Posts Tagged ‘below the radar events and promotions’

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

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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

  • Crashgate
  • Jukebox Monkey
  • After The Enclave
  • Let The Dust Settle

 

Thursday 25th April 2013  another night at the Beer Cart Arms in Canterbury brought another really great line up of bands.  This venue always seems to bring the bands flooding in, eager to play and has built a great reputation in the local scene all round.

Let The Dust Settle are a heavy rock band from Tunbridge Wells in Kent who I have seen and reviewed once before.  Rather than cover old ground I will post the link here to the previous review (RokanRolla gig 28/02/13) and just give an updated opinion of this performance.  The previous review is well worth a read so head over and give it a quick browse.  If you’ve read it, you already know my thoughts on this band and a good idea of what they are about.  My previous observations still stand, they still have the heavy riffs and punchy vocals and I feel they have improved somewhat, which is always a bonus.  The guys are currently in the recording studio getting their debut EP down to bring to you all shortly.  The only thing I would say is that Lee’s vocals were a little softer off the back of hours and hours of singing, but I only noticed that due to having a gig to reference them against.  Visually the band didn’t really seem to relax until about half way through their set, this could be due to being first up which can be tough.  Once they got going though they seemed to have a lot of fun.  A few more gigs under their belts and I think they will really start to come into their own.

Let The Dust Settle

Let The Dust Settle

After The Enclave a hard rock band from Sittingbourne are a band I’ve photographed on a number of occasions now and reviewed once before fairly recently.  Again I will post the link to the previous review (RokanRolla gig 22/03/13) and say that this review is still entirely accurate.  The thing about After The Enclave is they are a very established band, gigging very regularly and their performance standards never drop.  They also never seem to get bored and enjoy every single gig they do.  Front man Micheal always puts on a show that will capture your attention with never a slip in the vocal delivery.  Adam has to be among the hardest rocking bassists I have seen, headbanging his way through a set which always provides amazing photo’s.  A great blend of hard rock and metal cascades from the stage and I dare you not to even nod your head!

After The Enclave

Jukebox Monkey another hard rock band from Kent and I have reviewed these guys once before also (RokanRolla gig 22/03/13) and wow what a review.  These guys play a particular brand of kick ass rock that really appeals.  Their visual performance smacks of a band that parties and rocks out hard.  There is not a band member that does not draw your focus at some point and this night was no exception.  Drummer Peter even climbed on board his kit at one point, living up to his nickname ‘Animal’ that I dubbed him last time.  Hard headbanging heavy riffs galore meant I came away with neck ache, quite happily.  Unusually I find these guys sound better live than recorded which isn’t a bad thing, not many bands are able to sound better live!  These guys are definitely going to be seen and heard of more and more on the circuit for sure!  Smashed it!

Jukebox Monkey

Jukebox Monkey

Crashgate are an established rock band from Deal and although I’ve photographed them once before I have never reviewed them live.  This was a set I was looking forward to, due to knowing that they would be performing some new material from their recently released debut album.  I’d heard the album from the comfort of my own home but there is nothing like seeing material like this live, the way its meant to be in my opinion!  It was evident from the start that these guys have been together sometime and they know what they are doing.  This maybe new material but the band played it tight with so much energy and vigor, they are proud of this stuff and they should be.  Clever lyrics, some great blood curdling ‘screaming’ bringing in a slightly metal element and the clear and extremely tuneful vocals of Craig make this a band more than pleasurable to watch and listen to.  Interaction with the audience makes the band even more alluring, drawing them in and making them step forward.  They gained new fans at this gig, I’m pretty sure they do at every gig!  Get along and see them very soon!

Crashgate

Crashgate

Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions

Let The Dust Settle – Weapons and War

Find band on Facebook 

 

After The Enclave – Crucified 

Find band on Facebook 

 

Jukebox Monkey – Airborne 

Find band on Facebook 

 

Crashgate – As One 

Find band on Facebook 

 

I seriously can’t say this enough… if you like what you hear, like what you see give these guys Facebook pages a quick like, 10 seconds, links provided and its great for them to know people appreciate what they are doing.  You also get to keep up to date with what they are doing, new music etc.

