Posts Tagged ‘acoustic’

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!



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


City Sound Project – Canterbury – 05.05.13

Bringing the vibrant and excitement of a festival into the heart of a city, City Sound Project was a hugely successful day for Canterbury. A multitude of venues, the Penny Theatre, The Lounge, The Picturehouse, Bramleys, the Jolly Sailor and The Cuban hosted a day of music from bands, solo artists and DJs, as well as after parties at Club Chemistry, and small secret intimate gigs at Browns Coffee House. Running from venue to venue being trapped in streets by armies of Morris Dancers formed the basis of a memorable and eventful day. Highlights for me were definitely Coco and the Butterfields, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Syd Arthur and Broken Hands.

Setting off the Jolly Sailor’s stage, were the always crowd pleasing Coco and the Butterfields, with their lively and humorous performance in preparation for their sold out gig at the Marlowe that evening. They performed a delicious mix of their originals and some well known covers such as Flo-Rida’s “Low”, having the audience scream along and get low (some people were already drunk by 3pm and fell flat on the floor). The set was closed by a comedic beatboxing sketch, in which Jamie the beatboxer, imitated pulling the hearts out of the band members, then putting them back in, cascading the band into short bursts of song.

This was my eighth time seeing Syd Arthur, and they never cease to impress. Being revivalists of the Canterbury prog-rock music scene, the band blends poetic lyrics, funky psychedelic beats and grooves forming a creative fusion underpinned by accomplished musicianship. Their music is completely fixating, submersing the listener on a musical journey. Sadly their set was cut short due to other acts running late, I’m sure everyone in the audience wanted a longer set.

Benjamin Francis Leftwich created an incredibly peaceful, chilled atmosphere with his stripped back performance at The Lounge. His humbleness gleamed and captivated the whole audience, his talent allows him to create such beautiful melodies with simply his voice, his guitar, and some added reverb. Broken Hands in contrast created a much more pounding, indie, rocky grungy atmosphere, their acidic energy fuelling the crowd. With the promise of further venues being added next year, I will definitely return next time, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen so much energy right on the streets of Canterbury.

Annie Mackinnon

Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

Photo’s by Annie Mackinnon on behalf of GIGgle Pics

  • Black Sun Down
  • High Tide
  • Thousands Army
  • Adam Cooney

An unusual night for me to go to a gig but hey, midweek, what better way to spend it than at another gig?  But then you could somewhat describe me as a gigaholic and proud of it too.  Live music is where its at.  This evening saw an invitation from Joe at Black Raven Records to attend one of his once a month Live@ The Picture House evenings.  Looking at the lineup, how could a girl refuse?

Camera and notepad in hand off I trotted to Canterbury, never having stepped foot in the venue before so no clue what to expect.  Now The Picture House is actually right on the High Street of Canterbury next to Subway but it really doesn’t stand out.  I actually walked straight past it at first.  Admittedly there is scaffolding up outside the venue but even then, the front part of the building (a cinema back in 1910) has been split into two, one part sold off and therefore the front of the restaurant/bar is very small.  It is also very darkly painted and therefore has nothing to draw you to it or make you notice it.  This is a HUGE shame, because once you have gone into the very small front, up the corridor, you walk into this amazing room which just opens out right in front of you.  This is where you can see that it was once a cinema, sweeping high ceilings that told of the amazing acoustic sound that would be produced  later in the evening.  A balcony overlooking the large and inviting dining area with numerous ferns and plants dotted around, creating a warm, relaxed  atmosphere.  The staff were extremely friendly and welcoming and the room was just somewhere you wanted to be!  Sofas to relax on, huge mirrors on the walls reflecting the light, relaxing music playing and a wonderful brick feature wall covering the kitchen.  This is a place you want to be and judging by the look of the food emerging from the kitchen and the amount of people eating, I’d highly recommend you go for a meal.

Onto the evenings entertainment.  I was interested to see a mixed lineup.  Not a genre specific gig and these can be worrying as so many get them wrong.  Not this time.  Although all the acts were different they worked together very well bringing relaxing but captivating sets with something to appeal to everyone.  Although I have to say that Joe had been clever enough to chose acts that I think would appeal to most people anyway.

