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Live Review: Ghosts of Men, Shooty and the Bang Bang, Killatrix – Independent Venue Week – Three Wise Monkeys, 1/2/2020

We’ve lost so many excellent venues across the UK in the last decade or so, mostly because people keep buying new built flats with thin walls and then crying about the sound from already established venues. Independent Venue Week was set up as a celebration of everything great about small, independently ran, venues across the country, and to remind people that these local venues are there and you have to use them or you’ll lose them. Tonight’s show is a special Independent Venue Week one, featuring a cast of local talent.

Opening the night are Killatrix, who sit somewhere between pop and metal, with plenty of hooks and no shortage of riffs. They put a lot of energy into their performance with some strong drumming throughout. There’s a fair bit pre-programmed and, at times, I struggle to decipher what is live and what’s recorded but non-the-less it’s a fun set of music.

It feels like Shooty and the Bang Bang have been back to playing frequently over the last year and, when it comes to their live show, it shows. They’re definitely a lot tighter than a year ago with songs off their most recent record performed to perfection. Plenty of opportunities to dance around and some catchy lines to sing along to.

Headlining the night are Ghosts of Men, a two piece (three if you count Clegg’s trousers as a separate entity) who balance this out by playing riffs loud. Ghosts of Men are certainly a well oiled machine, throwing off riff after riff at an audience who are certainly happy to throw themselves around. The songs are catchy, with most choruses stuck in your head in no time, and the band are, as usual, equal part comedy, their between song chat almost as entertaining as the music itself. Ghosts of Men have a reputation for being one of the hardest working bands on the circuit and, with performances like this, it really shows. Rounding the night off with a stage invasion (mostly for a big singalong), Ghosts of Men ensure the night finishes on a high.

Ghosts of Men play Off The Beaten Track at Colchester Arts Centre on April 25th alongside an excellent cast of bands from across East Anglia.

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