Here follows an extremely small amount of the photography taken from the night.  For the full gigs photography please head over to Facebook, this gig only!

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

  • Tank Trap
  • Vivid Nation
  • My Life In The Making
  • Blackwater Revue

Saturday night at the Bar Below in Folkestone saw a Below the Radar Events and Promotions gig that was a little bit special.  It was a line up of four bands not to be sniffed at by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact I would go as far as to say four bands all worthy of headlining!

Blackwater Revue are a heavy blues rock band from Canterbury/London.  I’d never heard this band before but their reputation preceded them and I’d already been told they were good.  Good is an understatement.  With influences ranging through from The Doors to Pantera they bring a different sound to rock, but there is one thing for sure, its loud, balsy and heavy!  Oh and pretty damn awesome at that.  Perfect band to open for a gig that is headlined by Tank Trap.  Their lead singer, who on first glance looks like he should be sitting in the halls of Oxford or Cambridge university (I hope he won’t mind me saying that), has one of the most powerful voices I have heard.  Not only powerful, easily carrying above the range of instruments, but with a really dirty, gritty edge and pitch perfect to boot.  A really tight band producing some amazing material and a sound I dare you not to love.  Seeing Blackwater Revue is not an option, its a must!

1 Blackwater Review (3)

My Life In The Making are a 4 piece metal band from Ashford/New Romney and I recently had the pleasure of reviewing them live at Club Q in Ashford.  So I’ll try not to cover the same aspects again and instead give you the link to go and read their previous review, its was good one!  (Club Q gig review)  Now if you’ve read my last review (and I hope you have) you would already know that I really like this band and that I thought they were really good.  I can honestly say this time I thought they were even better and yes, I told them that on the night.  Vocals were even tighter and clearer but I am aware Ken was on pain medication and suffering a bad back last time.  Thom was minus his own kit on this evening but that did not seem to mar his performance in any way.  The band has the most energetic bass player I have ever, and I do mean EVER seen in Sam and they just gel!  They are professional and perform extremely well but also have fun with it, really enjoy it.  There are times you feel there is a private joke going on among the lads with the smiles and looks they give each other and you can see they are playing with the instrumentals.  Thus they are that accomplished musicians they can do that live and from looking around, some people weren’t even aware of it!  A band I will never tire of seeing.

2 My Life In The Making (26)

Vivid Nation are an alternative rock band from east Kent and I’ve seen them a fair few times but never live reviewed, only photographed.  I have to be just honest up front here because this is a band I have always liked but they are also a band I’ve also always believed are right on the cusp of a break through.  They’ve already had airplay on BBC Introducing and seven other Kent radio stations and are currently getting ready to record their debut EP.  The new material the guys are playing live now, is pretty damn good stuff and has that same slightly commercial (not too much) but still alt rock sound to it.  They have a really distinctive sound to them, one that can never be mistaken and sets them apart from so many bands on the scene.  Their songwriting ability is pretty outstanding with really clever and interesting lyrics and their live performances already give them a rock star status.  A set full of broken strings (both accidental and due to ripping them off the guitar at the end of the performance), band members whizzing around the stage in a Tasmanian blur, high kicks and guitars played above heads, behind backs… well what more could you ask for?  I’m expecting great things from this band.

3 Vivid Nation (37)

Well last but by no means least!  The mighty Tank Trap a blues grunge rock band from Gravesend who I don’t think will be playing too many small venue gigs for much longer!  Having deservedly won a competition recently, they are now playing main stage at the Isle of Wight Festival this summer and I feel after this, they will be very much in demand.  However, I’m pretty sure they will still be playing smaller venue at times as they come across as a band that will never forget their routes and are pretty humble and lovely lads.  On the note of playing small venues, I had seen them once before and the stage was tiny.  This performance was better, so they need to make it too ensure they get those nice big areas to showcase themselves at their best!  I photographed this set, or attempted too any way as I have to say, even I was taken over and had to keep stopping to join in the dancing and at times mild head banging.  A set jam packed full of mind blowing originals that everyone attempted to sing along too, with some awesome The Doors covers and this was a performance so worthy of headlining.  I just hope I get to see them again very soon as their brand of bluesy grungy rock, it would appear is just my thing.  Judging from the rest of the audiences  jumping around and headbanging, many other peoples also.

