In previous reviews, I’ve always commented on how much I enjoy it when bands don’t remain on the confines of the stage, so when Black Art (8/10) started their set and ventured into the “crowd area”, I had a good feeling about what was to come. Powering through an intense set, at one point their drummer knocking over his stool and having to play standing up for a short while, they were a perfect way to kick off the gig. Nice and noisy, just how I like it.
Next up was Bridges (6/10), who chose to remain onstage for the duration for their set and unfortunately my attention was drawn to this at the end of the night, since all the other bands had just got right into the crowd – and it felt like their crowd participation was less than all the other bands as a result. However, whilst their music wasn’t necessarily adventurous within their genre, the songs were well-written and constructed, and they are definitely a band whose music I plan to check out in the future.
Following them was Beasts (9/10), who put on a lively and energetic show, the songs blending seamlessly well to one another. Singer Beecham chose to play the whole gig from the crowd area, which made for an interesting performance! Blasting through an incredibly strong set, with my personal highlight being Only Rats Leave A Sinking Ship, they kept my interest from start to finish. The final song, which also happened to be a brand new track, ended with a crowd invasion, with bassist Tom also venturing into the crowd, and Beecham doing a climbing act up onto the gymnastics-style vaulting box next to the bar – I half expected him to start swinging from the rafters! The set ended to the sound of guitars being dropped onto the floor and being kicked and strummed with feet. A bit of chaos – but this can never be a bad thing. This is a band that you must see live.
Headlining the show was Reaper In Sicily (8/10), who were also celebrating members Jonny and Mike’s birthday. As a result, the set was filled with a lot of enthusiasm, and the crowd were certainly behind them, with a fair few people singing along from start to finish. Singer Rhys was filled with energy as he switched between performing on the stage and off the stage and the five of them played a fun and lively set full of catchy tunes, which was a great end to an all-round brilliant evening packed with some awesome music.