First up were ‘Foule’, a trio who play a mixture of chilled-out psychedelia and jam-based soul music. Featuring Gilad Grant on guitar/vocals, bassist Ross Barns and Michael King on drums, the band’s set revolves around their musicianship rather than their ability to write short, concise pop songs. The vocals become another instrument in the mix rather overpowering the music, which gives each member the chance to ‘strut their stuff’, so to speak. ‘I’m In’ is a perfect example of this, as the spacey nature of the clean chords and sudden stops lets both the guitar and bass weave in and out of each bar. The song builds up to a climactic ending, which boasts a melodic guitar solo full of bends and double-stops – Hendrix himself would be impressed!
Ross and Michael are self-professed fans of jazz, which shows in their laid-back playing style and rhythmic mentality. Both of these elements serve the songs well and allow for Gilad to play solos and not be confined to just playing chords. His ethereal melodies were created by utilising several guitar pedals, which made the sound a lot larger on songs such as ‘Untitled’. Fitting that Gilad was wearing a ‘NASA’ t-shirt eh? Shifting time-signatures and key changes showcased the tight-knit nature of the trio and gave a glimpse into what their band practise sessions must be like. Foule’s jam-based set was a joy to watch, but seemed a little out of place in ‘The Southbank’ and the crowd response was a little more muted than it should’ve been. I for one really enjoyed it and could see that the trio had a lot of musical proficiency as both a band and individuals. They have plans to record again and have already released an E.P called ‘Large’, which features many of the songs they played live.
Foule’s Song Picks:
Alloe Black – The Man
The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter
The Beatles – Abbey Road Medley
Redbone – Come and Get Your Love
Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine
Guilty Pleasure: Michael Jackson – Earth Song
Second on the billing were ‘False Heads’, a noise-rock trio from ‘the outskirts of East London’. Kicking off with the grungy ‘TwentyNothing’, which features a dissonant lead guitar part straight from the Pixies’ ‘Doolittle’, the band play songs full of distorted power chords, heavy basslines and thrashy drums rolls. ‘False Heads’, which consists of singer/guitarist Luke Griffiths, Jake Elliot on bass and drummer/backing vocalist Barney Nash, have had quite a bit of success recently with stints on ‘Radio X’ and even an endorsement from that skinny bloke who did the Swift Cover adverts…Iggy Pop or something like that? ‘Steal and Cheat’ has the punky rhythm, that was the soundtrack of 1977, and uses that soft verses/loud chorus dynamic popularised by the alternative rock bands of the late 80s/early 90s. Griffiths employs that apathetic drawl for a vocal delivery, which is perfect for these short, compact songs of scathing vitriol and biting cynicism. The bass guitar (courtesy of Jake Elliot) is dirty, distorted and provides a perfect groove for the verse and extra oomph for those noisy choruses. Nash’s drumming is frenzied and it’s clear that he’s been studying up on Dave Grohl’s chops from the Nirvana days. It all comes together perfectly and rather than just end after the last chorus, they decide to take a left-turn down ‘Outro Lane’, to showcase some more riffage and drum rolls. This is heard on ‘Slew’, which is like a heavier version of Rush – a comparison I’m sure they’d think wasn’t all that cool but is meant as a compliment. It’s no surprise that they needed the multiple water breaks, brought to them by girlfriend/long-time fan Kerri! ‘False Heads’ definitely blew the socks off the place and I know Will thought they were fantastic, as did I. ‘Gutter Press’ is their new EP and they plan to promote it at some upcoming festivals. If they come to a town near you, I suggest you check them out.
False Heads’ Song Picks:
The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio
Pixies – Debaser
Nirvana – All Apologies
Radiohead – Lucky
Neutral Milk Hotel – Two Headed Boy
Guilty Pleasure: Sixpence None the Richer – Kiss Me
To finish off the night were indie rockers ‘Vanity Box’, a five-piece group that features; Tom Chambers on guitar/vocals, Darren Moulds on lead guitar, drummer Paul Robinson, Chris Miggells on Keyboards/Vocals and bassist Jack Baines. They have a mix of influences between them such as Biffy Clyro, Miles Kane, Oasis and even some classical music from Chris. This gig was in support of their upcoming release called ‘Heartbeats’, a song with passionate vocals and melodic guitar fills. The frantic drum rolls make way for a nice time-signature change in the chorus, which also deploys some sweet synth leads, thus adding a new texture to the indie rock sound. ‘The Other Side’ has a more low-key approach, featuring acoustic guitar as well as jangly leads that sound like long-lost Johnny Marr riffs. Jack Baines’ bass playing is simple yet effective; it aims to serve the song’s rhythm rather than overpower the chuggy guitar fills. Paul said that he and Jack often create their arrangements together, so as to complement the compositions that usually come from Tom or Darren’s guitar riffs. Tom’s vocals have a Kasabian quality to them and soar throughout the song such as ‘The Right Time’, which goes from an acoustic-bluesy vibe (think ‘Lord Don’t Slow Me Down’ by Oasis) before blossoming into a cinematic chorus, courtesy of the keyboard flourishes. They got a good crowd response, and the feel-good, sing-along choruses that they promote had people smiling and heads bobbing. You can catch ‘Vanity Box’ on their current tour, which features many Nottingham dates.
If this article has piqued your interest, then why not check out the next free Nightfish event? It’s being held Thursday 16th March at ‘The Southbank’ and will feature Indie rockers ‘Atlas‘ and ‘The Days We Don’t’, a local alternative rock outfit.
By Oliver Cobbin