The only downside to the evening, was the lack of preparation beforehand by the venue in getting it gig ready, and having to do this while diners were eating was not conducive to the relaxed atmosphere and put the gig behind schedule.  However, after some toing and froing the relaxation begun again as the first act took to the stage.

Adam Cooney – I had not seen this guy before but coincidentally he had sent me music the day before, for the Kent Session show and GIGgle Pics radio distribution list. so I had actually heard a couple of his tracks.  It was great therefore to get an opportunity to see him perform live and he did not disappoint.  As Adam took to the stage I glanced around to find an appreciative audience with all tables full and as he started to play his guitar and sing, the acoustics of the venue became instantly apparent.  This venue is made for live music.  Adam is a young Singer/Songwriter who has not been on the scene for very long but wow he has a beautiful voice.  I would say its a very soft, gentle, tuneful voice, full of passion for the songs.  This shows also in the emotion on his face when he is singing, he actually feels the lyrics and you can see it.  A lot of his songs were based on personal experiences, encounters with people in his life and they felt very relevant to most peoples lives.  I think everyone could find a song in there that they could identify with.  The room relaxed and started to talk and Adam re awoke the crowd with his lively acoustic guitar playing before dropping the level back to mellow and chilled.  I seriously suggest you keep an eye out for him if you are looking for a relaxing evening out with friends.

1 Adam Cooney (1)

Thousands Army – now how do I describe these guys?  Three dudes, a guitar, violin and a mandolin.  Yes seriously and this should not technically speaking work.  I’m finding myself provided by a challenge here, to try and put across to you what these guys are about and actually I’m looking forward to it.  I just hope I do it justice because this may not come across right, just remember at all times that these guys blew me away!  Firstly we have a guy with a mandolin (this I have not seen before) and he looks like he probably learnt it sitting somewhere up in Tibetan mountains, surrounded by monks.  So peaceful, serene and laid back, even on the lively numbers, I don’t think this guy moved anything other than his hands.  Next up bearded rock looking guy with a guitar, and a voice to match said rock look.  Lastly violin guy who looks like he has stepped out of Harvard and probably was classically trained at a high class music school.  Generalizations I know and probably extremely inaccurate, but I’m using extremes to try and describe to you the vast contrasts surrounding this band.  Now on to sound and this won’t be as easy, as there was such a blend and mix throughout the set.  At the very start the violin just filled the room, soaring around the venue, filling every single space between the audience and into all corners with no place to hide.  On occasion it sounds haunting but at all times enchanting and all encompassing.  Bring in the mandolin, occasionally this seemed to get lost in the music, drowned out by the other instruments.  Just as you think this, the most amazing sound floats over the top, overpowering every other sound you can hear, bringing a strange Medieval/Celtic instrumental that just makes your jaw drop.  Lastly bring in the guitar combined with vocals and you have a Rock/Country/Folk mix thrown into the equation.  Individually this sounds like it doesn’t work.   Technically speaking we now have a Rock/Country/Medieval/Folk/Celtic does Classical, eclectic mix and that does not sound right!  Wrong!  They describe themselves as Folk/Rock and there is definitely a rock element thrown into this at all times.  Stuarts voice actually sounds like its running on a very low percentage and I suspect this guy can really belt a tune if he tries.  The set takes you on a roller coaster of soft, gentle, melodic to up beat, rocky edged music with clean, crisp and at times gravelly vocals.  Each instrument brings something entirely different to the table and mix them up together, give them a shake and what comes out the other side, pure genius.  A sound so unique it simply cannot be described, so at this point I shall stop all attempts and simply say… go and see them… don’t think about it, DO IT!  I promise you won’t regret it.

