Caught Live: Marisa And The Moths / Bastette, Waterloo Music Bar Blackpool 3rd October 2019

What’s this – a free to enter gig at Waterloo Music Bar over in Blackpool? Too good to pass up, even on a rainy Thursday night which made the M6/M55 somewhat ‘challenging’ to drive up. On offer were two female-fronted outfits, Bastette (who impressed me hugely when support to DORJA a few weeks ago) and Reading-based rockers Marisa And The Moths. The latter I confess are a fairly new name to me, although they have had some good reports, and include in their ranks guitarist Sophie Lloyd, a virtuoso player whose Facebook page has plenty of followers, this one included.

Bastette was up first, and this time I had a better idea of what to expect. Though you’d be forgiven for thinking that’s the name of this seven-strong ensemble, it is actually the stage name of singer/songwriter Caroline Eve Kenyon. She probably doesn’t mind if the live band as a whole is referred to as ‘Bastette’ by fans, but this is absolutely her project. Her band has keytar player Callum Dalloway, guitarist Chris Hunt, drummer Ryan Hunt and keyboardist Martin Hunt as core members, with a second guitarist (Sam Millar) and a bassist whose name I didn’t catch completing the line-up on the night. I bought the EP at the previous gig, which gave me knowledge of five of the eight tracks performed on the night plus recent single ‘Lover’, but what was clear from the off was that this material, which can vary from pop to rock is delivered with far more wallop live by this band. Opening with ‘Faultline’ from the EP, the guitars are much more upfront, Chris Hunt’s lead solos far more prominent and Sam Millar’s rhythm guitar slamming. Basically this track is turned into a hard rock performance! Even songs which aren’t on record yet such as ‘Trainwreck’ became earworms after one play, while ‘Lover’ and ‘Hunter’ (getting airplay on Primordial Radio currently) were delivered with suitable punch and panache. Bastette herself was in scintillating form, swaying those hips and singing with either a sultry, seductive style or a powerful rock delivery depending on the song. She has the voice, the looks and most importantly the songs to be playing before a lot more people on a lot bigger stages before much longer; the songs are hard-hitting live but have that pop catchiness to them which means they lodge in the mind.  Remember that name, if she isn’t playing before a couple of thousand by this time next year instead of around thirty or forty people then there really is no justice.  For the second time in just over a month, Bastette hit me for six.

Bastette set list

Bastette set list

Marisa and the Moths were a bit of an unknown quantity to me much as Bastette were last month, I had only one song to go off (‘Skin’) prior to this set. They’re a hard rock band built around the powerful voice of singer Marisa Rodriguez, with a dual guitar line-up including Chris Merton alongside the aforementioned Sophie Lloyd. On occasion Marisa herself picks up a guitar and turns this into a triple guitar attack, going full Skynyrd (!) They’re certainly a lively lot, bassist Liam Barnes acts as the foil to Marisa with his extrovert antics, while it is Sophie Lloyd who takes most (not all) of the lead guitar duties, giving us the full repertoire of hammer-ons and finger tapping in her intricate solos. What stood out for me though was what a powerful voice Marisa has – being stood at the front of the stage the mix is rarely the best, but her voice cut through the din, she’s a blues shouter fronting a heavy rock band. Their album is not yet ready for release so most of this material was completely unfamiliar to me, but there’s no doubt they’re a force to be reckoned with. They did joke about being Southerners braving things up North, in fact there was a lot of humour on the stage during their set but they did go over well with the punters who showed on this rainy week night.

Marisa And The Moths set

Marisa And The Moths set

If I’m being honest I’d say Bastette just edged it on the night, though that might have something to do with having previous (and recent) experience of their live set. I’ll definitely look out for both bands in 2020 however, and for a freebie this was excellent value!

