Brewdog pub, down at the bottom of Dean Street was pleasantly populated with enthusiastic punters, lubricated with nice beer.This was a free gig, sponsored by NARC, but even a free gig can be hard to fill of a Thursday night when the students are away and people are on their holidays. So it was great to see a healthy sized crowd.
Cauls took to the "stage" a corner at the front of the pub and it was quickly apparent that photography wasn't going to be easy, low light and standing either behind a lot of big blokes or crouching in front of them. But we got by, we are professionals.
Cauls created varying rock soundscapes, with slightly awkward lack of spacing between songs, maybe they were rushed. I felt we would enjoy the sound more if there were more engagement with the audience. I'm funny like that, I like a bit of interaction with my music, maybe I'm a bit greedy. The music was complex and had a depth that I could appreciate although whether this is something I could play in my car on a long journey, I'm not sure. I don't want to sound like your mum, but you've got a lovely face young fella, lets see it, stop looking at those shoes.
Die Die Die! from New Zealand, brought the room to life and vocalist Andrew Wilson clearly felt that the little corner of the room was insufficient space for him to express himself. He took many trips out into the audience and entertained them with creative uses of the mic stand to play the guitar and climbed on furniture to get a better rock and roll position over the crowd at one point. The music was infectious rock punk. I found it foot-tapping and head-nodding material.
Rivals have a professional air that raises them to a level higher than a lot of local bands. They have a sound I associate both with The Clash and with Therapy?. A small number of loyal fans lined the front of the stage area and, as the gig progressed people lined the balcony area clearly enjoying the spectacle and the music. Whilst Rivals are fairly loud and fond of distortion, they have a great ear for a tune. They are definitely a band to look out for. A band ready for a good label and a much bigger stage.
Words and pictures © Joanne Oliver and Jowheretogo PR