Lining up as a 3 band, strength in numbers, attempt of smuggling interesting narratives into shiny rock music, Retro Video Club and friends have recently found that fully committing to their live shows, and surrounding themselves with likeminded allies, is a sure fire way of creating a lasting memory in a live show.
Starting up first, Blackwater, building a sound out of heavy riffs and a bass as equally important as their lead guitar, attack the stage with powerful voice and a punk meets garage rock feel which captures their desire to shake things up and steal the show from bonfa-fide headliners Red faces and Retro Video Club. Confident and assertive there set is sharp and focused.
Rising to the challenge, Red Faces, themselves a band with a strong reputation as young indie-rock stars pitch their sound somewhere between slightly aggressive elements of The Charlatans and more soulful elements of soul, funk, blues moments of The Doors, creating a sound that is equal parts unashamedly nostalgic and modern. Centring their narratives Buzzcocks themes of falling in love, and being out with your friends, their live style and their songs are deliberately set as focused, direct and to the point.
Headliners Retro Video Club, living up to the strong challenge presented to them, finish the evening with an intimate, up-close, full throttle set focused around a tough indie pop guitar sound. Appreciative of the audience, and confident with their songs, frontman Liam Allison set’s his back of the throat delivery and honest lyrics out in a deliberate attempt to show that in the world of the realist not every night ends in success and not every attempt is a victory; sentiment wise, we’re not far removed from the glory days of Postcard. Allison’s acoustic solo moment ‘Noir’ ironically steals tonight’s guitar dominated show with possibly the most gentle moment of the evening, and certainly the most intimate. Choosing to focus on a lover unable to forget past relationship, Noir is a tale about dreams, shattered aspirations, and the courage needed to get back up and start again when the world seems against you.
Tonight’s stellar line up all came, all conquered and all contributed to raising the standards of those around them. Competitive yet collaborative this was a great team effort with the ultimate winner being the fans of live music. These bands created the lasting memory they were looking for.