Club 85 Hitchin 6th July 2013.
As summer continues to soar into blistering temperatures, so does the live music scene and tonight’s show was no exception. The night’s entertainment, courtesy of Anonymous productions, consisted of Ascalon, Neuronspoiler and headliners Neverworld, who also participated in this year’s heat of The Metal 2 the Masses competition.
Club 85 in Hitchin looks deceptive from the outside, with 2 doors leading onto a flight of stairs that take you up to the venue. Once inside, the venue is massive and a bit like Doctor Who’s Tardis! I’ve visited Club 85 once before, (to review Mercury House, who Gary Payne also drums for) and on that occasion, I was slightly disappointed with the lighting set up, but this time around it had improved vastly, with a new lighting deck being operated by Ben and Torea, who did an outstanding job, as did the smoke guy, albeit he did get a little smoke happy at one point. As a photographer, my only comment now would be to improve the lights illuminating the front of the artists – add that to everything else including the Sound system, and I’d highly recommend this venue to any band who and suggest it should be considered on any future tour plans!
So Ascalon, originally from Preston, they did have difficulty in finding the venue, so their set started a little later than originally planned, but they wasted no time after that. Once on stage, they set about giving us a great live performance. Although some members looked a little nervous, once they got given rapturous applause from all those present and there was a fair few, they soon settled in and started to enjoy themselves. Band line up consists of Matt Gerrard- Vocals/Guitars, Chris Marsh- Guitars/Tambourine, Alex Varley- Bass and Vince Scott- Drums.
Matt is a great front man, sharing jokes with the crowd, encouraging people to come forward and even spotting those in the crowd, singing along and praising them for doing so. I enjoyed these guys a lot and will be looking out for them on future shows.
Tonights set list included: 1. Steel Nights 2. Daylight Robbery 3. Red Leather 4. Princess Of The Night (Saxon) 5. Vigilante 6. Ascalon
Next up were Neuronspoiler who, judging by the amount of press that had travelled down and were present, were here to see these guys. Dubbed the next Iron Maiden, I was looking forward to witnessing these guys for the first time and boy, I wasn’t disappointed. With more energy and fight than Andy Murray, these guys were like jack rabbits, jumping all over the stage. As you can see from the pictures – well, the ones I managed to take and weren’t a complete blur! Current band line up consists of JR – Vocals, Dave del Cid – Guitar, Dave Shirman – Guitar, Erick Tekilla – Bass and Tim Barclay – Drums.
I’ll admit, these guys did sound very much like Iron Maiden, but they play all their own material and it really is as individual as the band Neuronspoiler. With great energy, a great sound and very much a crowd favourite, I predict I’ll be seeing these guys at a festival soon. They are in fact on tour and have dates around the country booked, so go check them out.
Tonight’s set list included: 1. Through Hell We March 2. Take The Stage 3. Irreverent 4. Lost Brother 5. The Outcry 6. Exempt From Privilege 7. Invincible Man 8. Never Back Down
Neverworld were up next and are a band that I had been meaning to watch for some time, so I was really looking forward to this. As mentioned earlier, these guys participated in this years Metal 2 the Masses competition, which must have been a great experience. With every bit the personality of the two other bands, you could see on all their little faces that what they play means a lot to them and there was a lot of face pulling going on. We even had Crowman, aka Daniel Potter on keyboards, giving me the evil eye through his mask at the beginning of the show! The rest of the band consists of Ben Colton – Vocals and guitar, Jack Foster- Guitar, Mike Vaughan – Drums and Gary Payne – Bass.
With two great acts before them, Neverworld had to pull something special out the bag and special it was! Luckily, the full to capacity crowd would back me up on this, so as to not seem bias. With rapturous applause and screams throughout the set, tonight’s biggest applause came when Gary donned his blinking LED sun glasses and strutted around the stage, with his bass, looking a “cool dude”! I struggled to capture this, but patience prevailed and I captured a commendable shot in the end! With a mini tour planned in November, for now all the bands efforts are going into producing their debut album “Visions Of Another World” with its release being any day now. Check out their website for more info http://www.neverworldmetal.co.uk
Tonight’s set list included: 1. They Live (We Sleep) 2. Into The Heart Of Chaos 3. The Wheel Of Misfortune 4. Legions 5. Eminent Reprisal 6. Salt Water Bandits 7. This Fire
Words and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)