox Monkey

The second gig put on by Below the Radar Events and Promotions at Club Q in Ashford proved a huge success.  By 7.30pm the floor was already filling up and by the time headline act, Slam Cartel hit the stage the place was very nicely crowded.  Lots of familiar faces but also many new ones filled the venue, proving that these nights are very much needed and wanted.

At this point I must mention that Bobb Pineapple was in attendance, having shared the stage with Rage Against the Machine, the night was hugely honoured!

Jukebox Monkey – A four piece Rock band from Kent.  I’ve now had the pleasure of reviewing them on a couple of occasions at different venues in Kent, and it’s always a pleasure.  Having reviewed before, I’ll post links here to the previous and keep this short, as going over old ground is never helpful… (Rokanrolla 28.02.13 Review – the main one to read & 25.04.13 Beercart Arms Review).  This gig was no exception and although there was a minor technical issue with sound, as always the guys blew both myself and the audience away.  This was an Ashford debut for the band and talking to the crowd they went down a treat.  A band with HUGE amounts of energy who always put on a fantastic visual performance as well as sound.  With all the hundreds of bands I have seen, their drummer, “Animal”(my nickname for him)  is still the most animated I have ever seen.   This is hard, loud rock, move yourself around rock; and I’m damn sure they will be playing more and more gigs in the coming months as momentum spreads.  If you like your Rock hard and energetic, this is a band for you!

1 Jukebox Monkey (27)

Thumbscrew and The Flicknife Barbers – A four piece Rockabilly/Punk band hailing from Ashford that I’ve seen once before and was really looking forward to seeing again.  This band has attitude in abundance, but in the most endearing way (I’m sure they won’t particularly like me saying that!)  If you don’t believe me, head over to their Facebook page and read their “about” section and have a listen to some of the tracks on there!  I was asked a few times to describe them, awesome but favour the C word a lot, was what I came up with.  That’s both in lyrics but also in stage banter and there is much of that.  The lead vocalist is a real smart one, but in a way that actually really doesn’t offend.  He’s extremely comical and I’d dare anyone to take him on with a heckle, I’ve witnessed the snap back and humiliation that ensues, but with a witty tone.  Cheeky chap that can get away with almost everything I think.  Their sound… not something you will hear out on the scene very often.  The lyrics are hard hitting and to the point, they are not laced with messages; the message and meaning slap you full front in the face.  No mistaking what they are conveying to you here.  Their stand out song to me is always Faceache… it’s not for the feint hearted though so be warned.  I personally love this band, they have huge appeal to me but if you are easily offended, you have no business being anywhere near these lads!

2 Thumbscrew and the Flicknife Barbers (17)

Crashgate – A five piece Rock band from Deal who have recently released their debut album which has been received exceptionally well.  It’s extremely well produced, coming out of Hidden Track Studios and produced by Oli Craggs from Feed the Rhino ,  which means that the quality is exceptional.  As is their live performance of the new material.  I reviewed this band recently at a Beercart Arms gig in Canterbury, where they performed again with Jukebox Monkey (25.04.13 Beercart Arms Review).  The performance at this gig was no exception, hugely catchy songs with deep, meaningful lyrics.  It’s evident they are all heartfelt and based on personal experience, as front man Craig will happily tell you.  His Welsh voice is unique and unmistakeable and his performance always draws the crowd in, wanting to be part of it.  A hugely talented bunch or musicians backing him and you have yourself something rather special.  I recommend you check these guys out, as for me, their live performance is always top class and showcases them to their utmost best.