5gtrs

5 – Delightful

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Caught Live: King Voodoo/PISTON/Collateral, EBGBs Liverpool September 14th 2019

This was a gig I went along to with the intention of seeing one band but ended up enjoying all three. I’d heard of Piston quite recently, as they have been featured on Primordial Radio and they had a face known to me in guitarist Jack Edwards. I’d not heard anything from the other two bands though, and I got there as King Voodoo were setting up. The four-piece played a short, but satisfyingly heavy set combining good harmonies with meaty guitar, and even found time to do a cover of Queen’s ‘Tie Your Mother Down’.

Up next were Piston, and they delivered an energetic performance, particularly from vocalist Rob Angelico. His tendency to jump about the stage caught the eye, but it was Jack Edwards who stood out as the star of this band. Looking effortlessly cool with that Gretsch guitar in hand, he ripped out tasty lead solos aplenty. He might have played a guitar like that of Billy Duffy, but he came across more like Joe Perry to me. Another good set ended with another cover, this time CCR’s ‘Proud Mary’.

Last band up were Collateral, and from the outset it was clear this was going to be a party. Vocalist Angelo Tristan was celebrating his birthday on this night, and had already declared himself drunk! He wore a long coat made up of various patches, reminding me of one Bowie wore, but this band are clearly inspired by the 1980s era. Big choruses, widdly solos, and the Big Rock Ending to top off the songs. There was a bit of a mishap after the first song, when Tristan was supposed to pick up an acoustic guitar and go straight into the second number, but a fault on his box of tricks put paid to that idea. Once sorted, they launched into it again from the closing ‘D’ chord of the last number!

They have the lot already; a frontman who already looks like a star, a nimble-fingered guitarist in Todd Winger, a tight rhythm section and the songs to take them to much bigger stages than these before long. They already came across like they were rocking the house down at Hammersmith, not a tiny basement stage in Liverpool, such was the way they presented themselves. They are reminiscent of early Bon Jovi, when they rocked harder, and these could be the band you’ve been looking for if you miss their hairband days. Although by his own admission the frontman was drunk, it didn’t appear to affect his performance, noodling away on the acoustic guitar and relishing every moment on stage; pulling faces, throwing shapes.

I expect this band to be playing larger venues within a year, and I shall watch their progress with interest. Great night of rock, and there’s another chance to see Piston and Collateral soon when they pitch up in Wigan on the 27th September.

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4 – Deserving

King Voodoo Facebook Page

Piston Facebook Page

Collateral Facebook Page

Holly Henderson releases video for ‘Pride Can Wait’

Maidstone singer/musician/songwriter Holly Henderson has released a new promo video for her track ‘Pride Can Wait’, taken from her acclaimed ‘Monday Green’ album.  Filmed in her native Kent, the clip shows her in dreamy looking scenes near the coast, walking along pathways in the countryside and stood before an imposing structure which is a ‘sound mirror’.  These concave concrete blocks acted as an ‘early warning’ system by picking up and amplifying the sound of approaching aircraft engines.

The song is a dreamy, ethereal number with a visual that accompanies it perfectly, capturing perfectly the mood of summer ending and autumn coming. The clip is now available to view on YouTube or embedded below:

The album ‘Monday Green’ is available to stream or download by following this link

Holly Henderson ‘Monday Green’

CATS in SPACE release reworked ‘September Rain’ with new vocalist

Earlier this year UK retro-rock band CATS in SPACE announced their new vocalist as Mark Pascall, who came in for original singer Paul Manzi. The new guy has performed some shows with the band and by all accounts has been welcomed by the ‘Cat Fans’, but they have decided to introduce him properly by re-recording an older song to feature his vocals. The single was released in limited quantities on CD but is also available on YouTube now.

‘September Rain’ was originally on the band’s second album ‘Scarecrow’, and this version has been completely remade. The arrangement is not much different however, so it serves the purpose of giving the fan base a taste of what Pascall will bring to the table. The song, a mid-temp pop rocker that you’ll find yourself singing for hours afterwards, is ideally suited for radio stations although whether it will actually get any airplay is another matter altogether!

