gig reviews

Bath Vs Bristol Band Night

Where: Porters Cellar Bar // When: 29/09/2011

by Locks Geary Griffin

Holy Stain

This is the first of two gigs collaborating Baths’ Daddy Longlegs and Bristol’s Howling Owl Records. The intended outcome is to bridge the gap between these two cities by taking a selection of bands from each and showcasing them together.

First band up were Bristol’s Holy Stain, (sounds a bit odd written like that!), okay, first band to perform were Holy Stain from Bristol. We were presented with four young guys who created almost a wall of noise for us; think lots of rapidly played chords, fiddly melodies, cymbals and heavy bass a la Shoegazer. I have to say I think the volume needed to be turned down a wee bit in order to appreciate them more. There’s no denying they had a lot of passion and in a sense these guys are more about the feel of the music. There were also a couple of inter-band change-overs from the bassist and drummer. Holy Stain have a mixture of pure instrumental tracks and some dotted with vocals or harmonies. They have some nice breakdowns and build ups throughout the set and they demand to be listened to, check out their track ‘Reward (Omar)’.

soundcloud.com/holy-stain

Next up were another Bristol band; Towns. You should probably take into account my undying love for Britpop during this part. Towns are so ‘90s; it was refreshing to hear this style back in a young band. The guitars had remnants of My Bloody Valentine and the vocals had the essence of Smashing Pumpkins (I know they’re not British). Their final track was a hit from the start, you could tell from the beat of the drums and the bass that it was going to be good; it also had a wicked breakdown part way through. Now then, I got chatting to a few members afterwards and they filled me in on some of their ancient history; they formed in February and yet have already been recognised by NME as one of their top new bands of the year, pretty impressive. They also have a 7” single out in November so keep your eyes peeled for these boys; you can hear two of their tracks on their MySpace.

www.myspace.com/townsband

Bite The Buffalo

Bite The Buffalo from Bath were third in line. I’ve seen them before and new it was going to be fab (yes, fab). Plus there were new hairstyles and new songs for us all to enjoy. BTB are one of the few bands where the audience actually sang along with them and I had to stand on a bench at the back in order to see them. The Buffalo Boys played a proper tight set with songs such as ‘Scarlett Woman and Under (my spell)’. As for the new songs, they sounded mint and there were sure favourites rising amongst them too, one of which was ‘Polka Dot; it went down a storm. Luke from Bohemian Embassy said “I love these boys, this song is amazing it’s like they took a T-Rex song back to the 60’s and gave it more swing”. I think I’m going to end on that note…

www.myspace.com/bitethebuffalo

Last band from Bristol were Spectres. The audience was quite compact by this time of the night and I didn’t really get to see much of the band unfortunately. However, said compact crowd loved them and thus a mosh pit formed in Porters Cellar bar. Spectres have raw guitars, big drums and somehow quite dreamy vocals sort of Sonic Youth style. I think it’s very obvious that Howling Owl Records have three pretty talented bands in their pocket. These guys should be playing on their home ground soon, until then you can check out their tracks here especially ‘The Beast’ and ‘Silent Cell’.

wearespectres.bandcamp.com/

The Bohemian Embassy

The final act of the night was The Bohemian Embassy whose debut album was released earlier this summer and the launch party was also at Porters. Due to the unappreciated train times from Bath to Bristol we had to leave only a couple of songs into their set. Immensely annoying as again I’ve seen these guys before and knew these guys were going to put on a great show. What we did see included ‘Where There’s Smoke’ which is constantly running around in my head. Luckily they’re coming over to Bristol so will hopefully be able to see the full set and fingers crossed they’ll play ‘How Was the World?’

www.myspace.com/thebohemianembassy

This night just proves that there are so many up-and-coming bands in these two cities from both Daddy Longlegs and Howling Owl Records, and they are all stemming from different genres. Keep checking on the Live-Music-Scene Facebook for the date of the Bristol night and then GO!

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