3 Crashgate (33)

Slam Cartel – A five piece Hard Rock band hailing from around London and Kent.  Their debut album “Handful of Dreams” is released worldwide and currently receiving a lot of radio airplay.  It’s a rare thing to be able to go and see them at a local gig, as they tour all over the country and there was a large turn out to watch them.  It’s very clear these guys have a large fan base and as they hit the stage I knew this was going to be an entertaining set.  I’ve reviewed them once before at the Beercart Arms, so knew what to expect and to be on my toes with the camera (07.03.13 Beercart Arms Review).  Glancing down at the set list I counted 13 tracks and there was not a chance of this fitting into the 45 minute set.  I was right and they ended up playing for well over an hour and unfortunately due to the time of finishing, a lot of people had left by the end.  This is a hugely experienced band with a very unique sound. When they mentioned that the last song would be a brand new one, I was very interested to hear it.  The first song produced by the band  that they have all had a hand in writing.  This left me wondering if it would still have the same Slam Cartel sound to it.  It does, although I would say somewhat more intricate, due to each band member having brought their own abilities to it.  I’ll be interested in hearing what else they bring to the table in the coming months.  My only gripe with these guys is; as they go along they get so enthusiastic and turn their levels up.  By the end of the gig the vocals are drowned out to a degree with is a huge shame.  If you get a chance to catch them, do, as they rarely perform in the local area!

4 Slam Cartel (1)

Oh and what of Bobb I hear you ask?  Well, when I left he was still rocking out in the corner!

Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions

 

Find Jukebox Monkey on Facebook

Find Thumbscrew and The Flicknife Barbers on Facebook 

 

Find Crashgate on Facebook
Buy their Album on Amazon 

 

Find Slam Cartel on Facebook
Official Website 

Here follows a very small amount of photography from the evening.  For the full nights photo’s, please go to Facebook, this gig only

Photography by Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions

Alter Ego, The Cricketers, Dover 24th May 2013

GIGgle Pics Review by Mark Cridland

Right, where to begin? This is the first time that I’ve written a review for anything other than my radio show on DCR so bear with me.

We arrived at The Cricketers about 8pm expecting the band to be already set up as they have a reputation of being well prepared, only to see Dan Burvill, lead singer and Guitarist unloading the car, with nothing set up! Ah, well I thought, just a minor fault, at least they’ll have the set list ready for me to have a look at, but no. Niall, the bassist who is usually the organised one was busy writing the set list on a beer mat! How rock and roll is that? Anyway, they managed to set up and do a short sound check before having time for a beer and a smoke before the scheduled 9pm start time, I’d never expect any different from these guys, having seen them before whilst on a night off.

They kicked off the night with the classic Blacken The Name with the usual Alter Ego edge to it. Dan has admitted that he can’t reach the higher tones and so just does his metal “rahhh!” This is a sound coming from a guy who, as someone pointed out to me, looks like a modern day rock Smurf!

They went on to play the set which doesn’t seem to have changed in a while, although I was told that they now have a month off and are working on new material. They like to start their gigs with softer music, playing the likes of Danny California, London Calling, Teenage Kicks and my favourite from the first half, Through Glass. They really did this song justice and you could feel the emotion, as I write this I’m listening to the recording that I made of the whole night and I love this song!

The second half however started a bit heavier, including more music from The Red Hot Chilli Peppers; the one song that they have recorded, Calling In The Name of; and Dan’s favourite, a medley of Funky Bell Tolls and Higher Ground. It is so very obvious why this is one of Dan’s favourites as his voice really suits the style. Another song that got my attention was their version of Reef’s Place Your Hands. Now, I like this song and really hoped that they wouldn’t ruin it for me. I was to be pleasantly surprised. These types of songs are what Dan really can sing; he did struggle vocally in quite a number of songs which often required softer singing because his voice really doesn’t suit it.

Alter Ego (30)

I found no issues with Solomon’s drumming, apart from him getting incredibly sweaty and Niall is an amazing Bass player, very enthusiastic and at point it really did look like he was making love to his guitar, reminding me of the part in the movie ‘Full Metal Jacket’ where the marine recruits chant : “This is my rifle. There are many others like it, but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless” this analogy seems to suit the relationship that Niall has with his bass!

Towards the end of the night, they came to, in Dan’s own words, “the cheesy section of the gig”. Oh, no I thought, this is gonna go so bad. But, and it’s a big but, it was actually enjoyable. They played Baggy Trousers, Hey Ya, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Sweet Home Alabama. All of which received the Alter Ego treatment with Dan doing his famous “rahh!” at the points that he couldn’t reach the notes required.

