Category Archives: Gig reviews

Clarion

With support from Lycio and North Parade.
O2 Academy3 Birmingham 31st August 2019.

Change can often be a good thing and that is definitely the mindset tonight as Ovation Music Management hosts a night with a difference and in the excellent company of Clarion, Lycio and North Parade.

And getting the night off to an immense start was the London based indie band, North Parade. I love the fact that information on their Facebook page states ‘Exciting things coming up’ as that just about sums up the live experience of this band. The fullness of their choral and keyboard harmonies is such a delight on the ears and each song is packed with the kind of detail that leaves you hanging on every note which all in all, made for a brilliant start to the night.

Next up on stage were Lycio who comprise of Genie Mendez, Charlie Kellie and Alex Lowe. This three piece band from Birmingham most definitely make beautiful music together and if you’re looking for music that dazzles, then you really do need to check out Lycio. Genie Mendez (lead singer) has an amazing vocal talent and possess the kind of skill that easily captures a perfect balance between vulnerability and an emotive attitude which is a great match for the vitality of the bands sound. Without doubt, Lycio’s performance tonight was impressive and judging by the applause and cheers at the end of their set, it was clearly enjoyed by all present.

Our headliners for tonight were Clarion and even before their first note, the visual presentation on stage, with its decoration of flowers and purple haze, promised a set born to be in a league of its own. And that is exactly what it was, as the band captured detail and harmonies in their sound which when combined with heaps of personality and swagger, created a little world of pure indie joy.

With a set list of tracks well known by the audience, support for the band was great but it was the track ‘Days Like These‘ that heard the audiences voice sing along word after word and in my opinion, this song is an absolute anthem. If the band continue in the same vein as that which I witnessed tonight, then Clarion are set for VERY great things indeed.

Tonight has been an amazing night, with three great bands whose music, presentation and performance was simply off the chart. And praise also has to go out to our tech guy for the night whose skill ensured that sound and light was A+ from start to finish – nice one Jamie and thanks also to Ovation Music Management for putting these bands on my radar!

To see more photographs from the night, be sure to check out music224 over on Flickr.

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

Thrashatouille

With support from Skull Fox, Krescent and Landing Strip.
The Hole In The Wall Shrewsbury 23rd August 2019.

Summer seems to have returned and once again, Born To Lose Productions are ready to roll in the good company of Thrashatouille, Skull Fox, Krescent and Landing Strip.

Getting tonight underway were Landing Strip, who I first encountered at this years Wolverhampton’s M2TM and not only has there been a slight name change since then but they also have a new drummer aswell! The thing I love about this band is the way they just get up on stage and go for it and that’s exactly what they did tonight – we even had two helpings of ‘Jam‘ for good measure. Check them out over on Facebook and YouTube.

After a small delay and with a few technicalities to first be sorted, our second band of the night, Krescent, were up, ready and willing to entertain. Krescent appear to be relatively new on the scene and I always find this to be an exciting time to first see a band live, as its a time when their identity starts to take shape and Krescent’s enthusiasm and zest to play tonight certainly reflected the awakening of a pretty distinctive alternative rock sound for them.

Its only been a few weeks since I last saw Skull Fox but nowt wrong with that as far as I’m concerned, as these guys are second to none to see live and the band were definitely on top form tonight. With this being their first gig in Shrewsbury, new allegiances were fast made between band and audience and I can wholeheartedly say that Shrewsbury loved Skull Fox. Hopefully, that means we won’t have to wait too long before they’re back at The Hole In The Wall again!

Our headliners tonight were Thrashatouille – and what another great live band! Dressed in Chef Whites, these psychotic cooks reigned down a kind of Hitchcock thrash metal madness that stops you dead in your tracks – especially when it comes to their lyrics! Never before have I come across metal written about pork, chilli or burritos – up until now that is, and if that doesn’t give you an appetite to go check these guys out for yourself, then you need to change your diet!

Born To Lose Productions certainly pulled out all the stops tonight – roll on the next one!

To see more photographs from the night, be sure to check out music224 over on Flickr.

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

Chemikill

With support from The Unresolved, Ghost Of Machines, Rawkas and 14 Pieces.
O2 Academy3 Birmingham 27th July 2019.

I’ve been looking forward to tonight for what simply feels like AGES, as once again, Ovation Music Management has brought together a stellar line up of my kind of metal and hard rock, all under the roof of the O2 Academy3 in Birmingham.

And getting tonight’s event underway, were the Telford based band 14 Pieces who like to play metal hard, thrashed and notably heavy. I really love the way that this band capture an intensity in both their music and live performance and without doubt, these guys delivered an impressive set tonight. Good live music is a thing to be treasured and tonight’s set from the band saw them clearly on the greatest of form and making for an excellent start to the night.

Next up were Rawkas and you have to hand it to these groovecore masters as they certainly know how to capture an audiences attention, with songs that bring about a raging torrent of dark melodic riffs and vocals that graze the soul to its core. Tonight’s set saw Rawkas deliver five of their very best tracks, which included last years release ‘XVX‘ and the fantastic ‘Black Lagoon‘. If you’ve yet to check Rawkas out, then I strongly recommend you do and seek out these two tracks for yourself – you won’t be disappointed.

The one thing I really love about Ovation Music Management gigs is that you get to discover some pretty awesome up and coming bands and Ghost Of Machines most definitely sit within that category! Local to the Swindon area, this band have been together since 2014 and in those few years, they have developed a collective personality that manifests itself live as both visually dramatic and alluring in its presence. Their set tonight was a burst of none stop energy and rock, which manifested itself through the tireless vitality of lead singer Billy Bingham – a must see band for sure!

Our penultimate band for tonight were The Unresolved and with influences including Motorhead, Black Sabbath and T Rex, these guys certainly know how what it takes to make the hard rock roll. With a recent change to their line up bringing Thomas Gould (Vocals) into their fold, The Unresolved look and sound set to move forward in a very positive direction and have also recently released a new single ‘Here To Stay‘. If you like you rock to have that good time vibe and love great riffs aswell, then these guys are the band for you.

The West Midlands metal scene has seen bands come and go but there are also a number of great bands who have stood the test of time, with one such band being Chemikill who were our headliners tonight. Chemikill stand firm amongst our local masters of metal and their long standing presence has brought about an amazing catalogue of hard hitting metal that not only has stood the test of time but continues to be very current aswell. Tonight’s set from the band was a first class performance, with the vocals of lead singer Tracey Rand being an absolute pleasure to behold – when it comes to capturing the notes and interpretation of the music – this gal has exactly what it takes. Chemikill have more dates in their diary for September, so do check out their Facebook page for more information about these.

To see more photographs from the night, be sure to check out music224 over on Flickr.

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.