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Off The Beaten Track – Rubber Jaw, Tibetan Night Terrors, Tundra, Goldblume – Coda, Colchester

Let’s start by saying this is a very good idea for a tour. Taking one band from Cambridgeshire, one from Norfolk, one from Suffolk and one from Essex and then playing a show in each county (plus London), the Off The Beaten Track tour is certainly onto a winner. The caliber of performers from each location is incredibly high too – you really couldn’t hope for a better mix of bands. And all that for free over in Coda too! Winner.

Opening the night was the job of Goldblume who brought a mathy approach to their music, at times conjuring the spirit of an early Biffy Clyro, albeit with a pretty unique approach. The set was peppered with intricate bits of instrumentation, including a whole instrumental song mid-set that was both interesting and rather lush. The fact that Goldblume were opening the show is a real indication of the strength of this bill – like all of the bands tonight they certainly could have headlined. They’re followed by Tundra, with a slightly more punky approach. The energy on stage is high from the get go, bassist Elliot has dropped to the floor mid-song a few minutes into their set and continues playing. The songs are top notch and you can’t fault them when they’re delivered with such ferocity !

Tibetan Night Terrors are a band I’ve meant to see for a long time now (we’re talking years!) but never had the opportunity. They are, I think it’s fair to say, the most danceable band on tonight’s bill, the songs driven along by tight drumming and some rather funky bass lines. The vocals are on point too, creating something really very pleasant. The addition of bongos actually adds a nice undertone to some of the rhythms later in the set and the synth lines add to the wonderful vocal melodies; a really enjoyable thirty minutes of music!

Rubber Jaw are the band I’m probably most aware of tonight but even they have undergone some changes in the eight months since I last saw them, with a change of drummer and a bassist now permanently in their ranks. The change in members has effected a change in the energy of their set, with well known songs cracking up at the climactic parts, giving a rawer, more emotional, sound to the band. I’ve seen the band in a few different iterations now; as a three piece, with strings and extra members and now as a four piece and I think that this performance connected with me the most, purely thanks to the more rough around the edges feel. I’m certain in the new year they’ll be a force to be reckoned with, and there must be new material around the corner.

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