All in all a very entertaining Gig and I am looking forward to see what changes they make during their short break. It was just a shame that the original crowds dispersed as the night went on, I don’t think that the pub management had done much in the way of promoting the gig so people were just popping in by chance or passing by and heard the band playing so were intrigued by their sound. I couldn’t spot anyone who looked like they were there simply to watch the band perform.

Just to summarise, a good, entertaining night out but the band need to concentrate more on heavy rock to make the most of Dan’s voice. I shall certainly be going to see them at a future gig to see if they have evolved into the heavy rock band which is eager to get out from inside them.

Mark Cridland

GIGgle Pics Live Reviewer

Find Alter Ego on Facebook 

 

Here follows a very small amount of photography taken from the night.  For the full evenings photo’s, please go to Facebook, this gig only

Photography by Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions

Ashes EP Launch – The Windmill Inn – Ashford – 23.05.13

  • Ashes
  • Jesus Fix
  • Sirens & Shelter 

Thursday 23rd May saw the Ashford EP Launch from Ashes at The Windmill Inn, a pub that has live music gigs every week.  Having covered their Folkestone launch, this was an evening I was really looking forward to, although not sure what I was expecting.  The previous launch was filled with onesies,  pirates and river dancing, so from previous experience, anything could have happened.  What did in fact happen, was your more normal regular type gig but this didn’t detract at all from the quality.

Sirens & Shelter – Acoustic/Folk/Pop Singer & Songwriter from North Kent with a bit of a difference.  Scott Mallard plays an entirely acoustic set but with a sound that at times, is as full and loud as a band.  The songs could easily be produced with a full band but equally work just as well in acoustic form.  Such is the fullness you would be forgiven for thinking that it is not merely Scott and a guitar standing on stage.  I found his style extremely passionate and energetic, not always what you expect from an acoustic act.   The lyrics to his songs are heartfelt and emotional, feeling like they are being sung from deep down within his soul. This is extremely endearing and alluring.  His voice has a raw and rough sort of edge to it, which sounds vulnerable and pure at times in its presentation.  Scott has just recorded a new EP which is in its mastering stage at the moment, I for one will be really keen to give this a listen.  His current EP and the material performed on stage has some contrast to it, but that unique voice is very evident throughout.  I highly recommend you get along to see him perform, its an acoustic act that blends well in style with a band night or an acoustic night.  That’s not something you hear or see very often.

Sirens & Shelter

Sirens & Shelter

Jesus Fix – A Gothic Rock/Metal/Punk trio hailing from Whitstable – Kent, with influences from the likes of Motorhead and Sisters of Mercy.  For me the stand outs in this band were the guitarist, John and drummer, Chris.  Energetic and pounding drumming, yet Chris never once broke into a sweat.  He appeared so laid back it was impossible to associate the sound with the visual.  This band is what it says, however the sound quality was poor and did not showcase them to their best.  They seem to cause a real divide in the audience, as I found from wandering around and talking to people.  Some absolutely love them and others do not, there seems to be no middle ground here with this band.  What was a common denominator with all however, was that the sound quality was off, the levels were completely out.  The sound engineer was placed off to the side, the pub they performed in was long and narrow, with the audience directly in front.  A real shame as it’s hard to judge and review a band when they are not being showcased to their best, I can only go by what I see and hear in front of me on the night.  I would also say that their set sounds a little samey to me.  Once you’ve heard a couple of tracks, it feels like you’ve heard them all.  A lot of people loved them though and this is only my own personal opinion. At the end of the day, that’s what a review is.  I’d be interested in hearing them again with a decent sound check and correct levels to see if my opinion was still the same.  If you like your gothic rock however, talking to people in the crowd, these are a band to go and watch.

