Hereford is slowly evolving into a Punk and Reggae music hub with nights happening in various locations all around the city. Some UK cities are known for their Indie, psych, blues, dance music, and a multitude of other music movements: however, Herefordshire holds a reputation for great border folk bands, a long-standing metal scene, alternative rock, reggae and the current regeneration of punk with the appearance of bands like the Subhumans, and the recent annual punk festival A Crisis of Conscience held at the Booth Hall in aid of homeless charities. We sent Gavin Brown to review the night.
Hereford City Centric sent our local music wordsmith, Gavin Brown, to check out the Black Sabbath tribute act, taking place at The Booth Hall and supported by Herefordshire Punks on the up, The Youth Within. I am going to assume he really enjoyed it by the enthusiasm in his review.
The Booth Hall have launched a series of tribute-themed nights that have included Chili Peppers and Blink 182 tribute acts in the past. Finding myself in a crowd of super pumped Blink 182 fans a couple weekends ago on the night Blink tribute act One Eighty Two played was a pleasant change for me. The truth is, I have always found bands that do covers the most boring of the lot; especially those “pub” bands. Stale beer fragrance comes to mind. There is a difference between cover bands and tribute acts, although I love it when local bands do the occasional cover.
Tribute acts have something to live up to. They study the musicians/performers they are emulating and really have to put in the effort. There is always something distracting about them though, they never ARE the actual band, and I would hate to be a tribute performer knowing everyone is staring at every detail about me in search of the resemblance to the original person they are mimicking; guess that makes them pretty gutsy and confident too.
24 September 2017
The Booth Hall Hereford
The Underground Revolution Presents Doghouse, Reality Attack
and Wolf Cryer
Music Review by Gavin Brown
Following hot on the heels of the immense Steve Ignorant gig earlier in the month, it was with great pleasure to be able to witness the formidable music machine that is Doghouse, an outfit with the very same ideals and outlook as the great Mr Ignorant. Add to this a great supporting lineup courtesy of the down and dirty punk of Reality Attack and the grungy hard rock of Wolfcryer, and you’ve got a recipe for a great night. And a great night it was with a healthy turnout from an enthusiastic audience showing once again how vibrant the musical climate is in Hereford nowadays.
Kicking off the night were Wolf Cryer and the local lot got the night off to a brilliant start with their grunge-inspired rock, which was a definite highlight. The band’s extended heavy jams were completely mesmerising as was the powerful groove that they laid down and the vocals of singer Claire Perkins were undeniably impressive and topped the bands sound off perfectly. Wolf Cryer have that grunge influence with heavier bands like Babes In Toyland, or even Gruntruck with their more metal sound and even a hint of the Melvins in there too. These bands seem like an influence on their sound, but Wolf Cryer do their own thing with it and this is definitely a band that need checking out again. Having not heard the band before, I was blown away and won’t hesitate to catch them when they next play live, which will hopefully be soon!
Reality Attack were up next and their raw punk didn’t disappoint at all, with their defiant and in your face noise a joy to watch. The speakers were tested to their limits as the band thrashed through their set as if it were the last one they’d ever play! Their crust/anarcho punk sound went over so well with the dancing audience, and they debuted some new material that will be forthcoming on their new EP. It is just as pissed off as their older material with the brilliant You’re A Cunt a highlight of the bands set.
Reality Attack rallied against the system throughout with a heartfelt tribute to the young Russian punk stabbed to death for standing up to fascists a few days earlier only adding to the band’s anger – and the band certainly told it like it is. They finished their set with their bassist up on vocals singing his heart out and ended things on a high. Reality Attack are definitely the real deal and proved this tonight beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Between each of the acts, BDS of Last Tree Squad was spinning tunes and this added to the eclectic nature of the night as well with bass, heavy dub, reggae, dancehall, hip hop and grime cuts testing the Booth Halls speakers to the max! Heating songs like Murder She Wrote, Raggamuffin, Welcome to Jamrock and 99 Problems really loud definitely added to the atmosphere.
Formed out of the ashes of cult Cardiff techno punk band Sicknote, tonight’s headliner’s Doghouse play a much-anticipated set and are another band who don’t disappoint either with their defiant and cutting lyrics really hitting home over energetic and hard techno beats that got an enthusiastic response on the dancefloor throughout their whole set. Their spirited performance has much in common with Steve Ignorant as they spew bile about the current state of the nation and like the former Crass man, they do it with an element of humour and cleverness, never coming across as preachy with the techno elements adding to the warm and energetic atmosphere. Doghouse has a massive performance art and cabaret (that they have dubbed Cabarave, a description that fits perfectly) element to them that works so well, from costume changes to some inspired dancing, you couldn’t take your eyes off the duo all night.
Delivering songs, mainly culled from their debut album Idiot Savant, their passionate delivery on topics ranging from council tax to unemployment and thinking for yourself was very inspiring too. The band were as informative as they were entertaining all night. A great performance from two true musical mavericks that deserve to be heard by all.
Overall, this was a brilliant night that saw so much variation in musical terms, but this certainly united everyone in attendance as the atmosphere was amazing and that can only be a good thing.
