After such a long period deprived of gigs thanks to Covid this was my second in three days. I have listened a lot to Heartsink, but this was to be the first time that I saw them live, in the headline slot too. But more of them later, there were also three fine support acts. The evening kicked off with Friday Night Lights, to me they are pop punk with a much heavier and classic punk undercurrent. They have some great songs and the shared lead/ counterpoint vocals add real depth. My one small criticism is that they felt a little under rehearsed. But to be fair that is probably the case for many bands after the last 18 months we have lived through. I bought their CD, for a quid, now that is a bargain. On top of that the CD has some cracking tunes too.
Next up were Covent, the name means Church or Monastery apparently. This lot are very heavy with an added dash of prog rock thrown into the mix. The lead singe has a brilliantly gruff vocal which conveys emotion really well. The drummer could give Animal (from the Muppets) and Keith Moon a run for their money. The break down on “Colour Drain” shows a softer, more soulful side to Covent. They also win the evenings best beard award which I award to the bass player in honour of the late, great Dusty Hill.
Shark Bait from Leeds were next and what a supremely tight band they are. Some amazing songs with a heavy take on kitchen sink dramas in the lyrics. “Drip”, about a leak in a crap house they shared in Doncaster, is a particularly good example of this. The front man/ lead vocalist is clearly also a great entertainer who really understands the crowd. The cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” was an inspired and exceptional choice of a cover. It was everything a cover version should be, very different and not just some bland boy band facsimile. The rhythm is an absolute powerhouse, the bass player even makes the full Lemmy pose when playing. How the fuck have I not come across this band before now?
Finally it was time for Heartsink, playing their first gig since March 2020. Badge this lot as just another pop punk band at your peril. Sure they have a lot of pop punk elements but they are so much broader and deeper than that. The acoustic tune was very special. This band has definitely not reached their peak but they are clearly on a very fast trajectory to get there. It is seeing bands like this, who are clearly having fun, which makes me realise how much I have missed gigs during these awful Covid times. All the bands on the bill tonight were very god and some were very tough acts to follow. But I reckon Heartsink smashed it, although Shark Bait were a very close second.
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