Jesus Fix

Jesus Fix

Ashes – A 3 piece hard rock band from around the Ashford area with their own brand of rock.  Having reviewed them in-depth at their Folkestone launch I won’t go over old ground too much.  I would highly recommend you read that review, as well as informative, it is also highly entertaining (link to Ashes EP Launch (Stand Up) – Googies Art Cafe – Folkestone – 04.05.13).  This is a brand of rock I like a lot and on my second time seeing them, I still stand by my opinion that they sound better live than recorded.  Don’t get me wrong, they sound great recorded, but better live and I’m not entirely sure why that is.  I’ve still not put my finger on it.  They take what they do very seriously, while still managing to have fun.  That radiates from the stage, making them extremely appealing to watch.  Extremely talented musicians with a unique sound, which makes them stand out from the crowd, so to speak.  A more sombre affair at this gig, with no onesie clad, morph suited or cutlass baring pirates to be seen.  There was however still the same exceptional standard and sound from the band.  I did wonder whether this would be the case if I’m honest.  The previous launch was in an extremely small venue and with their only being 3 of them, I wondered if the sound would be so full and rich this time around.  I can assure you it was and they manage to create what would normally take a band with 2 guitarists to do .  Highly recommend you get along to a gig and see them live, they never fail to impress!

Ashes

Ashes

Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics and Kent Sessions

Find Sirens & Shelter on Facebook 
Find Sirens & Shelter on Soundcloud 

Find Jesus Fix on Facebook 

Find Ashes on Facebook 

Here follows an very small amount of photography taken on the night.  For the full evenings photo’s please go to, Facebook, this gig only

Photography by Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions

Island Cassettes, The Big Figure and Rokoko at The Rafters, Maidstone 18/05/13

Close your eyes.  Let me take you back to Saturday 18th May at The Rafters.  Go on, close those peepers.  Good, now breathe.

Picture it, a darkly lit room playing warm up music like Justice vs Simian, The Go! Team and Primal Scream.  There’s a wall covered in newspaper articles, an article about Eddie Cochrane alone on a wall and helpfully a stage.  Add to this a compare in a onesie and you’ve got a gig.

First on stage were the Tonbridge based band Island Cassettes.  As Island Cassettes began to launch sounds out of the P.A it was impossible to resist even a slight movement.  Island Cassettes created a tropical guitar sound and vibe as the music washed over people and into their ears.  With an album out on the 1st of June the band played tracks such as their ‘heaviest’ song Italian Bicycles.  The very open stage talk continued as Island Cassettes played Photograph Part Two, but not before explaining how Photograph Part One might as well not exist.  Island Cassettes left the stage after a laconic and tropical set, somehow making summer feel that much closer.

Touring Glaswegian band The Big Figure followed and sounded almost upset when they nearly missed out on the onesie compare treatment.  The four piece met the audience with big sounding acoustic led indie rock.  The Big Figure carried their sound off with passion and energy as they played songs from their own new album due for August.  As their set continued tracks such as Testify brought back flashbacks to Island Cassettes.  Like overly noisy gardeners The Big Figure nurtured the audience and grew the room’s atmosphere and energy.  Another strong set, but then there was only one.

Rokoko made it to the stage and like it were a very weird trip, the onesie wearing man had become a Ring Master to introduce them.  After clarifying it was Rokoko, not Rocoko, they got underway unleashing their own brand of rock and roll with a slightly vintage edge.  Songs such as Partner In Crime, the unofficially titled Toilet Song and She’s So Fine dedicated to ‘all the fit girls’ saw the band going down well with a very receptive and charged audience.  The room gravitated to the stage as if lead singer Kirk’s shirt were a black hole covered in flowery print.  Before their time was up Rokoko dedicated a cover by The View to The Big Figure.  Happily for the audience the Ring Master returned and granted them an encore.  The fans liked this choice, so much so they couldn’t help but join Rokoko on stage.  First one person scaled the lofty heights of the stage as Rokoko pulled off a Kings of Leon cover.  Going into one final original the stage floor space disappeared like free beer at a festival.

….And come back into the room.  Take a deep breathe, wriggle your toes … wriggle them!  Good.  Each band played a strong and accomplished set and were all well received by the audience in an ideal venue.  Discover all these bands, and catch them live!

David Horn

Reviewer on Behalf of GIGgle Pics

Find Island Cassettes on Facebook 

Find The Big Figure on Facebook 

Find RoKoKo on Facebook  

Huge thank you to The Rafters Maidstone for their hospitality

Also to Richard Torble for the use of Photography

Folkestone Jam/Musicians Night – The Party Bar – Review 16.05.13

Folkestone Jam Night (30)

Now here was an interesting request for an evening, Folkestone Jam/Musicians night.  Interesting for a number of reasons, the first being I’ve not been invited to one of these before with regards to reviewing.  The second being, this was a Jam/Musicians night with a difference.  I was fully expecting your usual average sort of open mic night really, the only clue to the contrary was that a band was going?  A band, open mic?  This needed further investigation.