4 Tank Trap (22)

Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions

Blackwater Revue – give them a listen here 
Find them on Facebook 

My Life In The Making – Beneath The Surface Find them on Facebook 

Vivid Nation – You Just Gave It Away  Find them on Facebook 

 

Tank Trap – Bite the Bullet  Find them on Facebook 

 

Below is a very small amount of photography taken at this gig.  For full evenings photo’s please go to Facebook, this gig only 

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

  • Blacken the Name
  • My Life in the Making
  • Hours to Destroy
  • Sail On
  • Artemis Redeemer

It has been widely discussed and commented that Ashford has not had much of a metal/rock scene for quite some time.  Original band gigs have been some what lacking for this genre, so there was a lot of hype around this, along with some concerns that it may not be well attended.  This gig was put on by Below the Radar Events and Promotions in an attempt to try to kick start the local scene again, with the intention of putting on more regular gigs if all went well.

This was a little different than Below the Radar’s usual gigs, in that Dan Wyatt from Blacken the Name also helped to organize it and will be running future ones from Club Q, as the Ashford section of Below the Radar.  Dan managed to acquire Club Q (snooker club) as a venue for these gigs, which was the home of the Ashford Rocks gigs in the past, so has seen plenty a rock and metal bands in its time.

If there were concerns about attendance, there needn’t have been as the venue was packed out by fans of metal and this has now secured the venue for future gigs.  So guys, keep your eyes peeled for the next one, as to keep the scene going this requires future good attendance!

Artemis Redeemer are a 5 piece metal/hardcore band from Kent.  I say are but this is not strictly true as they are actually splitting up.  This gig was their penultimate, there last being with Palmreader and Bury The Hatchet at the Beercart Arms in Canterbury on April 11th.  So if you like what hear/see (track featured at bottom) I suggest you get along to this gig.  It will be the last opportunity to catch them live and being their last ever show, I’m pretty sure it will be a stonker!  Despite being nearly at their end the band put on a strong set of hardcore metal.  Lead vocalist Sam Hubbard produced some very strong vocals backed by hard riffs for some real head banging music.

Artemis Redeemer

Artemis Redeemer

Sail On brought something a little different to the lineup being a pop punk band.  Local lads from Ashford they seemed a little concerned they wouldn’t fit the lineup but they needn’t have.  This pop punk band actually have a screamer (well technically he has left and another band member is filling in) and are not exactly a ‘soft’ sounding band.  I recently reviewed them at a gig in Folkestone, so wont cover the same things again (see here for last review) but I can say that they still have all the energy of a kid eating blue smarties and still have their kangaroo (yep previous review read needed there).  The crowd really enjoyed this set and it was nice to see that their front man has gained a lot of confidence since the last time I saw them.  A strong band with a really great sound, highly recommend you catch them at a gig.

Sail On

Sail On

Hours to Destroy a pretty new 4 piece, experimental metal band from Canterbury.  I photographed these guys at a gig a little while back, one of their early gigs and have to say what an amazing bunch of guys these are.  To say it was an eventful gig would be an understatement however.  The very last song of their set, the very last bar, I’m leaning in with my camera to get a shot of the final moment.  As I look through the lens I see Richi’s (lead vocalist) eyes just roll back in his head as he literally keels over.  Falling backwards he hits his head on the window sill and knocks himself sparko!  The next set of photography is missed by me as I’m delivering first aid and holding his head together, which has a really deep gash and all he can say while waiting for an ambulance is:  “Will they have to to shave my head?   My hair man!” So I was a little concerned about this set and we did have a discussion regarding performing all future gigs in a sumo outfit and crash helmet  (which I would love to photograph!).  Moving on, experimental metal is a great description of this band, the bassist Tom Shepherd is actual bass/synths combined.  Literally!  Being a previous dub step solo artist they wanted to bring his synths into the set so came up with a genius idea.  A nano pad was purchased which runs through a laptop, the keypad is velcro’d onto his bass and he plays it live!  Extremely strong vocals from Richi Lewis, tight guitars and drums and a unique sound with some really interesting lyrics.  This band is going from strength to strength and they clearly love what they do.  I suggest you check them out!