It is a good move on the band’s part; giving their new frontman a small piece of the back catalogue to make his own of, especially since he has to go out there and sing songs that Paul Manzi put down on record. It helps bed in Pascall to the role, and he delivers a performance that is a little different, perhaps slicker than Manzi, but arguably just as good.

Those worried about the band’s direction with a new voice at the mic need worry no longer, the group are in good hands with Mark Pascall. Below is the new promo video for this version of ‘September Rain’:

5gtrs

5 – Delightful

CATS in SPACE Facebook Page

Caught Live: Vain, Tivoli Venue Buckley, 30th August 2019

If ever a band was stiffed by the grunge wave it was Vain. Coming to prominence in 1989 with debut album ‘No Respect’, the San Francisco sleaze rockers led by charismatic vocalist Davy Vain rapidly gained followers as songs such as ‘Beat The Bullet’ and ‘No Respect’ got established in many a rock club DJ’s sets. They toured the UK that year as support to Skid Row, and won over many more fans as a result. Until tonight that was the only time I’d seen Vain live, as soon after grunge took over and bands such as this couldn’t get arrested. You’d be forgiven for thinking ‘No Respect’ was their one and only album, it’s certainly the one anyone who remembers them will think of, but their second album was shelved by their then label as grunge took over the rock scene. Davy Vain reappeared in 2000 with a solo album (‘In From Out Of Nowhere’) which also was overlooked, coming during the time when nu-metal ruled the roost.

The group reconvened in recent years, and this date at the Tivoli was one I was looking forward to. For once I was not alone at the gig, accompanied by an old friend from younger days, when hair was big and spandex was plentiful. She was eager to see this band herself, having fond memories of that support slot 30 years ago. We got in to catch most of openers The Clan, a Wirral trio frequently booked by Tivoli manager Rokib Miah to support the bigger acts he is increasingly able to secure for this fabled old venue. They were playing to few early arrivals and the bar staff, but delivered a fun set of what they call ‘feel good rock’. Next up were Shyyne, a sleaze rock band in the style of 80s rockers like Faster Pussycat. So much so, my friend was convinced they’d covered some of Taime Downe’s band’s material! They also gave a decent account of themselves (with vocalist Toni Gale taking a walkabout mid-set and mid-song, to perform to a punter at the bar!) but also performed to an almost deserted floor.

It wasn’t until nearer 9 that the place started to see some action, and the floor did fill for Vain. However they took their time getting ready; there was finally some action on the stage as the members began to set up at around 9:30. They eventually came on stage at around 10pm, kicking off with ‘Secrets’, also the opener to that ‘No Respect’ album which would form the majority of this set. I have to say I wasn’t convinced by Davy Vain’s stage wear (!) when he strolled out in a pork pie hat and appalling red trousers that left little to the imagination, complete with grubby knees. Despite the sartorial slip-ups, he soon showed he still has his voice if not the big hair and smouldering appeal of three decades ago. Well backed vocally by bassist Ash Mitchell, and with the twin guitars of Joel Proto and Eric Bäckman slashing away, if you closed your eyes it could have been 1989 all over again as they ran through old favourites such as ‘Icy’, ‘Down For The 3rd Time’, ‘Who’s Watching You’ and of course ‘No Respect’.  Fortunately for your correspondent they did also play ‘1000 Degrees’; my gig companion for the evening loves that song and was delighted to hear it done live. There were one or two songs performed that were NOT on ‘No Respect’, such as ‘Love Drug’ but this band knew what most of us were here for and gave us what we wanted.

My only real quibble was that the set was rather short, I think it lasted an hour at the most. Considering they were a long time getting ready to play that was a little bit disappointing, but they did play well when they did eventually appear and in performing most of ‘No Respect’ live, they did send the fans (many of whom sang these songs back at the band readily) home happy. Hopefully they’ll be able to come back to these parts again, there’s certainly still enough in the vocalist’s tank to perform for a while yet. Just get a decent pair of kecks next time, Davy!