2 Thousands Army (2)

High Tide – what can I say about this band?  I can tell you I already know I love them.  I covered their EP launch gig at the Marlowe Theatre at the end of last month (see review here) and they were staggering.  It was therefore with a little trepidation that I stood to watch them on this evening.  Why, because they were so amazing last time I saw them and were obviously pretty pumped up for such a gig, I was worried I would be disappointed seeing them perform at a low key gig.  Now honestly, yes they were different this time and no I didn’t enjoy it quite as much BUT and there is a few buts in here as well.  The set was more laid back, the covers not as unique (although Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was still awesome!) and there was a reason for this.  A different audience, a different crowd and a different ambience to the evening.  This crowd was not pumped up, here to watch a lively upbeat frenetic show, they were here to relax and take in some music.  The fact that High Tide can switch it around like this and adapt shows a lot of skill and potential. They do not simply get on stage and just perform, they analyse and adapt accordingly, making them appeal to a wide range of people.  They are almost chameleon, being able to blend with their surroundings, although they never lose their passion or energy.  Yes the set had a more relaxed feel to it but the energy itself that drives them is still apparent and in abundance.  These guys have 48 original tracks and usually perform a 2 hour set so they were really only just getting warmed up when they had to stop.  My only disappointment was the shortage of original material BUT (again) I completely understand why this was and it is purely for my own self indulgence that I wished otherwise.  They have a unique and lively brand of acoustic which is very entertaining to watch and extremely pleasurable on the ears.  Do so!

3 High Tide (19)

Black Sun Down – Joe’s own band or rather one of Joe’s many bands from what I gather (I’ve seen one of the others!) is a Blues/Rock band.  A genre that always concerns me, not due to the genre itself but entirely because (being completely honest here) blues is the one genre I know the least about.  Out of all genres, blues I’ve not encountered a lot of before, so any mention of the word and I start to hyperventilate a little at the thought of having to review it!  Luckily the word rock is thrown in there, as this is something I do know about.  So its actually a good job that most of my reviews are aimed at those of you out there, without much musical technical knowledge, in the hopes of getting you off your sofas and out into a venue to watch some of this amazing stuff.  The one thing I will say is the bass player is about THE most chilled out, relaxed bassist I’ve ever seen.  I’m really not joking here, sitting back in his low chair, leg draped over the other, with his bass balanced on his lap, he looks like he has not a care in the world.  Actually the whole vibe of the band is the same.  You would think they were just chilling out in someones living room having a session together.  They appear to have forgotten at times that there is anyone there watching them.  This is not a bad thing.  Even when a couple of mistakes were made they just laughed it off.  This makes them incredibly endearing to watch, you feel like part of the family.  A set of conga drums brings an unusual element to a Blues/Rock sound and Joe’s voice hit some surprisingly high notes which I did not expect. A real mixed bag of bluesy sounding originals with some rock thrown in, some amazing covers from Jimi Hendrix/Bob Dylan saw the audience singing along and showcased the vocals perfectly.  The band is tight, well rehearsed, despite a few hitches and looks like its having the most amount of fun.  These guys love what they do and they do it well!  A convert here that is no longer as scared of that word and will not be shying away in the future, so I thank you for that!

4 Black Sun Down (13)

Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions

Adam Cooney – 3 Minute Walk Find on Facebook 

Thousands Army – (track coming soon)

Find on Facebook 

High Tide – Rain Coat Man Find on Facebook 


Black Sun Down

Find on Facebook


Here follows just a very small amount of photography taken on the night.  For all photo’s please see Facebook, this gig only

Photo’s by Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions


Ross and the Wrongens – That Magic Feeling – Track Review 

Breezy 60s-esque guitars , serenading sha-la-la-la-oooh harmonies, accompanying sincere and optimistic lyrics : “come on come on life is for living, you give you give that magic feeling” create a bright and bouncy song comparable to the Beach Boys, The Beatles and The Kink’s “Sunny Afternoon”. Delicately woven in guitar riffs depict a scene of bright nostalgic carefree spirit, as does the instrumentation which is laid back, sparing the overproduction of most contemporary music. “That Magic Feeling” is no doubt a feel-good song that will transport you back to times past.

Annie Mackinnon

Rock/Indie/Acoustic Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

Find band on Facebook 

  • Jukebox Monkey
  • Let The Dust Settle
  • All That We Know
  • Ian Day (Tank Trap)

New Music Thursday at the RokanRolla, Folkestone’s only dedicated music venue provided something more than a little bit special on this night.  Firstly it was going to be an exciting night because 3 of the acts playing I had never seen before and its always great to see new acts, secondly Ian Day from the mighty Tank Trap was performing an acoustic set!

