These Sunday night gigs in Plymouth are starting to become a regular fixture, not a bad thing by any standards, I just feel that they should be hosted mid week instead to ensure the biggest audience possible, saying that, as the evening progressed, the place started to fill nicely, by the time the main act were on stage, it really was 'standing room only'. I'd not seen any of the bands live before, was it to be a 'trick' or 'treat' situation, read on to find out....
First up was Cornwall's very own duo, 'Kaninchen' which means 'Rabbit' in German, we had previously reviewed a track of their's called 'Loss' and after catching up with them before their performance, they said that their musical direction had taken a 'bit of a diversion' since. They now pigeonhole themselves as Noise/Electronica/Spoken Word, this is one that I had never come across before so expectations were high.
They took to the stage, armed with a laptop, a microphone, some percussion style instruments and a voice. Their opening track filling the room with a moody atmospheric soundscape of white noise, beeps, bleeps and electro beats. As their set progressed, the sound mellowed to a cross between a sound that Les Claypool from Primus would have produced with Dave Gilmour on lead guitar, this was most pleasant, then the vocals crashed in, agitated, frustrated, a cry from deep within, this, doubled with a booming bass drum to really hammer home the content, it ended with a sound that I can only describe as 'digital leakage'.
Their next track offered a rather floaty backdrop, overlaid with a hypnotic, almost pulse like beat, more vocals, less agitated this time, I am unsure if this is classed as music, art or drama, maybe a blend of all three. They closed their set with a track that opened with an impressive bout of feedback which was at least on par with Teenage Fanclub's opening track on their 1992 album 'Bandwagonesque', this led to more shouty vocals, frantic, urgent, all wrapped up at the end with both Craig and Chris on their knees, overcome by emotion and physically drained.
If you're into the alternative scene, love a bit of noise and theatrical performance, then make sure you check these guys out in the future, they are set to play the Studio Bar in Penzance on November 1st, if you're in the area, get down and see what all the noise is about!
Next up, a 4 piece dirty swamp blues outfit called Cave Mouth who hail from Exmoor, Bristol and Exeter, gone were the laptops and noisy percussion devices and out came the guitar, bass, drums and saxophone, I love a sax in a band, especially when they're not a jazz band! They had not been able to soundcheck earlier in the evening so they treated the audience to 30 seconds of vocal warmups, guitar strumming and various drums being belted with little mercy. Once the sound technician gave his approval, they were off, announcing that "They're going to be really old fashioned and play some music"....
I would sum up their sound as a funkier version of The Black Keys, the sound building up, then breaking it down to a lull before kicking back in, putting the needle back on the groove once again. A song about spiders bought the sax player into the frame, never holding the spotlight, it sounded so good and really added to the sound of the band. Every track seemed to start with a real killer guitar lick that, when accompanied by the driving bass and pounding drums, really made you want to get up and shake your tail feather!
At the end of their set, I spoke to the guitarist and bass player and they agreed to do an interview, you'll be able to see this once I have written the questions, sent it to them to complete and have uploaded it to the site.....in the meantime, you can check out more of their amazing music HERE
Now, being a young man (ahem) who cut his teeth in the music world from the mid 80's to the late 90's, I am no stranger to the 'Shoegaze' movement, I used to love bands like The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and other newer acts such as Chapterhouse and Ride who all filled my empty head with a unique and exciting sound. Will Italian band Rev Rev Rev take me whizzing back to my youth, me with my 'curtain' style hair do, shuffling about on the dance floor with a strobe on full blast after too many cans of Red Stripe? We'll see!
Hailing from Modena in Italy (the home of many of the world's Supercar manufacturers), Rev Rev Rev are a 4 piece classic 'Shoegaze/Psych/Noise' act consisting of guitar/bass/rhythm guitar/keys and drums, they took to the stage complete with a 60's style 'oil lamp' projecting some 'trippy' artwork onto the wall behind as they played.
Their opening track really laid the foundations for the rest of the evening, squealing guitar, feedback and fuzz in abundance, driving basslines and pounding drums, overlaid with the spookily eery vocals and occasional samples from the singer. Some of the tracks were more ethereal, less upbeat, not what I would call downbeat at all, still a very interesting edge to them that kept the audience entranced throughout their set.
The highlight of the evening came from a track that I played on my podcast a few weeks back, it's called 'Catching a Buzz' and you can check it out below;
If you love your indie/shoegaze/noise/psych rock, then you should definitely check these guys out, they're a real breath of fresh air in the current climate of over produced Simon Cowell rubbish that always seems to fill our airwaves and TV screens, You can get hold of the album HERE for the small sum of just €6 (or more if you're feeling generous!)....
Review by Steve Muscutt