Category Archives: Gig reviews

Courtesans

Subspecies UK Tour, Live at Red Rooms, Rescue Rooms Nottingham.

So Christmas is nearly upon us and as it goes, this is my last review of 2017, so I’m going to keep it short and sweet. It’s about quality, not quantity, right and the two bands we had on offer, on this merry night, gave us just that!

It’s been a tough year, personally, what with a new born. Sleep has been in short supply and doing this has been a challenge, to say the least!

Having battled my way through traffic to get to the venue, early enough to interview the band, the Courtesans, I managed to arrive all a flutter. Thankfully, I made it in plenty of time, as this interview turned out to be one of my best, ever. Probably not for the setting, but for the fact the 2 individuals I had in attendance, Agnes (bass) and Sinéad (vocals) who make up half the band, were 2 of the most talkative and charismatic personalities, I’ve ever had the pleasure of talking too.

In this interview, we cover a multitude of band related topics, which works better than anything I could write about them now. Check it out for yourselves!!

Special guests tonight, were Bullet Height, who’d travelled all the way from Germany to accompany the Courtesans across the UK, for their Subspecies Tour. They originate from Berlin, to be precise and as they stated, on the night, this is their first time, here in the UK, so being one of the first to have witnessed them live, pleases me greatly. As three pieces go, these guys and girl are very creative with their sound. I think the use of a keyboard helps to fill the void, which Sammi plays, along with vocals, which is shared by Jon, who also plays guitar. Although their social media page states the band consists of these 2 members, I couldn’t tell you who the drummer is, but he’s an ox on that kit, what a monster. Vikki’s kit got smashed to bits, but I’m glad to report the drum kit stayed in tact, much to her relief!

I think it’s safe to say that the gothic look has well and truly made a comeback. Did it ever leave? Probably not, but it’s in vogue at the moment, especially with the female musicians out there! On the night, the band had their debut album ‘No Atonement’ for sale, on vinyl I might add and it looked lovely!

If you’re looking for a band that’s a little bit different, with plenty of character, then Bullet Height are the band for you! With a mix of heavy riffs, harmonious vocals and a side of electro punk rock thrown in, they certainly tick a lot of the right boxes, in my book! Sammi’s energy on stage, is second to non and what a looker!

Although tonight’s show, was held in the lesser used Red Rooms, at the Rescue Rooms, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of people who bothered to turn up. I was also pleasantly surprised to see a few familiar faces, in the crowd, which made my night that much more enjoyable.

Having first seen the Courtesans at Amplified Open Air Festival, this summer, these ladies are a relatively new band to me, but after that performance, I instantly fell in love with this band and their originality! Having gotten to know them a little bit, since then, I’ve even managed to relate with them, on a personal level and their take on enjoying life. Sinéad stated, playing B.O.A this year was a personal highlight, in her life, fair enough! Dave was meant to cheer when she stated this, but balls’ed it right up! Nice one Dave! haha

As stated in our interview, the band played 2 new tracks in their set tonight, which feature on their, yet to be recorded, new album. Having mentioned the fact that the their cover of DJ Luck and MC Neat’s track ‘A Little Bit of Luck’ cheered me up at Amplified, in our interview, I’d like to think this prompted the band to repeat that performance for us tonight? Who knows, but it went down well, as did all their tracks. Tonight’s performance was epic, put simply, I couldn’t have enjoyed it more.

I noticed, everything they had on sale, I already had, so to help finance their travels, for the rest of the tour, I purchased a t-shirt, for the wife, which she’s already worn! Cheers ladies, until next time!

Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year. Take care of yourselves and each other. I hope to see you all at a show in 2018! Peace!

Welcome to the Courtesans official website.

Here you will find music, videos, photos, blogs, up-to-date live dates and much more!

Jinjer

Rock City, Basement 25th November 2017

I think I can safely say, I along with the rest of the country (those that attended a show that is) are still absolutely buzzing from Jinjer’s brief trip over here to play a number of shows around the UK. Tonight, at the Basement, was their penultimate show, with only Birmingham remaining, before they head back over to Europe for 4 more shows, then a break to prepare for their tour around Europe, with Arch Enemy, who are heading are way after, incidentally, but without Jinjer.

