Bristol is one buzzing city in the UK for bands at the moment and before I turned up for tonights awesome line up I checked and the show was just a mere tickets away from being a sold out gig. The energy at a show that is close to capacity just adds to the show and makes it all the more enjoyable, not to mention the bands live to perform for a sea of fans from wall to wall. Five bands to get through so lets get stuck in.
First to embrace the crowd and stage were Roads To Nowhere! The job to kick everything off was in the hands of Roads To Nowhere and they kicked straight in with fast tunes and technical guitar parts from the word go. It feels like someone is ripping your face off and this line up tonight is full of some of the best acts right now. The audience tonight are full of energy and punching the air along to Roads To Nowhere’s set. The drummer was wearing a black surgical type mask for the whole set on this scorching summers night. The power from this guy whilst hitting the china cymbal, blasting the double bass drum pedal boom, the cymbal stand falls over just missing guitarist Jake. They finish the song and the cymbal is back in place. Their vocalist has some screaming demonic parts whilst then powering through with some clear shouting vocals. I would like to add that sometimes when bands perform some of the moves they can look choreographed but these boys were not. Guitarist Jake was kicking the air and spinning whilst performing backing vocals and playing note perfect. The ceiling is really low here so the bands have to be careful. Near the end of the set they had some technical difficulties with the guitar and through the last song it was just squealing horribly. Jake tried to fix this but could not so dropped the guitar and picked up a mic and joined in on vocals for the entire song. Awesome job fellas and to add to technical probs it was not there fault as later on things like this were happening to the other bands.
Playing to their home crowd Everyday Sidekicks were not messing around from start to finish. Vocalist Archie Hatfields voice cut through the room for this packed out night with his clear sound. Whilst orchestrating the crowd to step forward to the front of the stage, the fans did. He also asked people ‘if you want to stage dive go for it’ and there was no stopping them then. This sort of control is nearly impossible for the second band on the line up but with Archies cheeky and confident nature it works. Plus its down to the awesome catchy riffs of Tim Brown who would get even your Grandad moving. On the last tune, bassist Sam Hughes climbed the in house monitors and sat up top to play before jumping off. One hell of a set boys if you see this name flying around go check em out, they are one of the Southwest fines!
Well what more to say about the Shields other than sadly this is there last tour. I’ve been lucky enough to have seen them a few times now and always have a good time at there shows. These guys have had one hell of a run and I’m sure the lads are going to break off and do other music projects. What a way to end a career for this band. They were so humble to the crowd appreciating there last tour and vocalist Joe kept mentioning how grateful he was to everyone that turned up to their shows over the past 8 years and for buying there music and merchandise and standing by them.
Their deep guitar tones and awesome bass sound played by Lawrence will be missed, vocalist Joe is one hell of a frontman standing on a box to tower over the crowd whilst also crouching and screaming into peoples faces. The crowd joined in singing and shouting along to a couple tracks especially “Black Dog” and “Its Killing Me” which had the crowd banging their heads whilst helping Joe and guitarist / vocalist Sam Kubrick sing along. At the end of the set Joe dived into the crowd to finish a song and the crowd held him up like a trophy. When the last note of the final song rang out, the crowd cheered so loud for the Shields and respecting that’s the last time they will see them live. Well just because its over doesn’t mean you can’t still check em out, there are many videos and tracks out there for you.
Next up was Kingdom Of Giants, unfortunately they had to deal with some technical problems, no fault of theirs of course. The main vocal mic was not working but with a slight delay it got sorted and they apologized and then BOOM rip your head off intro immediately. These guys are from across the pond in the U.S. and the fans took full advantage of them gracing our shores by making circle pits and creating mayhem from the get go. They didn’t want to waste one minute with this band. Vocalist Dana Willax is a screaming master whilst the bassist supplied some melodic vocal tones for the choruses. They played many great tracks including “Tunnel Vision” and “Damaged Goods” which were most popular with the audience. If you are unfamiliar with Kingdom Of Giants I would suggest changing that….
The crowd were cheering “Oceans” as the nights headliner Oceans Ate Alaska walked through the crowd and got on stage and opened up with “Benzaiten”. Starting with the Japanese backing intro track, same as on the album “Hikari” . The amazing intro of drums, technical double bass drum parts., flickering of cymbals and splash cymbals ringing out, together with the chuggy sounding guitars intro to pause then the deep ROOOOAAAARRRR from vocalist Jake Noakes. Then a hi hat crash to bang straight in with blast beats and heavy guitar riffs and twiddling solos by James Kennedy and rhythm guitar and backing vocals by Adam Zytkiewicz made the crowd explode on cue.
Singing the chorus flawlessly, it was hard to hear vocalist Jake due to all the crowd singing along to every song and there was no stopping the audience. Tune after tune they sang with everything they had. As a fan of drummers I will try to explain how amazed I was with Chris Turners quality playing, he deserves a slot in the next rhythm drummer of the year poll. He is definitely in my top ten. Just down to the technical aspects of what he plays to every tune is mind blowing whilst never missing the TING on the ride bell just like the albums, he truly makes it look easy. Also Jakes vocals were insanely good, to throw down a vocal delivery like that live and sound pretty much like the album and not miss a note for 45 minutes, you sir deserve a pat on the back.
The whole set was blistering by these gents and the crowd were non stop stage diving all night and moshing until they ended there last song. The fans couldn’t help by chanting “ONE MORE SONG ONE MORE SONG”, and Jake said “okay one more” (I’m pretty sure this happens every night ) but to the fans they felt special, and they played “Clocks” an old song from 2012. This was a blinder of a gig and I will definitely be catching them again soon. The band hung around and took selfies with fans. So, if your able to get to a show soon try and do it sooner than later and grab your tickets before they sell out.