Having never been to The Compass before as it is only a fairly new venue (it only opened last year), I was definitely intrigued to see what it was like when I headed down there to catch The No Name Janes play a set there. Situated a short walk from the train station and in a convenient place in town, this is surely a venue that will soon become a staple for small bands touring the UK.
Opening the gig was Tastes Like Animals (6/10). Sadly, they didn’t really shine – they were quite simplistic and unadventurous, not really standing out to me. The band didn’t really put on a performance either, tending to stand there and just sing and play which didn’t make for a wildly interesting set. They did, however, throw in a very well-received T-Rex cover which went down very well indeed.
Next up was Glasshouse (7/10) who had a little more energy to their set. In fact, frontman Rory managed to break his guitar strap mid-set, causing their opening song to be split into two parts, which was an interesting way to start things off! Although some of their songs were a lot stronger than others, it was an energetic and entertaining mixture of songs and they are certainly a band that could end up going places.
Third on the bill was Real7 (7/10) who didn’t grab my attention at first, however as the set progressed they just seemed to get better and better. Something that tickled me was the fact that as soon as I noted how much I liked their drummer Rob, the band made the announcement that it was going to be their last gig with him but he still gave a stellar performance with the band, clearly wanting to go out on a high. There was a nice amount of movement about the stage from guitarist Jamie, especially nearer the end, and as a whole the band went down really well.
Headlining the gig was The No Name Janes (9/10), who were definitely the standout band of the night and a band that you need to keep your eye on because they’re destined for great things. There’s a saying of “start as you mean to go on” and this band seemed to use this as the basis for their set – both starting and ending with a great amount of noise and energy that I hadn’t seen from any of the other bands of the night. Choosing to play only songs from their upcoming album (although not necessarily in the order that they’ll appear on there, as the band hasn’t finalised the running order yet), it really showcased how much potential The No Name Janes really has and the fact they all sounded so good certainly bodes well – if they sounded that good live, then I can only imagine how great the album is set to sound.
Something awesome to note is that a member of the audience also came from Australia to see them play – and whilst their sole reason to visit the UK may not have been just to see TNNJ live, that is still massively impressive that there was someone from that far away in the audience.
All in all, it was a great (but extremely hot and sweaty!) night – if future gigs at The Compass are anything like this one, then you can bet I will be back for more!