They are heading over to the north of America, like here, for the first time in their career, which is great news for them, as I know they’ve been dying to play shows outside of Europe! That tour starts in March, 2018 and I can’t be happier for the band, as it’s been a long time coming! Fans of the band, in North America, show your support and show them the love they deserve!

As tonights show was on a Saturday, which is a rarity, incidentally, I managed to rope a couple of friends along with me, who also bought a ticket, as I did! They knew I had an interview scheduled with the band, but never did they think they would be sitting in and meet the band, whilst I chatted with them. They even made themselves useful, by monitoring the time on the camera, while I concentrated on the interview. Young Lucy did a cracking job, the best camera hand, I’ve had yet. You can help me again! Masaaki even gave me a great question to ask, which I saved until the end of the interview, which worked well! ;) I feel it’s one of my best yet. Lighting was good, even the sound was good, it’s just a shame I had to be in it, ah well, it’s a necessary evil and a small sacrifice to pay, when I think about it, as I get to meet great bands, like Jinjer and actually get to speak with them, in person, as opposed to just photographing them on stage, where I never actually get the chance to meet the real them! I’ve been a big fan of this band, since I discovered them, back in 2013, so I was super excited, but I kept my cool, for the most part and no, I didn’t fan boy my way through the interview either, I kept him locked up, inside me!

Tonight consisted of two support bands, before the main event, the first of which were local band Black Ink, who I’ve not encountered before, but 3 of the 5 band members looked very familiar and that’s because they use to be in a band called ‘Famous for Nothing’. When I asked Kam, the bands guitarist, why this was, he merely replied, we are a new band, with new material and new band members, but I’m sure I recognised some of their tracks! Black Ink have been going since 2013, which surprises me, as I’m sure I’ve shot F4N, since? Anyhow, tonight was a great opportunity for this six piece band, from Nottingham and as they play Metalcore, they were well suited. Having 2 vocalists, sharing in both clean and growls, it helped to give the band an exciting and dynamic approach to a well established genre.

As I write this, a post has appeared on the bands Facebook page, stating their new single ‘Lights Out’ will be played on Alex Baker’s radio show, on Kerrang! Radio, for his feature Fresh Blood. The band certainly are that! If you like what you hear, check out the bands other music, on both Spotify and Itunes. It would appear these guys have got their shit together and are going for it, the right way. Good luck lads, tonights set was a credible performance and I was suitably impressed!

Another first, for me was the band ‘From Sorrow to Serenity’ consisting of 4 lads from Glasgow, who have been the main support band to Jinjer, throughout their visit, here in the UK and man, these guys are off the chain! I generally pride myself, in knowing who the ‘new bands’ are, what with doing this for fun. I receive new music from all over the place, from record labels and PR companies a like, which is ace, as it keeps me well informed, but sometimes, you come across a band and say to yourself, how have I not heard of this band before? In April, this year, they released a new music video called ‘Golden Age’ and so far, it’s managed to rack up 13,000 views on YouTube, which in modern day terms, is pretty impressive. I love YouTube, despite what others might think, it’s a great tool for new bands to get themselves discovered! Check out this video for yourselves, tell us what you think!

Kerrang! Sure summed these guys up well, stating the band are “Metalcore Monsters” which the band appear to be proud of and why not, they do exactly what it says, slay and conquer, in equal measure. Sadly the lighting was terrible for these guys, but I managed to get a few, half decent shots! With a new album and another UK tour to look forward to in 2018, i’ll be sure to keep my beady eye on these guys!

Having already spoken Tatiana and Eugene of Jinjer, I was well and truly hyped to finally witness them live! It’s been a long time coming, 4 years in fact, since I first discovered this band, thanks to Dimitris, who was working for their record label, The Leaders, in Greece at the time the label signed Jinjer, they even distributed the bands first 2 albums, Inhale, Don’t breath, which is one of my favourite albums, of all time. However, as it’s only 8 tracks long (not including the three live tracks) the band class this as their debut EP. Later it was re-released as a full length album, along with the bands 2nd offering ‘Cloud Factory’ which has stand out tracks Outlander, tonights opening track ‘Who’s is Gonna Be the One’ and the title track, ‘Cloud Factory‘ on it!

