Chase The Ace – 229 The Venue, London 30/04/15

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Rock ‘n’ rollers Chase The Ace from Israel recently headlined the Discovery 2 Showcase in London and we checked it out to see what all the fuss is about.

After a solo singer and reggae group open the night at 229 The Venue, the first of the rock bands, The Undivided (6.5/10), take to the stage. They are a likeable four piece rock band hailing from the South Wales valleys and they kick off strongly to showcase their anthemic tunes to the crowd. However this early in the night, the place is still only half full. I have never been to this venue before and it looks to be more of a wine bar than a rock club. Unfortunately most of the patrons in the room also look like they would suit a wine bar too and the crowd seem very disinterested throughout the band’s performance with a lot of people were chatting during the interludes of the short set and even when the band asked if they wanted to hear a new song, there was relative silence.

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This was doubly disappointing as I found the band to be engaging, have a very good singer and great crowd interaction, even if it wasn’t reciprocated. Their blend of Ash/Foo Fighters/Feeder style rock might not be for everyone, but a lot of the blame for tonight’s atmosphere can be put onto the crowd, rather than the band themselves. Off to Canada this week, I can see a bright future for them and I wish them luck.

Second on the bill tonight are The Manic Shine (8/10). They are a rock/metal band from London and Scotland. When they take to the stage, having not seen them before, I immediately saw singer Ozzie Rodgers’ red cap and thought we were about to witness a Limp Bizkit style rap metal performance. But I am happy to say I was very wrong. They put on a fantastic performance from the start. Their stage presence is great and they don’t seem to let the lacklustre response from the crowd bother them one iota.

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The band are loving every second of the show as they jump seamlessly from melodic rock, ambient mixes, straight into metal. You can really bang your head to these guys, but it never becomes distorted or indecipherable, which I like. Aside from a few technical problems with the guitar, the set is near flawless. Along with Ozzie’s top notch singing, the rest of the group show that they are very talented musicians. With songs like Weightless and My Woman, they prove that you don’t need to be tied down to a specific genre to have a style. They create their own style, they’re proud of it and they have every right to be.

Now we get to the big draw of the night, the Israeli rockers, Chase The Ace (8.5/10). These guys have only been a band for a little over two years but they have achieved a small cult following and even in the midst of this very un-rock like audience, there are a growing number of “Ace” t-shirts appearing. The 80’s inspired rock on display tonight is a welcome change from a lot of the music that’s produced these days. Although the days of hair metal have officially ended, it’s still nice to see a band who does it right. Their G’n’R-esque style is extremely fun to watch and it reminds me of a time when singers and guitarists were rockstars, not just band members.

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Singer Roi Peleg has an awesome stage presence with his massive hair and bulging eyes, he looks every bit as insane as a rock singer should be. They seem like a band that might appeal to everyone across the rock spectrum. The band is having a blast and so are a lot of the crowd. Unfortunately there are still a fair number of people that seem very disinterested in the music. Maybe they were expecting something different tonight, I can’t speculate, but it has to be one of the most subdued crowds I have ever witnessed at a rock show. But that aside, CTA blast through a rip roaring performance and very much put on an arena show, on a tiny stage. Songs like The Cat Is On The Loose and Rock Bottom Rocknroll show them to be extremely skilled at what they do and very enjoyable to watch. I can’t wait to see them again and I suggest you guys do the same. This is a band to keep an eye on.


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