It’s not often you get to see a new band in intimate surroundings that should really be playing in a much bigger venue to a lot more people, this is exactly what happened to musicmuso on Friday 25th April at The Cavern Club in Exeter, read on to find out how the evening unfolded….
We received an email from a PR company that we have worked with for ages, asking if we would be interested in popping up to Exeter to check out a band called Little Matador. I perused the press release and saw that the band consisted of some great players that had been involved in some superb groups over the past few years, imagine a group formed by members of Snow Patrol, Idlewild, Tired Pony and The Frames and you can understand why we were so keen to get up there and see what they had to offer.
Opening up the evening’s festivities were a Falmouth based 4 piece called ‘Cereal’, consisting of Samuel, Thomas, Charlie & Joe. They played a blinding set consisting of some great tracks featuring amazing guitars, squeeling feedback and incendiary drums, their sound bouncing between early Dinosaur Jr and Pixies with a sprinkling of Yuck thrown in for good measure. It was a shame that there weren’t many people in the club when they played but by the end of their set, they had won over the audience with their energetic performance.
This is certainly a local act to watch out for and I hope that they have managed to book some festival appearances for the summer of 2014 as they deserve to be heard on a bigger stage. We will be uploading an ‘Introducing’ piece on the guys (check back in a week or so for an update…), in the meantime, you can lay your hands on a FREE download of a track called ‘Johnathonanon’ at Bandcamp, click HERE to get your hands on it.
So, once Cereal had cleared away their weapons of mass destruction (guitars and associated paraphernalia), the masses of foot switches and effect pedals that the band use, we thought this looked like some pretty ‘serious shit’ and got a little more excited (we are very shallow individuals who need to get out more).
Little Matador are Nathan Connolly (lead vocals and guitar), Dave Magee (Guitar), Troy Stewart (guitar and vocals), Gavin Fox (Bass and vocals) and Binzer Brennan (Drums).
They took to the stage and stormed into their set at a blistering pace, the crowd had swelled to a respectable number by now and I was surprised not to see the usual ‘jumpy-up-and-downy’ types that Exeter gigs normally conjure up. Musically, they were tighter than a mouses ear and at times, heavier than hell, there were lighter tracks that helped to balance out the evening. We were treated to some magnificent guitar and vocal work from Connolly and Stewart throughout the set, great rhythm guitar from Magee with Fox and Brennan keeping the rhythm section pounding along nicely.
Connolly had a lot to say during the gig, mainly chatting about their debut album that has just been released, whisky and staying behind after the show to enjoy a few drinks. On this note, he suggested that he buy all of the audience a drink, we all thought that was a splendid idea and shortly afterwards, trays of whisky were produced from the bar and handed out to all in attendance. They played a sea shanty that Connolly had recently written and at the end, we all ‘downed’ our drinks to mass applause. The atmosphere changed after the whiskies were necked and a few people moved to the front of the room to enjoy some dancing and jumping about (they were always there, it just took them a few drinks to pluck up the courage to start).
So how did they do? Well, it would not be right of me to play purely on the strengths of Connolly who, after his work with such a heavyweight as Snow Patrol was certainly the driving force and enigmatic front man that every band needs, I would rather draw upon the collective talent that they all bring to the table. We saw some explosive guitar work from the trio of players, tight drumming and perfectly executed bass lines (despite Gavin feeling a little off on the night).
I would love the opportunity to catch the band playing live at a festival where they’d be received really well, they have the look and sound of a band that will go on to do great things. Their sound is so precise and powerful, I am sure that their debut album has started to sell by the bucket load already as it really is a great collection of tracks that deserve to be heard, I would even go as far as to say that this is the best album that we have heard from a new band in 2014 so far.
We will soon be uploading an ‘Introducing’ feature on the band, keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, you can catch them playing live all over the country from now until July, check their SITE for more details
Their debut album is available to buy NOW