Vain Facebook page

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4 – Deserving

Caught Live: DORJA (with Bastette): Waterloo Music Bar Blackpool, 28th August 2019

International hard rockers DORJA do have to plan their tour schedules a good way in advance since their membership is spread far and wide, and also because the personnel are also involved in other projects. This tour was arranged several months ago, but as the dates drew nearer some sad news came through that guitarist Sarah Michelle had elected to step down from the band after two years. The Dubliner brought considerable playing talent to the group, so this came as a disappointment to their followers.

Rather than seeking out a new member with so little time before the tour kicked off (taking in several dates in continental Europe this time, as well as shows in Britain) the remaining four opted to work with guests. For the UK run then, it was Dakesis guitarist Matt Jones who came in alongside incumbent guitarist Rosie Botterill, vocalist Aiym Almas, bass player Becky Baldwin and drummer Anna Mylee. It isn’t the first time they’ve performed with a guy on stage (their producer Oliver Lee stood in on bass last year for selected dates while the in-demand Baldwin played with Hands Off Gretel) but it did mean a slightly different dynamic.

The Waterloo Music Bar in Blackpool is getting some good bands play; the converted pub with a full stage fitted is becoming a fixture on the live circuit now. I got in to find Bastette on stage, but it soon became clear this was a soundcheck not a set. Bastette is the stage name of singer Caroline Kenyon, as opposed to a band name but she did have a full band behind her with two guitarists, both a keyboard player and a guy on keytar, plus a bassist and drummer. Although an apparent newcomer, she has many years’ experience on the live circuit behind her.  Her EP suggested that the material was more towards pop than rock, but live this outfit delivers her songs with plenty of punch. Bastette herself proved to be a sexy, alluring performer with many sensual moves to go with what is a seductive vocal. She (and her band) made a great impression, and I will definitely look out for her again soon.

DORJA’s debut album ‘Gemini’ was given a full release earlier in the year (it was issued to crowdfunders in 2018) and so this was the first time they were touring with an actual album to promote, available at the stand. Consequently pretty much everything from it was performed, kicking off with album opener ‘Chainbreaker’. Despite the loss of Sarah Michelle it was still a marvellous set, Matt Jones kept to his spot stage left all night while accurately replicating the guitar parts on record. He and Botterill dovetailed beautifully on the lead guitar part in the bluesy ‘Use You’, while for her part she shredded splendidly on ‘Limitless’, even reminding your correspondent of a certain Doug Aldrich with her nimble fingerwork. A deviation from the album material came when they revived ‘Not In Your Shadow’; a song which appeared on their first EP ‘Target Practice’ but unlike all the other songs on that release, did not make the tracklisting for ‘Gemini’. It is my personal favourite song by them, so this was a particular treat for me to hear it done live for the first time in over two years.

Almas was in fine vocal form tonight, she possesses both a smokey, seductive vocal or a throaty roar. Add to that her command of the stage, her ability to draw in and hold the attention and we have a real star on our hands. Sat right at the back and quite high up was Anna Mylee, whose assured performance behind the kit drove the others along. They closed out with a cover of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Higher Ground’, done in the style of the Chili Peppers’ cover, demonstrating their funkier side.

Once again, this band smashed it out of the park; considering they can only get together sporadically they sound as though they spend much more time together, they’re that tight. I spoke to Anna Mylee following the show and among other things, she revealed that they’re already planning another run of dates in February. She also told me that they will continue with the use of guest players for the foreseeable future, before eventually recruiting a new guitar player when they make their second album.

See this band when you next get the chance!