So we start with Ian Day.  Now I’ve been fortunate enough to see Tank Trap live and photograph them at a small gig in Ashford at Platform 5 and that is a gig I will not forget in a hurry.  Therefore it was with slight trepidation that I prepared for Ian’s acoustic set.  I knew deep down that it would be good, with a voice like that it could be nothing else.  However, there was an edge of nerves as to whether his performance could be as great as when with his band. I really needn’t have worried.  Ian played an acoustic set of rock/bluesy covers including an amazing version of Hey Maggie, REM covers and a jaw dropping performance of Hallelujah.  Ian finished his set with a rendition of MMMBop by Hanson which he assured was for comic value, although knowing the words so well, I’m not entirely convinced!   Each song saw an eruption of applause from the audience who sat mesmerized by this stripped back, pure set of vocals and guitar.  Ian’s voice simply captivated the audience with a strong but at times slightly gravelly, pure sound that filled the huge venue with ease, such is the power of of his voice.  The only difference between an Ian Day acoustic performance and a Tank Trap performance for this lead singer, is an air of vulnerability when on stage performing alone.  Gone is the edgy confident persona and in its place something a little more vulnerable and unsure, which in itself is very charming.  All in all I have to say this was an incredible set that had the rock/heavy rock bands that were to follow sitting in total appreciation and they were not afraid to show it.  I would most definitely be seeking out an Ian Day acoustic gig to watch again on a personal level.

Next up saw a young covers band called All That They Know,  who have recently performed on Academy FM.  Still relatively new, having formed in August 2011 this trio feature covers ranging from Tiao Cruz through to John Lennon.  They are stepping into the studio in a couple of weeks on March the 12th to begin recording their debut EP.  This evening however saw rock covers of the likes of Kings of Leon, Artic Monkeys and Blink 182 to name few, although their set only ran for around 20 minutes in total.  The lead singer and guitarist Harley Johnson, if I’m honest, looked the most confident and comfortable in the band, settling in well to his performance.  I’m not entirely sure how many gigs this band have played together but they did at times appear to be nervous and lacking that real confidence and stage presence that draws an audience in.  This could also be due to the epic numbers that they chose to perform, as the likes of Sex is on Fire require a certain amount of  boldness and exuberance to pull off entirely credibly.  Still having said that, this is a band that I feel has potential for growth and with more performances together I feel they will develop a greater confidence that will enhance their stage performance and therefore the audiences appreciation.  One to watch!

Headline support act Let The Dust Settle are an originals Heavy Rock/Metal band from Tonbridge Wells, Kent. This band consists of 4 members and I have to say for me had a slight Motorhead feel about them.  Now when they first took to the stage I’ll be honest, I did not know what to expect.  These guys did not look like your stereotypical heavy rock/metal band apart from the Jack Daniels and Led Zepplin t-shirts on stage, the usual heavy tattoos, piercings or long headbanging hair were not really in sight.  I know slap on the wrist for the stereotyping… but well its just what I’m used to seeing.  However, what was evident from the very first bar is that looks can be deceiving.  The heavy riffs mixed with clear punchy vocals captured my attention from the very start and I soon found it hard to concentrate on photography due to feeling the need to to move!  By the time they came to the last song of their set, self titled Let The Dust Settle I did in fact find myself moving my head in a general nodding fashion along with the headbanging being produced on stage.  At the end of the set the guitarist simply announced to the audience “I’m a sweaty monkey” and it was quite apt really.  This band is full of energy with confidence that belies a real ‘gel’ in the band.  This is a band I need to see more of… not because I haven’t made up my mind, the opposite, I need to see them again!

Now on to the headliners Jukebox Monkey.  These guys describe themselves as ‘4 Guys playing bad-ass hard-rock’ and well, they are just what they say on the tin.  Having come highly recommended by another amazing hard rock/stoner metal band Stone Kings, I was expecting good things… I was not disappointed.  In fact I would go as far as to say that I got, amazing things!  This band showed what they were all about from the off, flying out of the box, no messing into a hard energetic rock set of pure headbanging and heavy riffs that I would defy anyone to stand still too, with an energy that is rarely seen these days.  It is very evident these guys have been together for a considerable amount of time and I am astonished that they have not progressed much further yet, or that I had not heard of them to date.  An extremely tight set and interaction on stage between members show how many gigs they have played together and wow, what a show they put on.  None of which compromises the amazing sound that come from the stage.  The drummer captured my attention from the very start, reminding me of Animal from the Muppet’s with his wild and enthusiastic method of drumming, which included, unusually, a cowbell!  I can honestly say that I would pay decent money to go and watch these guys and think they are destined for good/bigger things.  If bad-ass hard rock is what you are all about, you must get out there to one of their gigs, you will not be disappointed.  I recommend that you check these guys out on Facebook, give them a like and show them some love, after last nights performance, they deserve it!