Hours To Destroy

Hours To Destroy

My Life in the Making are a 4 piece metal band from Ashford/New Romney and to be honest, there is not really anyone on the scene that hasn’t heard of these guys!  So having not done much of late these guys are back and back with a vengeance and it was clear to see that there are a lot of people very happy about this.  The band had a very big turn out and the second they hit the stage a crowd gathered eagerly awaiting their set.  I was really looking forward to seeing these guys after hearing so many awesome things about them and yes I can confirm, they are awesome.  A fierce drummer who managed to break a fair few sticks in his fury, had an amazing kit adorned with Animal from the muppets which is very fitting.  Lead vocalist Ken Graham has a strong and pretty stunning voice, backed up by Ted Clark’s earth shattering screams the combination is very powerful.  Chopping riffs and powerful bass lines, put these all together and you have yourself a slightly different brand of metal but one I like, A LOT!  Really pleased to see these guys have a few gigs coming up.

My Life In The Making

My Life In The Making

Blacken The Name a 5 piece metal/experimental band from Ashford.  Yes these are local boys but no matter where they perform they have a really loyal fan base that follow along and its not hard to see why.  I’ve seen/photographed these guys a good few times now and they never fail to amaze.  Although every single gig is action packed, it is very rare for me to be able to say that every set is different.  These guys keep me on my toes and you have to be very alert around them for numerous reasons.  You just never know what will come next or what a band member will do.  There are times I wish there was two of me as while taking a shot of something, out the corner of my eye I can see something else going on which I’m kicking myself for missing.  Lead vocalist Dan Wyatt rarely spends any time on stage at all, preferring to be out in the pit with the fans and giving them the opportunity to join in with vocals frequently.  Note I said pit!  I have never attended a Blacken gig where there has not been a mosh pit and these can get pretty mental.  I always need to keep my wits about me but man do they produce some amazing photo’s.  I usually end up hanging around the speakers so I can duck behind for safety if necessary or onto the stage itself.  This gig was spent on my hands and knees at rhythm guitarist John Shaw’s feet!  Awesome sounding metal came off stage with huge amounts of headbanging, even from the band and lots of windmills off stage.  The finale was a metal rendition of Ricky Martin – Living da vida loco and the crowd went mental.  The mosh pit filled up with both men and women and craziness ensued.  Definitively a band to go and see, just watch yourself near that pit or get involved!

Blacken The Name

Blacken The Name

Review by Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics

Artemis Redeemer – We are Society Find band on Facebook 

Sail On – Things Are On The Up Find band on Facebook 

Hours to Destroy – Find band on Facebook – Give their page a like as they are currently just finishing recording their debut EP and details will be released there.  A track will be inserted here once completed and into the metal track section of the blog for promo!

My Life in the Making – Find band on Facebook – Track to follow so please check back as we are in the process of sorting!

Blacken the Name – Jekyll and Hyde Find band on Facebook 

Here follows a very, very small amount of the evenings photography.  For the full evening (believe me they are worth seeing, 196 photo’s) please go to, Facebook, this gig only 

Photography by Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics

  • Ariya
  • City of Ashes
  • Training Icarus
  • The Overnight Angels
  • Commit This To Memory

Tuesday 19th March 2013 at the Beercart Arms in Canterbury saw an unusual and awesome line up of 5 bands put on by Below the Radar Events and Promotions. Yes you heard right, 5 bands, so I knew it was going to be a busy night, I didn’t realise how much fun it was going to be however.