Bastette Set List:

  • Faultline
  • Primal
  • Lover
  • Sunglass
  • Trainwreck
  • Rip Me To Shreds
  • Crazy
  • Hunter

DORJA Set List:

  • Chainbreaker
  • Limitless
  • Too High
  • Not In Your Shadow
  • Gemini
  • Silence
  • Far Gone
  • Use You
  • Target Practice
  • Fire
  • Reaching Out
  • Higher Ground

Bastette Facebook Page

DORJA Facebook Page

5gtrs

5 – Delightful

The Dead Daisies: Hughes in, Corabi/Mendoza out

The worst-kept secret in rock was finally confirmed this week when The Dead Daisies unveiled a brand new track, ‘Righteous Days’ featuring Glenn Hughes on vocals and bass alongside present members Deen Castronovo (drums), Doug Aldrich (lead guitar) and founder member/rhythm guitarist David Lowy. The story was first broken by Sleaze Roxx but it was almost two weeks before we were given official confirmation.  According to their statement, previous vocalist John Corabi and bassist Marco Mendoza were concentrating on their own solo careers, while the statement also reminded followers that the outfit was founded as a ‘collective’ whereby personnel would come and go.

Their statement as taken from their own website is reproduced here:

The Dead Daisies are a musical collective, whose members come together through a common love for great rock music. It’s a living, breathing, musical organism with the credo, “Rock is indeed alive & well!”

From the band’s inception, the idea was for members to bring their own ideas to the table but also have the flexibility to come and go when working on their other projects.

Both John and Marco are, and always will be, a part of The Dead Daisies musical family, but at this point in time they have decided to do some work on their own solo projects.

The recruitment of Hughes is a coup for the Daisies; up to now they’ve been made up of excellent, accomplished players who were associated with legendary bands or artists. Hughes was actually a part of a legendary band himself as a member of Deep Purple. Since he returned to the scene in 1993 following his ‘lost years’, he has been exceptionally productive, releasing solo albums at a frantic rate as well as collaborating with many other notable musicians in ‘supergroups’ such as Black Country Communion. However, the departure of both the charismatic Corabi and the dynamic Mendoza is bound to disappoint many fans, especially since Corabi has recorded three albums with them and it is no coincidence that their popularity (in the UK at least) has ballooned since they started to settle into a period of relative stability. Hughes’ vocal style is vastly different to that of Corabi, and that may take some getting used to for fans who are familiar with him being at the helm.

The track released this week (‘Righteous Days’) is a good song in itself; showcasing Hughes’s trademark soaring vocals, the heavy chugging guitar sound is still there (Hughes himself has a thunderous bass sound). How they will sound singing older material live that is associated with Corabi remains to be seen, although Corabi himself had to perform songs recorded by original singer Jon Stevens when he first came into the band.  The track was exclusively unveiled on Planet Rock radio in the UK and also is available to listen to on their website.

Hughes is currently still touring with his set performing Deep Purple material from his time with the band, once that’s concluded he will link up with the Daisies for a new album.  The band’s site once again:

David, Doug, Deen & Glenn head back into the studio later in the year to finish the album and look forward to seeing you on the road in 2020!

For those who haven’t yet checked out the new song ‘Righteous Days’ click the link below:

The Dead Daisies statement and new track ‘Righteous Days’

Those who caught Hughes live when he was touring with Doug Aldrich a few years ago should be excited as to what is in store next year.

Album: The Dead Daisies ‘Locked And Loaded’

At the time of writing this post Daisyland appears to be very much in flux; in August 2019 a report on Sleaze Roxx claimed that vocalist John Corabi and bassist Marco Mendoza had parted company with the Dead Daisies, to be replaced by none other than Glenn Hughes. This has yet to be confirmed by either the Daisies or the Hughes camp it must be emphasised, and the site as of the date of this entry still lists Corabi as vocalist and Mendoza as bass player.  Meanwhile the band have issued this album of covers, most of which have been released previously on each of their studio albums issued to date, but also incorporating three live tracks.