Judging by the overall quality and standard of last nights gig, if the RokanRolla continue to produce such high standard evenings I can see their venue being packed out to capacity very soon.

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

Hear track Jukebox Monkeys – Airborne
Find them on Facebook 

Hear track Let The Dust Settle – Weapons And War 
Find them on Facebook 

Hear track Tank Trap – Bite The Bullet
Find Ian on Facebook 
Find Tank Trap on Facebook 

Should be able to bring you tracks and links for Let The Dust Settle and All That We Know later today or in the next couple of days so please check back!

  • Van Susans
  • The Doctorates
  • Moccasins
  • The Alamo
  • Lonnie Storey

Sunday night at the Beercart Arms in Canterbury saw a most wonderful night of Indie music.  Below the Radar Events and Promotions moved out of their usual genre and comfort zone and put on their first ever Indie gig at the Beercart and wow what a treat.  The line up was absolutely first class and the audience were treated to 5 – yes 5 bands/artists, with a  headline act that blew everyone away.  Putting aside the headliner, all 4 other acts were extremely strong and alone would have left the audience feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.  As it was, everyone leaving was heard to be praising the line up and evening in general and inquires were made as to when the next will be (which I might add is next Sunday, 3 March when the amazing Electric River play their only Kent gig on their current tour – for details please click here)

First on the lineup was the lovely Lonnie Storey as a solo act.  From the start it was clear that Lonnie is used to the comfort of his fellow band members from Loaded Pistola, as he did appear slightly uncomfortable and nervous at first, of course this could also be due to being first act up which is never an easy slot.  He also experienced some minor technical sound problems during his set but this did not detract from his very credible and enjoyable performance.  Nerves put aside the voice and guitar skills were very evident from the off and Lonnie got the evening warmed up extremely nicely with a set of covers and original material, slightly adapted from his band.  He set the tone very nicely for the acts to come and gave us all a sneak peek as to what the evening was going to offer. I’d personally be very interested in hearing him play with the full line up of Loaded Pistola and will be keeping an eye out for them at future local gigs.

Next up The Alamo was a very last-minute step in and wow, what a replacement.  A young acoustic band with musical influences from Foo Fighters, Mumford and Sons, Ed Sheeran and Led Zeppelin, they recently performed a cover of Californication for the increasing popular Live in the Living Room YouTube channel.  Having only recorded demo’s so far these lads are just finishing the mixing of a recording that I will be able to bring you hopefully within the week.  Judging by their performance last night I would highly recommend you check back to hear their track.  This band performed an extremely tight set with vocals and harmony’s that blew the room and myself away.  I will definetely be keeping an eye out for these guys in the future and hoping to catch them at a gig really soon.

The third band of the evening was one that I have had the pleasure of seeing/photographing before, Moccasins.  Another very last-minute lineup change, agreeing to play with only a couple of hours notice, this group of local lads never fail to impress all those that see them.  The energy and immense sense of fun on stage shows how much these guys love what they do and they produce a very interesting and slightly different sound of rock indie.  Very well positioned on the lineup, their lively set upped the tempo of the evening at just the right point, setting the tone for the last two acts to come.  These bands have obviously played a considerable amount of gigs and their stage presence and way with the crowd wins over even the most reluctant of members of the audience.  You cant help but smile when these guys play.  I highly recommend you check them out at a gig near you!

Fourth was another band I have heard/photographed before but I’m not going to say too much about the band themselves as I am about to write a feature article on them.  I will say that they are a 3 piece band from Canterbury called The Doctorates that play a mixture of covers and original material.  The first time I saw them play was very, very early on in their beginnings and I just have to say how far they have come as a band in such a short space of time.  I would almost say that apart from the sound produced being vaguely familiar, they were almost unrecognizable from what I had seen before.  Their performance and confidence has jumped ten fold and they certainly deserved their support slot on the lineup.  This band is definitely one to watch and if you are into your Indie music I am pretty confident that  you will love these guys.  The lead singer/guitarist Nick Tompkins has really found himself on stage with both strong vocals and visual performance to boot.  In all this is a band I feel sure is going places and can only grow from strength to strength.

