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Gig Reviews

Bury Fringe All-Dayer 2018 @ The Hunter Club, BSE

An incredible array of talent was on display at The Hunter Club yesterday (Saturday 5th May) for the 7th annual Bury Fringe All-Dayer, headlined by the rampant Gaffa Tape Sandy.

The day was brilliantly started with bands from Queens Road Rock School, Queen Dogs showed vast confidence beyond the years playing covers of One Way or Another and a great cover of Transmission by Joy Division, whilst The Daze played some original tracks alongside covers of Use Somebody and Blitzkrieg Bop. Both bands went down really well with the crows, and it really was a great way to kick off the day.

Opening The Magic Carpet Stage was rising star Noah Evans, another performer in the same age range as the bands before, but still showing off his incredible talents playing tracks from his debut EP See It Through which is now on Spotify. These three acts really shows that the Bury St Edmunds area is abundant with young talent, and it’s so promising to see this!

Going back to the Main Hall, alt-rocker Sophie Mahon and her backing band wowed the crowd with a truly awesome 80’s influenced-set featuring crowd favourite 2bf which is a really really brilliant track. Turning 180 degrees, it was then Blue Mean Eyes turn to shine and they certainly did. Tearing through tracks like Brixton Shrug, the trio proved during their set that they are set for big things, especially considering that they have new music on it’s way!

Enterlude brought their indie-synth sound to the Washing Machine stage, playing the phenomenal tracks Hurt Yourself and British Dream whilst also showing off new track Dancing With The Devil. With a support slot for Bessie Turner coming up for the band, they’ll just get better and better. After their set, Cambridge’s Lemondaze played a blinder of a set, with their stunning shoegaze sound really connecting with the large crowd. They are definitely a band to keep an eye out for, really promising stuff!

Our first visit to the Rock Against Racism Stage, run by Toonteen’s Joe Weaver, saw us see the brilliant BAILEY. Starting his set with his debut single The Future, his elevating-pop sound really shone through as his set went on, he has new tracks on the way and we can’t wait to hear them. Next up on stage was the delightful Matt Hammond who was a really interesting act to watch. It was lovely to sit and admire his guitar work, his intricate guitar melodies were truly impressive, especially during the wonderful Skylines.

A late replacement after the Interesting Times Gang sadly pulled out, KULK played two sets during the day. Heavy rock is their speciality, especially when they’re playing the bloody insane tracks Fix Me and Toxic. Every time I see these, they just get better and better, and to get that sound from only two people is just jaw-dropping! After seeing them support DRUIDS in January, it was really nice to see Stealing Signs back with their sweet alternative rock, playing one of my personal favourite local tracks You Will Be and many more. Every time these lads perform they put on a great show, we can’t wait to see them at Homegrown Festival!

Rounding off the first half of the all-dayer were the wonderful trio of The Glitter Shop. They may have only played a handful of gigs together since forming, but as soon as they stepped on stage, you would have thought they would have been playing together for years. Not only do their studio releases Fizz and Sleep sound great live, the other tracks on their set like Throwing Apples and Call The Bank topped off with their frantic energy on stage proves why they are one of the most exciting bands to have come out of the local scene in years.

After a much-needed food break, Kelodown and their hard rock sound really got the crowd moving proving why they made to the final of BurySound this year. With more gigs under their belt, the band will get even better, especially if they write tracks as good as Carpet Burn and Occupational HazardThe Baby Seals made their Hunter Club debut with a formidable set filled with really fun tracks with bonkers names like My Labia Is Lopsided But I Don’t Mind and Nipple Hair. Hopefully they play there again soon, because they were ace!

Playing before the headliners on the Rock Against Racism stage were The Catch with one  of the best sets of the entire day. Their new tracks sound really really impressive especially the thumping Can You Feel It? and Hindsight, which really compliment the rest of their packed set which include crowd favourite Tie Dye and new single Sort It Out. Quality as always from one of the best bands in Bury.

SIAH played a long over-due set on Chris’s Stage, with their post-punk hits Susie Smokes and A French Girl sounding really great as always. Let’s hope that they release some new music before the year is out because it’s desperately needed! Fresh off the back of a European tour, Fightmilk were another band returning to the Hunter Club with their epic pop-punk tracks like Pity Party, making the release of their debut album hotly anticipated!