First on the line up Commit This To Memory an alternative rock band from Kent.  Now I wouldn’t have said that this band actually fit on what was a pretty heavy line up but I was wrong.  Yes they have a much softer sound than the other bands playing this gig but they put on a set the crowd really enjoyed.  They are not your normal alternative rock band on the local scene by far, having a real American rock feel to them!  In fact I would also at times say they have a slightly retro feel. I could almost imagine them playing across the airwaves of an American dinner or on stage at a 60’s high school prom.  That aside they have a harder edge with some real punchy riffs, accomplished melodies and a lead vocalist with a really distinct pitch perfect voice.  I like this band a lot and think they can easily fit into many different genre line ups and be appreciated.  I’d recommend going to see these guys, something a little different.

The Overnight Angels a female fronted heavy rock/metal band from Kent/London came next, dropping the evening to its harder tone.  A very young band both in terms of time together and in members but they work together very well indeed.  A jaw dropping performance ensued on stage that commanded your attention at all times.  The crowd were drawn forward and engaged extremely quickly and lead vocalist Niki J Angel knew how to work them.  At the age of 17 this girl has bags of confidence on stage, maybe suggesting some performing arts training somewhere but I could be wrong.  At times the band had a real Evanescence feel to them, including the vocals and you can easily see this is a band they have been influenced by.  Performing a mixture of covers and originals we were even treated to an awesome bass solo (something I haven’t seen often).  My only negative comment would be that male backing vocals were not as strong as lead vocals but then with a voice like that, it would be hard to compete with!  Hugely talented band that seem to just gel together perfectly which was evident by the raptus applause and serge at the stage end of set, to grab one of the 10 free CDs on offer. I have a good feeling about this band.

Next up should have been Training Icarus but with some issues of getting to the venue, City of Ashes stepped down a position on the line up and came next.

City of Ashes a Rock/Alternative/Indie/Post-Hardcore band from Eastbourne took to the stage as part of their 10 date The Water Snake Tour across the country.  So let me set the scene, I move forward with camera in hand, slightly puzzled as to why there are crates/boxes set up in front of the stage.  Duh a podium of course, why keep that talent nailed to a stage?  Vocalist Orion Powell kicked off by elevating himself above the crowd via said makeshift podium in a manner fit for a large festival stage.  This band excite me I have to say.  I’d never seen or heard them before and the pure, clean vocals simply blew me away.  Not all metal bands have that element, where you can hear every word of the lyrics, but these do.  The mixture of heavy screams and gentle almost soulful melodies are just astounding, mix that with soaring guitars and powerful drumming and you have yourself something kind of special.  They moved between songs which screamed of gentleness and vulnerability (The Highest Point of Living) back into hard hitting pure metal in a way that just made your mouth water.  I don’t think I would ever get tired of watching this band perform and am delighted they are sharing their music across the country right now!

So next came Training Icarus a female fronted melodic metal band from South East London signed to Ravenheart Music label.  The band had experienced some pretty rubbish luck with equipment and getting their drummer to the venue and therefore had to move up a slot on the set list.  After more issues, this time with their mp3 player and backing tracks, they hit the stage in a manner that could not be ignored.  Vocalist Leigh Turner’s voice is of a standard that you do not see in a small venue very often but given they performed at Bloodstock a couple of years ago, this is not entirely surprising.  It’s extremely evident this band has been together sometime by their polished performance.  Hard hitting energetic drums, soaring guitars and high hitting notes are just the start, put that with a synth backing and you have yourself some really good metal.  My only confusion is as to why the band use such a heavy backing track?  With talent like this, I just feel it would be better to simply have more musicians in the band to ‘live’ produce the same sound and give it a more organic feel.  Being a huge fan of live music it just took the edge off for me but that is just personal preference and opinion.  You cannot take away the standard and quality of the music or performance from them.