The group have made a point of including a cover or two on their albums and have done plenty of other bands’ songs live as well as their own, but this is the first time these have been collated into a single album.  ‘Midnight Moses’ and ‘Evil’ (which both featured on the album ‘Revolucion’) kick things off, followed by covers of CCR (‘Fortunate Son’), The Who (‘Join Together’) then both the Beatles (‘Helter Skelter’) and the Stones (‘Bitch’) are given the Daisies tip of the hat before we get the first of three live offerings: ‘We’re An American Band’ originally by Grand Funk Railroad. Another Beatles cover (‘Revolution’, which appeared on the last studio album ‘Burn It Down’) follows before two more live tracks close the set (Neil Young’s ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ and Deep Purple’s’ Highway Star’, notable since guitarist Doug Aldrich handles both lead solos, making a decent fist of Jon Lord’s original solo transcribed for guitar).

The album is pretty hard-rockin’ stuff; all these covers have had a bit of fuel injected into them to give a tad more ‘oomph’. Despite the fact it features numerous line-ups of the band it does feel quite coherent still. My only quibble would have been that they could have included an acoustic track or two, from the last tour when they did an interlude. They did a great version of Rod Stewart’s ‘Maggie May’ for example (featuring drummer Deen Castronovo on lead vocal) and that would have changed the pace of this a little bit more.  Still, as a ‘stop-gap’ between studio albums it works pretty well. For those who have many of these covers already on the previous records, these have been remastered for this release.

Fingers crossed that the band will reveal their hand sooner, rather than later and let us know who is, or is out of, the collective we know as The Dead Daisies for 2020!

Locked and Loaded album cover

Locked and Loaded album cover

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4 – Deserving

New rock trio Silverthorne tear the sky wide open

Many years ago now, when Thunder had reconvened following a split I’d gone to see them play on their comeback UK tour. Along for the ride were a young trio, who went through several names before settling on ‘Winterville’, led by a blonde singer/guitarist from the North East named Peter Shoulder. He’d garnered praise from Thunder’s own frontman Danny Bowes, and it was easy to see why after seeing this band perform. I distinctly remember them coming on to indifference, and after gradually grabbing the ears of punters there only to see Harry’s boys do their stuff, went off to huge cheers. It was largely down to Shoulder’s vocal, the sort of soulful bluesy delivery that evoked memories of a young Coverdale, but with his own slant.

Winterville only got to make one album before splitting themselves, however Shoulder wasn’t idle for long. He teamed up with Thunder’s Luke Morley to form The Union, who released three albums in the first half of this decade to critical acclaim. However, this came after Thunder had once again called it a day, and it was noticeable at The Union gigs how many Thunder t-shirts were in evidence, suggesting their fans still weren’t quite ready to let that band go. Morley took the hint, reuniting once more with his Thunder mates and they have continued to more success. Meanwhile, save for a low-key acoustic tour a few years ago, Peter Shoulder had apparently disappeared off the radar. Until now – when he reappeared with a new rock trio, featuring bassist Daniel Spree and a certain Brian Tichy on drums. The Tichy link quite possibly came about when The Union opened for Whitesnake a few years ago (while Tichy was a member of Coverdale’s outfit), nonetheless this was quite a surprise when announced, with a teaser for a new song ‘Tear The Sky Wide Open’. That song and video were released fully on 12 August 2019, and they promise more to come soon.

On the evidence of this one song, it sounds like the North East man has got his mojo back in a big way. The track is very reminiscent of Winterville, with that heavy electric guitar sound once more to the fore, alongside that distinctive voice adding the touch of class. With the mighty Tichy driving it all along this looks to be a must-see band for 2020 if they make it over to the UK (Shoulder is now based in LA alongside Tichy and the unknown – to me, at least – Spree).  I’ve no idea whether they have a full album’s worth of material yet, so it may be that they play as support to another band. Either way, I look forward to getting reacquainted with the guys soon – or newly acquainted, in the case of their bassist!