Feature Image: Nick Vidal-Hall for Booth Hall Photography
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Hide Your Eyes with The And Lost & Jack Ellis – 40 Miles Of Static album launch show at The Booth Hall 18/2/17
Article by Music Reviewer Gavin Brown
Hide Your Eyes celebrated the launch of their latest album 40 Miles Of Static with a hometown gig at The Booth Hall in front of a healthy and energetic crowd eager to help honour this occasion in style. Unfortunately, we just missed opening act (and Hide Your Eyes man) Lewis Armiger do his acoustic set but have it on good authority that he got the night off to a rousing start (and he definitely did his thing later with the headliners, more of which later), so it was down to South Wales singer/songwriter Jack Ellis to kick things off for us and he certainly did that.
Ellis took to the stage flanked by his band and proceeded to deliver a short but sweet set of acoustic songs with the sound bolstered by the band with the likes of The Storm and new track Felony grabbing the audiences attention throughout with a style that had shades of Jeff Buckley and Jose Gonzalez and a definite warm attitude to his delivery. As the set came to a stirring conclusion, it was evident that he had made some new fans tonight with his passionate singing and playing, and this set the night up nicely with the crowd declaring themselves thoroughly warmed up.
THE LOVED AND LOST
After a short break and a couple of minor technical difficulties involving a laptop and some samples, Worcester’s The Loved And Lost hit the stage and it was immediately apparent that the delay in setting up was vital as the sampled orchestral symphony blasted from the speakers and enhanced the bands metal sound. With their powerful female vocals, the band have a Lacuna Coil and Nightwish vibe about them, especially when the samples were in full effect, although they did occasionally get drowned out by the bands heavy rhythms – but overall the band played an enthusiastic and vibrant set that had the crowd clapping along with them. The band’s bassist and guitarist ended the set playing in the crowd with their drummer lurched over his kit battering a primal rhythm to the final song’s conclusion and The Loved And Lost left the stage to glowing applause from the crowd.
HIDE YOUR EYES
After the laid back passion of Jack Ellis and the heavy nature of The Loved And Lost showcased a melding of different styles and sounds showing off the diversity of the bill, it was time for the headliners and their brand of similarly eclectic noise, and Hide Your Eyes didn’t disappoint anyone in attendance with a triumphant set.
The band work tirelessly as they rip through the 40 Miles Of Static album with highlights coming in thick and fast, especially in the form of album tracks Hopeless and My Last Regret which received rapturously applause from the crowd.
With this being a hometown gig, there was a buoyant atmosphere in the venue with the band unable to take the smiles off their faces. Singers Stephen (who ended up singing in the crowd more than once) and Lewis (who we did finally got to see perform!) were belting out the lyrics with enthusiasm while the rest of the band had just as much of an energetic stomp, and the energy given out by the band was matched in kind by the crowd from start to finish with an enthusiastic mosh pit (complete with someone dressed as a unicorn) breaking out and adding to the atmosphere.
As the band ended their set with a cover of Drown by Bring Me The Horizon done in Hide Your Eyes style, the night came to a close and showed just how talented the band are with everyone who was here left satisfied. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we see the band live again as this was a fantastic performance to end a great night of live music. Go out and buy their album and don’t miss them next time they play!
Buy Hide Your Eyes Merchandise and New Album HERE
Hide Your Eyes Facebook Here
Hide Your Eyes Website Here
BBC Introducing In Hereford and Worcester came to the Victory Pub in Hereford on 31st January 2016. If you are not familiar with BBC Introducing….in a nutshell; local unsigned bands upload their music, the BBC crew listen, and select four bands to play a set in a local venue. They bring recording & lighting equipment, making a real show of it. The sets are then played on BBC H&W’s Introducing show, giving much needed exposure to the acts.
It was the latter of these bands, Last Tree Squad – normally a seven piece, but tonight an eight piece dub reggae band, that kicked the event off. Front man Loftie is well known on the Hereford music scene, a man that works hard not just for his art and his comrades, but for all those making music in the city.
Last Tree Squad
The eighth member tonight was Jenny Frost, who sings in the Hereford Soul Choir, and brought some more depth to the vocals that was a bonus. I could go on all day about Reggae – coming from the West Midlands, bands like Steel Pulse are part of my younger days soundtrack – and what a great band Last Tree Squad are, but really you just need to look them up and go see them.
‘Eye of the Storm’ was a particularly catchy (sorry to use that awful word) track and just to prove they are their own sound, they chuck in some rap vocals from Matt J Owen, keyboard player for the band. I suspect there is a great future ahead for Sin Eso; they have a cool aura about them.
They’ve already played at the O2 Institute in Birmingham and I can’t see that being the end of it.
Thank The Academy
Finally, local rock trio Atlas took to the stage. Well, they say rock, I say down-tuned riff chugging monster Metal. I loved their set – part Mastodon, with some Bolt Thrower guitar and a bit of James Hetfield on the vocals thrown in for a pretty full on sound.
The sets will be played on the BBC H&W Introducing show throughout February, so keep an ear out for them.
Last Tree Squad: www.facebook.com/LastTreeSquad
Sin Eso: www.facebook.com/sineso.official
Thank The Academy: www. www.facebook.com/ThankTheAcademyUK