Last but by no means least saw Ariya a British Progressive Metal band from Kent, hit the stage.  Now this is a popular band, evident from the hoards that were already waiting front of stage as they assembled.  I wondered why the hype I have to say, until they started to play.  The tiny stage saw 6 band members cram themselves in with keyboards, synths, guitars and drums… impressive in itself.  Vocalist Alex ‘Alpen’ Temple took to the mic and it was evident from the start that this wasn’t just a metal band.   You could be forgiven at first for thinking you had walked into a live comedy show to be honest.  A quirky character that had instant appeal started by informing the audience of his germs, snot etc both verbally and visually, stuffing tissues up his nose.  When the band stopped the banter with its fans and substantial crowd that had gathered, I was surprised at what was produced.  A hugely fun but extremely credible metal set exuded off stage with metal screams that left your ears ringing for days after.  Performing mainly original material, at the end of the set the band member described as Chris Powell – Synth/Saxophone/beard swapped places with Alex to perform an amazing rendition of Pussy by Rammstein.  I can easily see why these guys have such a faithful fan base following them around.  Personalities that draw you to them, coupled with a really accomplished set of metal musicians, make this a band that I want to follow around supporting, with tissues hanging from my nose!

Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics

Ariya – rebirth Find them on Facebook

City of Ashes – Falling Star Find them on Facebook

 

Training Icarus – Now or Never Find them on Facebook 

 

The Overnight Angels – Run From Here Find them on Facebook

Commit This To Memory – Please check back as these guys are just finishing recording and will be updated in next few weeks with a track! – Find on Facebook

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

  • SPiT LiKE THiS
  • Slam Cartel
  • Avenge Thee + Naime
  • Embryon

I KNOW THIS LOOKS LONG TO READ… FOR A REVIEW ITS MUCH LONGER THAN USUAL.  HOWEVER, ITS NOT LONG ENOUGH, PLEASE TAKE THE TIME, AS WHAT FOLLOWS YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE!

Thursday evening at the renowned music venue Beercart Arms in Canterbury saw a very special and mixed line up that worked together in the way peanut butter and jam does.  This was a gig I was hyped for, not often for a start I get to photograph and see 4 completely new bands.  Put that together with the reputation of all bands and the rumor that Avenge Thee + Naime would be performing with 3… yes 3 drummers and well, it wasn’t going to be a spectacle to miss!  An awesome line up put on by Below the Radar Events and Promotions.

First up Embryon, it was clear from the start these guys were going to put on a great stage show, just from their appearance and stance and I was not disappointed.  At first they appeared to be quite old school rock in their visual performance but the songs that came off that stage soon told a different story.  Vocalist Dave Frawley looks like he was born to perform and is able to to rock out like a super star whilst keeping tight clean vocals.  The stage saw poses and stances worthy of an arena, hair billowing by a fan in a way that looked like they were shooting a music video and a drum kit that you should bow down to and worship (provided by SPiT LiKE THiS).  Taking the performance off stage and pushing the mic into the crowds faces, made the audience interact in a way that is so hard for first on the line up bands to do.  This oozed of the bands experience of performing and the ability to work a crowd.  The final song of the set saw front man Dave, even pluck a poor unsuspected lady from the audience and twirl her around the floor in a manner fitting more of a masked ball than a heavy rock set!  Performing and playing to the camera in a way that gets me more excited than any thing should on a Thursday evening, this is a band I want to see again!

Embryon

Embryon

Next up Avenge Thee + Naime.  Watching this band set up, it became very clear from the off that this was not going to be your normal average band or performance.  If you hadnt heard of this band then you would be forgiven for standing scratching your heads while they set up, off stage… not a single band member anywhere near the stage in fact.  Looking like a flea market with carpets laid down on the dance floor, 3 drum kits set up face to face with topless (partly bottomless too in cases) drummers strewn over the floor.  Granted they usually only have 2 drummers (only… lol) tonight saw a special with a drummer leaving, it was his last performance, new drummer and existing drummer in tow.  You knew from the off that earplugs were more than a must, well if you actually wanted to hear anything for the next couple of weeks!  Vocalist Adam Wesgate puts on a quirky performance, dancing around the floor amongst the crowd in a totally unique manner (this could never be copied), even sitting on the floor at times and stopping to just stare or point at a person.  A slightly uncomfortable experience at times for sure but wow, it does the job of capturing your attention.  If that’s not enough the drummers hit their kits one at time, climbing around on top of them like small children on a climbing frame at the local playground.  At times they fell into poses like the un-dead and gradually came back to life in a frenzied attack that made you fear for the  poor drums lives.  The set ended with drummers falling in somersaults (yes falling) off their kits in heaps of drums, chairs, bodies and broken sticks everywhere.  This is a performance that not one single person in the world should miss, even if you hate metal!