Silverthorne Facebook Page

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4 – Deserving

Caught Live: The SoapGirls, Live Rooms Chester 28th July 2019

The South African ‘revolt rock’ sisters came to Chester on a wet and windy Sunday night in this unassuming looking venue close to the city’s railway station. They’d been allocated the smaller bar stage as opposed to the larger main stage, but that’s probably suitable for the trio (including their touring drummer Sam Ogden) as they’re used to this kind of setting, as they continue their seemingly relentless gigging schedule. This was the first chance I’d had to see the Soapies since the release of their fourth album ‘Elephant In The Room’, meaning they had the CD available to buy on the night. They have been playing several tracks from it at their gigs for some time however, so these songs are already well established in the minds of their followers, dubbed the ‘SoapSuds’.

There were three acts on the bill tonight, and things got under way with Spam Javelin. A trio who dress in what looks like posh Christmas wrapping paper (!), they specialise in short, snappy and speedy numbers touching on a variety of offbeat subjects. Some of these last little more than a minute! They weren’t on long but it felt like an intense workout just watching, such is the ferocity of their delivery. Next up were Saltwater Injection, a duo of a drummer/vocalist and a bassist, who play what cannot be described as drum & bass! The bassist had a heavy distorted sound, while the drummer thrashed about while delivering some disconcerting screams and roars. Energetic as it was, it was a bit atonal for my rather traditional tastes (in other words, I kinda like a song I can remember!)

Whatever else is said about the SoapGirls, one thing that they definitely do well is pen a catchy ditty. For all the controversy about their look (once again, they performed in little more than body paint and lingerie) they do have a knack for a pop hook amongst their own guitar assault. Bassist/singer Camille ‘Mille’ Debray declared from the outset that they were about freedom of expression, and anyone who didn’t agree could leave (or words to that effect!) She sounded a little hoarse, something she did acknowledge before getting things underway with ‘Ex-Girlfriend’ from the latest album. It is Mille who draws most of the attention, with her penchant for either bending over backwards or doing the splits while still playing her bass, while guitarist/singer Noemie ‘Mie’ Debray focuses on smiling at the punters while splitting their heads with that buzzsaw of a guitar. Mie has taken a more prominent vocal role of late, allowing Mille to astonish those present with  her gymnastic acts. How she does that while never missing a beat is beyond my comprehension, though if you can look beyond the antics you will see an accomplished four-stringer.

I’d seen them twice before already this year, and on this occasion they opted not to do the ‘One Eyed Willy’ drinking challenge (a dubiously-decorated bottle containing an alcoholic cocktail, which they challenge an audience member to drink) or any of their usual slapstick stunts, focusing instead on playing the music. The set concentrated on the current album (I particuarly liked ‘Bitter’; hard rock but with that pop element to lodge in the mind) but there were some oldies from the two previous records played too, including ‘Sam’s On Crack’, ‘Society’s Rejects’ as well as ‘Bloody’, ‘Hater’ and of course ‘Champagne Cocaine’ from their first independently-released album (second overall),  ‘Calls For Rebellion’. As is so often the case, they got several people up on stage with them to ‘help’ on ‘Bad Bitch’, the song which got them played on Planet Rock – albeit in heavily censored form!

They’ve been touted as the ‘next big thing’ for a couple of years now, and as is so often the case they do win over new people. I overheard more than one first-timer speaking to Mille afterwards telling her, Mie and drummer Sam Ogden how much they enjoyed the show. They believe in doing it the old-fashioned way, with a strong gigging schedule and playing to whoever makes the effort to come along. If I’m honest, I’d have expected them to have been playing bigger stages (such as the main stage here) by now, but they’ll get there eventually even if it means no compromise whatsoever in their beliefs.  Recommended that you take the chance to see the SoapGirls live should they rock up anywhere within reach.

5gtrs

5 – Delightful

The SoapGirls Facebook Page

Saltwater Injection Facebook Page

Spam Javelin Facebook Page