Having only played together once in the last 7 weeks at ‘Tuckstock’, due to our Drummers touring schedule and band members other commitments, I got a message on the Thursday before the April bank holiday from Will at l’m not from London, to see if Knives could fill a gap on the Sunday at the Orange Tree in Loughborough for their ‘Alfresco’ event. Naturally, being performance junkies, especially, when it involves supporting a worthy charity , LOROS……we had to accept and do our bit for INFL to help encourage live music venues to carry on and survive! Unfortunately, as Lee our bass player was working until 6pm, we didn’t arrive luntil 6.45pm so it was a case of load in and hit the stage … or in this case, the beer garden, complete with gazebo and BBQ station…..a great combination, and so far, the weather had been kind! After approaching the sound man Andy to enquiry as to the whereabouts of Stacey ( the organiser contact name I’d been given) he pointed to my left, only to discover that he was actually on the stage accompanying a solo acoustic performer. The host being well and truly involved gave a great vibe and was a good sign, however, it felt like a very laid back family friendly affair so I was wondering how our edgy style of Hooks, chants, struts and rants would be received at such a chilled out mid afternoon event. But it was now early evening so turning things up a notch seemed acceptable. It was far from a Shea Stadium set up, but there was a very strong possibility we were gonna wake up the neighbours and maybe give some eardrums an unexpected shock!. Yes, Loughborough was calling but ‘would they stay or would they go’ ?…. Death or Glory came to mind! ??
As we set up, Stacey announced the raffle prize winners so we chucked in our EP ‘first cuts’ for good measure. One lucky punter won two prizes and graciously put one back in the pot. I’m guessing it was probably our cd and not the bottle of Kraken… but who knows
We were a little rusty, but if anything, the crowd increased despite the odd spit of rain, so we felt we’d not let anyone down.
Following Knives were a tidy little 3 piece called JNCTRE from Derby who had a very full and tight sound, enhanced by some atmospheric keyboard effects either triggered or played along to by the drummer who was wearing audio headphones( or were they ‘ear defenders’ following our set?).
After the success of their first EP, which began as more of a recording project, producers Dan Gallagher and George Deley now go out as a band following a BBC introducing session from Stoke which led to a slot at T in The Park.They created a very electronica indie sound with pop overtones clearly appealing to the audience. The future looks bright for the duo who branched out after the roots of their 10 year studio working relationship grew and began bearing some pretty interesting fruit.
Next up was a band I had booked myself before at the TNT and I was very much looking forward to hearing them again… These Wicked Rivers, aptly named with mean punchy rhythms and flowing riffs being their forté. The vocals of frontman John Hartwell sat perfectly with the tight rhythm section of Dan Southall on drums and Jon Hallam on a six string bass, giving a nice bottom end to the overall sound. Arran Day, with his ‘Slash’ like stance delivered some precision lead guitar playing on a sunburst Les Paul through a Marshall stack. His fretwork cut through the mix with Jon’s full bodied Growling ‘Orange’ set up proudly in support, the two varying sounds complimenting each other beautifully. Not only did this band have very strong original material but they put their own style of bluesy rock into ‘Coolio’s’ mainstream 90’s rap classic Gangsta’s Paradise and current pop soul star Rory Charles Graham , AKA Rag n Bone Man’s ‘human’, so much so that you would have thought they’d written them. This band deserve a break and supporting someone like Black Stone Cherry would not seem out of place. Let’s hope they get the opportunity and recognition they deserve!
Groovy times were ahead with the headline act, Leicester’s very own GU-RU who have worked alongside Alabama 3 and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.They brought a funky psychedelic flavour to the later part of the day and ‘broke on through to the other side’ of rock as it were. Lee Spreadbury fronted the trio with a classic retro sounding 60’s electric piano/organ, reminiscent of the Fender Rhodes sound of the Doors, which was very much at the four front of the compositions. Not an electric guitar in site but it suited the mood as the night was drawing in……probably a good thing, it was a Sunday after all.
We had to trek back to Nottingham and Grantham so missed the close of the show but a fantastic time was had by all and Dj’s took the event into the early hours.
I’m not from London , I’m not even from Nottingham, but I am from ‘Garageland’
By Craig Sharp-Weir