When the government announced nearly a fortnight ago that they’d be extending the June re-opening date to July it looked like fully live music was out the window again. With venues already suffering financially from the last year and a half all of a sudden countless events had to be rescheduled into already busy diaries in the hope that they’ll be able to run at capacity next month. At the decision of the bands and Three Wise Monkeys this show went ahead as a socially distanced gig, with a limited crowd of 30 people seated. It’s not the ideal situation, especially for full bands, but, after over a year, it’s just great to see live music coming back again, a sort of soft start for full on gigs.
Opening the night is Daniel Stephen Turner, a solo musician who first came to my attention back in December, offering his time to be part of our alternative hootenanny with Black Cactus Studio. He has been getting himself out there since things slowly started to reopen, playing countless open mic nights and spreading the word of his music. Despite playing acoustically, his songs sound as though they were written with full band in mind – I’d describe it as similar to what I thought when I first came across Oxygen Thief live, the energy behind it more punk than refrained.
Next up are newcomers She’s In Parties. I’d say it took about 15 seconds before I was completely awestruck by this band; reverb laden guitar parts wash over the seated crowd while the vocals ring out over the top. Musically She’s In Parties create a magnificent wall of sound and they have an incredible knack for dynamics and the vocals are absolutely top class. I’d go as far as to say that they’re the best new local band I’ve heard in quite some time – I didn’t know what I was expecting going into this gig but I wasn’t expecting something with quite so much atmosphere. Brilliant. Absolutely go and watch this band.
Finishing the night is the job of FOL, another band I’ve come across through the streams with Black Cactus. They’re definitely the most rock band of the evening, with guitar riffs a plenty and the attitude to match – in another universe they’d have had an audience full of people moshing tonight but they still give it their all performing to room of seated people and were clearly thirsty to play live. Considering how long the band have been around they’ve got a solid body of work behind them with six tracks already up and streaming and they’re certainly well rehearsed, judging by how tight the performance was. 00:15 is a standout track, in my opinion – it’s got a great hook to it alongside some quality riffs.