Off I go in search of this The Party Bar venue… thinking I’m sure I know that address, but isn’t that Jolsons?  OK, I’m showing my age here, to me it was Jolsons and probably always will be so, just as Onyx (had to look that up!) is The Priz to me and many generations it would seem.  My own son called it such, to my bemusement.  In fact, this has just caused me to search and there is actually a Facebook page for it:  The Priz.  I digress.

Walking into The Party Bar and I’m greeted with nothing that I remember.  A wide open spacious room set out with an entire sets worth of musical instruments, PA and lighting rigs.  I think again I’m in the wrong place, this is a stage set up for a gig, must be a band booked.  Not at all.  This is a Jam/Musicians Night with a twist, a pretty awesome twist if you ask me, completely unique and I think you’ll struggle to find anything around like it.  A few people have got together with a fantastic brainwave .. what puts a lot of you guys off or what do a lot of you struggle with?  I’ve seen many a band have to pull out of a gig due to transportation issues.  No transport issues for equipment needed here.  Just turn up, whether a singular musician fancying a play or a full band.

How does this work I hear you ask?  As I mentioned it’s the brainchild of a few.  First up we have Folkestone Guitar Shop.  They provide all the instruments and heads/amps needed for an entire band to play: guitars/drums/bass, you name it, its there sitting pretty and begging to be played.  Next up you have Sound Experience Disco & PA Hire who, as it says on the tin, supply the PA and lighting for the event.  Everything is there, provided free of charge and all you need to do is walk on through the doors.  How cool is that? (of course you can bring your own instrument if you so wish)

Folkestone Jam Night (13)

So, what do you get from such an evening.  The results produced in my experience are also entirely unique.  Put a whole group of musicians into a room, give them a load of instruments and let them loose.  Amazing.  I never did quite figure throughout the evening how they all did it.  Now this is a relaxed, chilled out atmosphere where pretty much anything goes really.  A band can come and get up and perform together if they so wish, but what also happened a lot was, someone would get up, ask for a bassist, a drummer etc and people would just get up.  If they didn’t know a song, they had a quick play to work it out and off they went.  Now I’m not saying that everything performed here was amazing lol… throw musicians together, not all knowing a song, some not even being their main instrument but just stepping in to help out, its not always going to be.  However, just due to this it was astounding in itself.  Some of the music created on this night was amazing.  At one point some soldiers came in just for a drink and one of them decided to get up and play the guitar with some of the other guys.  That’s how welcome everyone is.

I’m guessing that this evening changes week to week depending on who turns up.  I for one will be going along to a few more of these, as just never know what you are going to get.  You kind of feel that you’ve stepped into a private, exclusive little world but one where you are made to feel very welcome indeed.  These guys want to play to you, they want you to come along and hear what they have to offer.  How often in life do you get to see a more, ‘behind the scenes’ sort of vue point on how musicians work and put things together?  Other nights you’ll get to see full bands just do there stuff and guess what?  This is all for free.  Not only is the event free but the drinks are cheap!  In fact a fair bit cheaper than some of the surrounding pubs in the area.  What more can you ask for really?  You can relax on the sofas, sit at a table or just stand around chatting with the artists and organisers, all are very welcoming.

I seriously suggest that everyone gets down to these evenings.  Something very different you won’t see anywhere else locally and it feels like an exclusive kind of club.  You’ll never be able to predict what you will see/hear which makes it even better.  So I hope to see some of you down there very soon and don’t forget to spread the word!

Evening currently held weekly on a Thursday night, doors open at 8pm.

Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions

Find the Folkestone Jam/Musicians Night on Facebook 

Find The Party Bar on Facebook 

Find Folkestone Guitar Shop on Facebook 

Find Sound Experience Disco and PA Hire on Facebook 

Give them all a like!

Here follows a very small amount of photography taken on the night, for full nights photo’s, please go to Facebook, this gig only

Photography by Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions