The Easter weekend is traditionally a time for a lot of things. For some, it’s the chance to catch up with family, for some it’s time off work, for others it’s the actual meaning of this time of year, for many it’s chocolate and alcohol, but for the lucky people of Hereford this year, it was this double-header of live music (along with plenty of chocolate and alcohol too!) that made this an Easter to remember.
With a variety of bands and an eclectic mix of styles over the weekend brought to you by the wonderful people of HeyLittleMonster and The Underground Revolution, there was something for just about everyone to enjoy and every band played their hearts out.
RAPTOR, NEW REVIVAL AND AS MAMAS
“It’s a thankless task to be both Robert Plant and Jimmy Page at the same time, but Fletcher did an awesome job of trying while the band’s talented rhythm section did their best to be the best Bonham and Jones they could!”
Listen Here https://asmamas.bandcamp.com/releases
Things got underway at The Booth Hall on Saturday night with the Raptor headed bill that saw the band supported by two-piece blues rockers As Mamas and anthemic rock band New Revival.
As Mamas set the precedent for the whole weekend with the duo’s blues swathed, uptempo rock setting the mood for the night from the second the first note was played. The guitar and drums two-some play high energy rock with that crucial blues element right at the heart of it, and they really nailed their tight sound tonight with the band’s set going down tremendously well with the assembled throng.
Listen Here https://soundcloud.com/new-revival
Up next were South Wales own New Revival, who went down a storm as well with their big sounding songs that incorporated huge choruses and some dirty sounding riffs with a knack for melody completing things nicely. The likes of the gloriously catchy Twisted (check out the brilliant giant fruit featuring video for the song on YouTube) and faithful covers of Talking Heads Psycho Killer and Feels Good Inc by Gorillaz were standout moments in a fun set that really got the crowd going. The band’s mixture of highly energetic sixties psychedelic pop and catchy melodic rock is a nice touch and they made more than a few new fans in Hereford tonight.
The band ends their set with a soaring version of Gimme Shelter, showing off that Stones influence in full to a warm goodbye from the Booth audience knowing that their work here tonight was done.
Raptor are the final band of the night and take to the stage to a hero’s welcome, and immediately crank out the bluesy hard rock that they are known and loved for. The 3-piece make a hell of a beautiful racket with their excellent playing at the forefront of it and to complete the package, they know exactly how to rock the crowd who in turn, love them for it too. Those who have seen Raptor before know what to expect and roar their approval accordingly but for the uninitiated – it’s plenty of extended hard rocking jams (midway through the set a jam erupted that had everyone clapping along) and psychedelic-flavoured music played with the passion of the blues.
There was a real feel-good factor in the air tonight that concluded Raptor’s set with plenty of dancing going on. The atmosphere reached fever pitch when the band played their version of Led Zeppelin’s Dazed & Confused, complete with vocalist/guitarist Kurt Fletcher playing in the crowd. The delivery of the song went down a storm. It’s a thankless task to be both Robert Plant and Jimmy Page at the same time, but Fletcher did an awesome job of trying while the band’s talented rhythm section did their best to be the best Bonham and Jones they could!. Their own material was received just as enthusiastically and was played with the same amount of vivacity.
Raptor end their set with their customary version of Sabbath’s Fairies Wear Boots nailing the best parts of Ozzy, Tony and Co., and the first night of this much anticipated double header is over, having been so much fun with much more to come!
“Trioxin Cherry kick the night off and the first thing I notice is the Infest and Negative Approach patches the bass player is sporting along with his Black Flag tattoo, and hope this is a telling sign as to how the band will sound”
Teddy’s Leg, Dischord and Trioxin Cherry – Lamb Chop’s Revenge Tour 2017
Having ended the night after Raptor, also before and during, with a few drinks because I had no work the next day, (Easter Sunday!) and a few more on the Sunday as well, it was a return to The Booth to nurse a slight hangover and conquer it the best way, with a few more pints and some head crushing live music. (Apologies to anyone who had to work, I had to on Monday!)
This Sunday night is a decidedly heavier and more punk affair than last night and the bill is first class with an air of excitement at seeing local heroes Teddy’s Leg live along with Dischord from Blackpool and Trioxin Cherry from Nottingham coming across to provide stellar support.
Listen Here https://trioxincherry.bandcamp.com/releases
Trioxin Cherry kick the night off and the first thing I notice is the Infest and Negative Approach patches the bass player is sporting along with his Black Flag tattoo, and hope this is a telling sign as to how the band will sound. I am in luck as loud, angry and pissed off hardcore punk is the order of the day with a catchy vibe to it too, and the band certainly blow the cobwebs away with their furious music.
Despite the brutal nature of Trioxin Cherry’s music, there is an air of fun to the proceedings with everyone in attendance out to have a great time with plenty of action erupting on the dancefloor, with a constant stream of people moshing to the band’s energetic speedy punk set. The band are a formidable live force with vocalist Rebecca (complete with Bunny ears on, as have various members of the audience) spitting venom onstage while declaring that the only good fascist is a dead one before launching into the vicious England Shirt as the band thunder away beside her, which is a joy to watch. The band finishes with a closing cover of the Beastie Boys immortal Sabotage that ends things with a bang. The standard has been set for the night.
Listen Here https://www.reverbnation.com/dischorduk/songs
Following them were Dischord who emerge on stage to a long and menacing intro before their music explodes with life. Just as heavy and punk, but a bit darker than their predecessors, the band roar through their set with enthusiasm, especially from their similarly bunny eared and commanding frontman Chris who doesn’t stop moving for the whole of the band’s set, jumping into the crowd and getting amongst the audience to their obvious delight.
Belting out songs from their latest release War Or Peace, Dischord go down a storm and as with Trioxin Cherry, there is a sense of fun with human pyramids and rowing boats on the dancefloor adding to that fun while the band thrash away onstage with their defiant heavy punk with added metal tendencies being received like a lost friend with the highlight being the brilliant Seaside Suicide. The band leave the stage to rapturous applause knowing that they have conquered Hereford tonight.
Listen Here https://teddysleg.bandcamp.com/releases
It’s left to local boys Teddys Leg to round off a great night and a great weekend with their raucous fuzz punk and there’s not a better band to do just that. The band thrash through their two EPs with reckless abandon (Cops In My Fucking House being a particular favourite, what a song!) leaving the audience breathless, and the energy doesn’t waver the entire time the band are onstage. Frontman Robin, (looking like an Iggy Pop and Pentagrams Bobby Liebling hybrid) brandishes a trumpet at one point which adds to the unpredictable nature of the band’s music and their live show which is immensely fun to watch.
Dry ice covers the stage at one point and it’s like being at a Venom or Celtic Frost gig, but this only adds to the band’s manic stage presence and they have the songs to back up that manic nature with a set hell bent on speed and energy, drawing from both hardcore and metal.
As the set draws to a close with a free form jam and the smoke engulfs the stage, half the audience is up on stage with the band and the atmosphere is fully charged, leading to a stunning end of a great set from one of Hereford’s finest, and rounds off a brilliant night of heavy music from a trio of great bands.
All in all, this has been a superb weekend of versatile live music with every band that has played putting in a great performance! All six bands need to be checked out. Go and do it now, you won’t regret it!
Article by Gavin Brown
Booth Hall Photography by Nick-Vidal Hall
Also find these music reviews in the free May edition of Slap available in local businesses around Herefordshire and Worcestershire