Avenge Thee + Naime

Avenge Thee + Naime

Slam Cartel came next and you had to feel a little sorry for any band that had to follow the previous set.  Being a 3 drum and Glam Rock/Horror sandwich was always going to be a hard for any band and in fairness I feel that they should probably have been moved down a slot to gain the crowd appreciation that they deserved.  However, this does not detract from the bands performance both visually and musically in anyway.  A strong band, extremely good at what they do, gaining airplay on such radio stations as Planet Rock, shows you the caliber of these guys and they put on a more than credible performance.  Being joined on stage by the infamous Bobb the Pineapple (appeared on stage with Rage Against the Machine and has his own Facebook) saw a band with a front man that sure loves what he does.  Hard hitting rock belted on and off stage as vocalist Giles Van Lane frequently went walk about, interacting the with audience and demanding that they paid attention.  This is a front man that you never want to take you eyes off, not only due to his enigmatic manner but also due to his love of stealth attacks on those that turn their backs (I learn this quickly!).  Playing to the camera at all times, getting up real close and personal and even including the camera in a song this band sure know how to play to their fans.  I was even invited on stage by the guitarist at one point to photograph the drummer and he playfully then tried to block me and proceed to dance around me!  A really fun band with an awesome sound that I can’t wait to see perform to a larger crowd.

Slam Cartel

Slam Cartel

Last but no means least SPiT LiKE THiS an Alternative Horror-Streaked UK Glam Punk band hit the stage.  Clear from walking into the venue and seeing their merchandise stand and the way these guys were dressed, this was going to be a show and a half…  Performing as part of their NormalityVille Horror Tour these guys look like they had just stepped of set from The Rocky Horror Show stage, which is quite fitting as they performed an amazing cover of Sweet Transvestite.  So amazing you would be forgiven for thinking these guys had actually wrote it or it had it written for them.  The band has a stunning female bassist ViKKi SPiT who fits better than an old shoe in the line up and sure knows how to glam it up!  I was never quite sure if this was a stunning musical West End show or a hard hitting punk/glam rock band but either way I loved it.  Punchy hard hitting songs, visual performances of the likes you will rarely see, a front man that  can interact with an audience in a way that would make the most accomplished jealous .. this band knows how to have fun.  Random moments of creating a conga around the floor, an audience member having ‘titties’ drawn on his naked chest with a marker pen and banter that would cut anyone dead makes this a band at the top of their game.  I could never get bored with watching these guys… a total must see!

SPiT LiKE THiS

SPiT LiKE THiS

So there ends a review which is much longer than it should be but equally not nearly long enough to convey the feelings and emotions that this gig induced.   The buzz from this was amazing and although I try to stay neutral on opinions and reviews, its impossible to do so with this one.  I’m breaking my rule and saying this was one of my favorites  both personally to watch and to photograph.  I can’t put across enough the spectacle in words, so hope that my photo’s will do the job for me.  A tiny amount of 169 photo’s taken on the night will appear below so I implore you to click the link to the Facebook page and look at the rest!  A random day started with a Facebook friend request from a pineapple, ended in an even more surreal and random way.  An evening that will stick in my mind for many years to come!

Review by Sarah Quinn – GIGglepics

SPiT LiKE THiS – Sick 
Find them on Facebook  

 

Slam Cartel – Handful of Dreams 
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Avenge Thee + Naime – Ear of the Horse 
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Embryon – Lost
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Here follows an extremely small amount of photography from the evening, for full evenings photo’s please go to Facebook, this gig only