Having followed this band avidly, I’m aware they’ve been through hell and high water to get to where they are today and they are a prime example of never giving up on a dream. Sure it helps if you’ve got the talent to back it up and a singer who looks and sounds like Tatiana, but what a front woman she is, she is incredible, as are every single one of the bands other musicians, who are a talent, in their own right, but together, they are a formidable force, a force to be reckoned with, for many years to come, as they’ve now only just started to break into new and more lucrative markets, like the UK and the US!

Having been voted best metal band, in their own country of the Ukraine, in 2013 and 2016, they are still relatively unknown, around the world. I’m sure by singing with a renowned record label, like Napalm Records, will help to give them more exposure around the world and knowing they are signed to produce at least another 2 albums for this record label, I’m very excited by this and the bands future prospects!

Tonights show was incredible, from the first note, to the last, the crowd here in Nottingham gave it their all, which we should all be proud of It would appear, so did the crowds that attended at all the other UK shows, from what I can gather, from the crowd videos that are starting to appear on social media feeds, which pleases me greatly. It’s nice to know I’m not alone, in supporting this great band, who are primarily metalcore, with a twist of groove-laden and even death metal, they are very diverse in their sound, which should make them palatable to a wide range of metal fans, what ever their chosen genre, I’m sure Jinjer will cater for a variety of musical tastes, due to their exceptional and energetic style of music, clean and growling vocals! I side with one fans comment, I read recently, which stated the bands set was way too short, approximately 45mins long, which was way too short. The crowd managed to shout loud enough to force the band to perform an encore, which just so happened to be ‘Scissors’ which ended the set perfectly and made me even more happy, than I already was!

If you can, listen to the track Pisces, off the bands new album ‘King of Everything’ for me, this track sums this band up perfectly, in my opinion and demonstrates, what I’ve just said, perfectly! This new album is a great album, that’s for certain, but I’ll always hold Inhale, Don’t Breath as perfection!

Fans of Lamb of God, Opeth and Meshuggah should check out Jinjer.

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

Scattering Ashes

Launch new album ‘The Gift’ with support from Aramantus, Signs Of Fire, Chemikill and Celestivl  O2 Academy3 Bham 28th Oct 2017.

The Halloween mood was in full swing at the O2 Academy tonight, with an array of fun, fancy dress and some scarily good music courtesy of Scattering Ashes, Aramantus, Signs Of Fire, Chemikill and Celestivl.

And getting this evening underway were Birmingham based symphonic metallers, Celestivl and there was no mistaking the fact that the band were intent on bringing the spirit of the night up onto the stage, with a variety of characters including none other that ‘Negan’ and of course his constant companion, Lucille – courtesy of Saneeta Ram. Lavish in both their looks and sound tonight, Celestivl present as a band set to make great strides with their music and if you get the chance to go see them, I highly recommend that you do.

Our next band for tonight were Chemikill and I really do have to give much praise to Tracey and the band, as these guys always give 110% to each and every performance and just as expected, their set tonight was rammed full of nothing but great metal. The band have one more gig left in the diary for this year and then roll on the 24th Feb 2018, when they will be back here again and headlining, no less, at another Ovation Music Management night – great stuff!

Next up were Signs Of Fire and here we have yet another pretty awesome West Midlands band who always pack a big punch live on stage with lead vocalist, Tommy Smith performance, being one heck of a force to be reckoned with! The band are set to record a new album shortly and I have every confidence that this will be one not to be missed.

Tonight’s penultimate performance came courtesy of the one and only Aramantus. It’s always a pleasure to see an up and coming young band reap the rewards of all their hard work and without any doubt, Aramantus are fast becoming a favourite of the regional rock and metal scene. As much as tonight was about the band getting up on stage and giving a great performance, it was also about having some fun, so a big round of applause going out to the band for tonight’s five star set.

Our headlining band for tonight were the Coventry based metallers, Scattering Ashes and my oh my, these guys were certainly dressed to impress tonight!! With pirates (and pilot?!) galore, the bands set laid down some serious tunes most noticeably from their newly recorded album ‘The Gift’, which has hit the ground charged with the sheer velocity that this band own.

Scattering Ashes will also be back playing another Ovation Music Management gig in the new year – January 20th at The Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton to be exact but just to keep you going until then, head on over to the bands Facebook page for details of how you can get hold of a copy of ‘The Gift’ for yourself!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle