By Natalie Greener
Treacherous snow alongside band cancellations – Hellcats’ March edition faced some pretty momentous hurdles. A risky night but somehow, we smashed it! A smaller venue, a different aesthetic and a new approach to Hellcats, this money themed single launch was our best. With iconic local bands and the headliners being our very own fellas – The Shrives, an eager crowd were ready to get things rolling. We had missed the space at our beloved Fox Talbots – a venue located on Mansfield Road, unique against its competitors. Intimate atmospheres accompanying the moody addition of inbuilt lighting, such a raw vibe presented itself.
Despite doors opening early at half six, Hellcats saw itself welcome many early individuals. Avid crowds grouped in the café, revving to go. Welcoming the audience first was George Gadd. The once-upon-a-time acoustic act certainly demanded attention. Knowing what Gadd sounds like by himself with only the safety net of a single guitar, the accompaniment of the live band made his already brilliantly crafted songs more rousing. The ensemble really helped kick the atmosphere into swing. Slightly late on stage, George was playing to a full house despite early doors. His set got feet tapping and heads bopping following his January gig at The Bodega – evidently, it rallied a crowd of more than satisfied listeners. BBC Introducing even noticed the talented soloist, playing his most recognisable track ‘Not Human’ on Nottingham’s BBC radio.
Oasis, Blur, The Stone Roses – the list goes on and on. I do know one thing for sure – the Gallaghers would certainly approve of The Chase. We all know a time when music was reaching its prime and britpop was a revolution in itself, conquering and questioning those who dared to say otherwise. The Chase really ignite the 90s feel that has been absent in the widespread music scene since the early 2000s. Truthfully, it was refreshing. Fairly young yet assertive in seizing the crowd’s attention, The Chase will unequivocally bring British rock and roll back in a way nobody even thought of. With enough local gigs to sink a battleship, the four piece are closely behind their predecessors whilst remaining serene in their standing ovation. Well received and well rehearsed, The Chase have mastered a sound that has barely been resurrected since the 90s. Hellcats had the next generation of rock legends grace their small transportable stage in a low capacity venue (café) – that’ll be one to remember in years to come.
Last up were the icons themselves – The Shrives. A symbol of fun and distinctivity, I really wasn’t surprised with the mob that extended from the front of the stage to the bar, a considerable distance away. It had only just been 24 hours since ‘Money Maker’ was released on March the 2nd and the buzz wasn’t even close to extinct. It was almost as if the lads had trained their audience to know every lyric to every song – even the track that had only been out for a limited time. Formed by Matt Grocott (Vocals and Guitar), each artist on stage were more than comfortable doing their own thing – yet it more than worked in a weird and fanciful way. Alongside Matt, The Shrives are made up of Josh Horsfall (Guitar and Backing Vocals), Henry Claude (Bass Guitar and Backing Vocals) and Joe Michelson (Drums). Each have their own personality that is undeniable on stage.
Personally, the most exotic and newfangled feature of The Shrives is how the genres of each track alternate from the next. Kick It is a track that makes you want to boogie whenever it comes on then they progress into ska. Both brilliant but divergent from the rest. However, despite the constant conflicting tracks, the set just goes together with no effort at all. Inconsistency has never worked so well. Referencing iconic reggae and ska artists like The Specials and The Paragons (or Blondie depending on your preference),they fit too well into the set. The Shrives have a distance to go but there’s no way the world will not love them – they have a certain naive charm.