Presents Live at The Hairy Dog Derby.
28 Double, Quiet the Thief, Ritual King, Voodoo Blood and Witch Tipper, The Hairy Dog Derby 30.06.17. Five Bands, for £5, bargain – especially with the quality line-up. I’m glad I made the effort, as it’s been a while since I attended a show at this venue, the last time was when the new stage area was officially opened, so this was some time ago.
The doors opened at 7pm and with the first band not on until 8pm, this gave me an opportunity to annoy a few familiar faces, namely Richie and Chris, of Witch Tripper. It’s always a good laugh when we meet up so the time passed relatively quickly. Thanks for the pint, Richie and for the coolest hand mark I’ve ever received, having paid to enter tonight’s gig (Yes, I don’t always expect to get in for free!) but ‘Buckfast’ though, hahaha, it’s taken me three days to scrub off the permanent marker from my knuckles!
28 Double first up then and I’ve not seen these guys play live before. I did notice the guitarist was wearing last years Beermageddon T-shirt, so after their set I asked if he attended that festival, which he replied, yes I did, but I was in another band, then. I knew I recognised his face but don’t ask me to remember his name though, as I cant! That said, a quick look at the bands Facebook page, reveals the band consists of Rob Tallant – Guitar/ Backing Vocals, Josh Woodhouse – Drums, Nick Ward – Vocals and Gav Archer – Bass. I’ve also discovered, that these guys are from Derby and for a little city, we’re starting to produce some pretty cool bands. Having venues, like The Hairy Dog certainly helps, as it’s a great venue and I know that bands enjoy playing here. The bands sound did remind me of Alter Bridge, what with Nick’s voice, sounding very similar and now knowing he’s a massive fan of Miles Kennedy, it all makes sense.
Quiet the Thief next, yay, I spelt their name right this time. These guys are well respected in the underground music scene, of that I’m certain and it’s easy to see why, as everyone in the band are really nice and friendly and up for a laugh. The bands ethos is to do what they enjoy doing, irrespective of whether they win Metal to the Masses, or not. Truth be told, I’m sure every band that enters that competition wants to win, so changing the area you play in, to better your chances, makes good sense, right? QTT hail from Stoke on Trent and I know there’s some stiff competition in that part of the UK. Needless to say, they didn’t get through but that doesn’t bother them, they took part and that’s what matters. Tonight’s gig, was a solitary affair with albeit no more than 10 people, myself included and I’ve no idea why as these guys are fun to watch live. They made light of the situation, which I thought was funny. I really like this band, but, musically, there’s something missing?
Ritual King are another first, for me live. I’ve heard lots of great things about these guys, that said, the bassist tonight, was a stand in, however, I wouldn’t have known this, had someone not told me earlier in the night! I was also informed, whilst conducting an interview, with Voodoo Blood, that they, along with Ritual King, were up for a chance to support the mighty Blues Pills, in Manchester, however these guys won that honour so be sure to get down early, as this three piece can rock. Some bands go for theatrics, some go for stage presence but these guys go for loosing themselves in their music. I think the bass player forgot he was on a stage with people watching, until he looked up inbetween tracks and saw us all gawping in amazement! These guys have got some serious talent and produce some seriously cool riffs! Love this band and I’ll certainly be checking them out again, at the next available opportunity!
I forget who it was that suggested I should check out the next band, was it Chris Stoff Daughton or was it Darren Hadfield – either way, it was at a previous ‘United in Fuzz’ event at The Sitwell Tavern, which was another good night. Voodoo Blood is their name and they come from Manchester. Having spoken with them, in an interview after their set, (which can be seen here and is well worth a watch) I know these guys and girl have only been producing music together for a year and a half now, which is incredible really, when you consider what they’ve achieved in such a short space of time. I’ve instantly fallen in love with their anabolic blues sound, as they’ve coined it. Their stage presence is second to none, as is their work rate and their entertainment value. Not primarily a metal band, as they draw their influences from the blues but these guys sure do rock out, none the less. This has been noticed by the organisers of Bloodstock, as they participated in the MTTM’s competition up in Manchester and they only went and won it, so be sure to check them out on the Jaegermeister Stage, on the Sunday! Since starting this music journalism adventure, I’ve come across two great bands very similar to these guys – Purson, who are sadly no longer with us but who were an awesome band when they were around and Blues Pills, who have gone on to be superstars. I’m predicting Voodoo Blood will follow in the footsteps of Blues Pills and will eventually take over the world. Such a unique act, so seriously, check them out before they become mega famous and charge a fortune to see them play live! haha! The band are made up of the following, Kim Jennett – Vocals and Guitar, Sean Owens – Guitar, Will Lewis – Drums and Chris Norris – Bass. As stated, exclusively, in our interview nad it pleases me to say, they announced their new single title and date of it’s release, so if you are a fan, watch the interview…
Last, but by know means least – Witch Tripper, who finished the night off in the same super fashion as they’ve done at the other thirty nine gigs they’ve already played this year and it’s only July! How much longer they can keep this up before they burn out, remains to be seen but they’re giving it their all and it’s paying off. The crowd seemed to appear from nowhere to watch tonight’s set, which was great to see. This three piece from Mansfield, are super talented and are wowing crowds up and down the country and it’s easy to see why these guys are firm favourites of ours and also with many others in the underground music scene. I think it’s about time these guys got signed to a record label or at the very least, got their music the mass coverage that it deserves. I’m not clear on how many radio stations support this band but more needs to done to help these guys reach a larger audience. I’m doing what I can, by covering as many gigs as possible but this isn’t enough as these guys are superstars, already, in their own right – on and off the stage. Come on music industry, notice this bands potential and get them out there, everyone needs to know who Witch Tripper are! Great guys and a great set tonight, I think I even managed to get a few half decent shots as well, which I’m pretty please with myself about as previous encounters have proven difficult, simply because they don’t stop moving on stage. This is great for the punters and a nightmare for photographers, but I struggle on!
Until next time music lovers, stay cool, in this belting hot summer we’re having! Peace!
Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)