Well now, onto the headliners, the most awesome Van Susans.  Now I have to say that I had heard a fair amount recently about this band, in fact they seem to be surrounded in hype right now.  Having heard they were headlining this gig I looked them up on Facebook and if I’m completely honest was a little skeptical.  At only a few shy of 36,000 likes I started to do a little research and soon discovered that they have an extremely credible line up of musicians.  In fact their violinist Holly McLatchie (also vocals) has an extensive musical background and has performed for Prince Andrew during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.  Putting all this aside I still held off on my opinion and refused to listen to any of their music until I had heard them live.  I’m very glad I did… they totally, utterly and completely blew me a way.  I found them mesmerizing to watch in performance, finding it hard to tear my eyes away and actually concentrate on photographing the band.  The unique blend of instruments carrying across the venue transported me into a place that made me completely forget that tomorrow would be a miserable Monday morning, that it was snowing and freezing cold outside and I had a long drive home ahead.  Smashing out songs from their old EP and their new album entitled Paused in the Moment, these guys clearly love what they do, performing is a passion.  I would also like at this point to state, that they have the happiest, smiliest drummer I have ever had the pleasure to photograph, which does however mean that the band tends to turn to him on a regular basis due to his enthusiasm… which is great, expect when you are trying to get photographs of all members facing front.  That however is the only complaint I could possibly make about this band and I hardly think that counts as criticism.  At one point the guys put down their guitars and broke out the drums with such energy I was surprised that they had any thing left to finish their set, but finish they did with a song called Cha Cha Bang, even getting audience participation of clapping along at the right points.  I can honestly say that having brought home their album and EP I have listened to it on loop today… this is a band you need in your life!

Here follows a very, very small amount of the evenings photography, for all photo’s please go to my Facebook page, this gig only 

Van Susans – Served Cold – from their Debut Album 
Find them on Facebook – already at just shy of 36,000 likes
Official Website – Debut Album can be purchased here

These lovely people are offering you a FREE DOWNLOAD from their Debut Album “Paused in the Moment” – CLICK HERE


The Doctorates – Sorry Love mix 
Find them on Facebook – Contact them to purchase their new EP
Official Website 
On SoundCloud

The Alamo – More To Learn 
Find them on Facebook 

  • Hey Joni
  • Charlotte Rose Ellis
  • Sophie Metcalfe + Simon Giles
  • Mitch Emery

Showcase Monday at Folkestone’s only dedicated music venue, RokanRolla saw an incredibly strong line up of bands and acts.  Crowds flocked in to see the RokanRolla’s very own Sophie Metcalfe accompanied by Simon Giles play a strong set of covers, with people dancing along.  However, opening the evening was the talented singer/songwriter/DJ Mitch Emery who warmed the crowd up in a big way.  At one point he even grabbed an assistant out from the crowd up on stage to the delight of the audience.

Following Mitch, Sophie and Simon was the extremely talented Charlotte Rose Ellis, who put on a stunning set of keyboard and vocals.  Charlotte recently auditioned for the esteemed The BRIT School and the rapidly growing hype around this young girl was evident with JNG Records attending this gig.

Last but not least was a talented young band Hey Joni who are obviously already very popular judging by the following that came along to see them.  Playing what they class as an Emo set, the music was not what I expected when they first turned up and the gig was timed perfectly for the release of their EP yesterday.  This band had a lot of energy on stage and despite the odd broken string and pick they put on a credible set.

Here follows a very small selection of the evenings photography, for the evenings full photo’s please go to our Facebook page, this gig only .  Like what you see and hear?  Check the artists out, find them at a gig near you and get down and support them!

Hear track Charlotte Rose Ellis – Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush 
Find Charlotte on Facebook

Hear track Hey, Joni – Jack’s Song 
Find them on Facebook
Hear more on Bandcamp

Mitch Emery – Find him on Facebook