Co-headlining the Rock Against Racism Stage were indie-rock legends The Baskervilles. The band have recently released new track Blood In My Mouth which sounds truly majestic live, alongside their set-opener Kalashnikov and all-round belter Death Of A Pop Song. We really can’t wait to hear what the foursome release next because they’re one of the best indie rock groups around locally. The other band co-headlining the RAR stage were 2017 BurySOUND finalists Goldblume, a commanding set from the god-like trio who played Razor, from their RSD vinyl release, which sounded utterly sublime. Their bold stage presence was a joy to watch and was the perfect way to close the stage. Two real highlights of the day.

After releasing their second EP Life’s A Beach only last week, Tundra brought the summer vibes to Chris’s Stage with their glorious surf-punk sounds. They played the EP in full with Walking Stick and Swimming Shorts sounding absolutely huge with their awesome riffs and thundering drums. It’s no doubt that Tundra are a ‘live band’, and when it comes to playing their trademark song Vacation, you know that the crowd are going to go absolutely mental. And they certainly did. A really memorable set that led into the overall headliners set impeccably.

So, now onto the last act of the night, the absolutely AMAZING Gaffa Tape Sandy. The band had already played in Leeds earlier on in the day, but they saved their A-game for their hometown crowd bursting into the frantic Transylvania and the snappy Water Bottle with moshpits already forming in the packed crowd. The trio played a mix of old and new with the well-received Smart Dressed Guy and L’Appel du Vide still sounding so exciting and fresh. New tracks Turnstile and Meathead went down a treat with the crowd too, with the fun instrumentals and perfect vocals really packing a punch, the latter is being released soon, WATCH THIS SPACE! And by the way Manager is still class, probably the most underrated track from their debut EP Spring Killing. They closed their set with the ever-present Beehive, inviting the absolute legend Seymour Quigley to crowd surf whilst they played it. With several festival dates this summer lined up, there’s no doubt that they are one of the most exciting bands in the UK at the moment. Go and see them if you ever have the chance!

Well done to all the acts who played yesterday! Special shout out to Substation, Rosa, Alicia Hall, Robert C Taylor, Ben Pegley, Phoebe Austin and Grandma’s Waffle Velocity too!

Thanks to everyone involved for putting on a great event!

Written by Marc Manning                Graphics by Guy Rodwell

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Gig Reviews

The 545 @ The Apex, Bury St Edmunds

Five of the best bands from in and around East Anglia played an outstanding night at The 545 music event at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds on Friday night.

Stone Deepe opened the night with their alternative rock entertaining the growing crowd. If you didn’t turn up early to see these lot, you missed a great set. It was their first time playing in Bury St Edmunds and it certainly won’t be the last. Their setlist was inch-perfect to getting the crowd going, who they thanked for coming. Their set closer Get In Line was a fantastic way to end their inch-perfect set, a proper indie-like sound to it.

Next up were the post-punk sounds of one of Bury St Edmunds’ most promising bands SIAH. Although they are relative newcomers to the BSE music scene, they have a great collection of tracks to work with, especially the beautifully-named Feline Friends and the punchy A French Girl featuring “the angellic voice” of their drummer. Susie Smokes is always a great live song and with their debut record out next year, and an already large following, big things await the band.

The atmospheric indie-pop of Deep City was up next, and it was just a sign that the night was just going to get better and better. It’s no wonder that they are compared to The 1975 with their track Slow sounding like a blend of some of The 1975’s best songs, absolutely fantastic. The Cambridge-based band wowed the crowd with the even-better swag Wht Hppnd. Deep City premiered a ‘new-ish’ track Classic to the crowd, and if that’s anything to go by, they’re with us for the long haul.

Bury St Edmunds stalwarts Cathedrals and Cars were the real highlight of the night with their sophisticated and polished art-rock and a fantastic set which warmed the crowd up for Hollowstar. Notable highlights from their set were the incredible The Concierge and their set closer A Piece of Me Died In Europe. Great songs, great live performance, tonight cemented Cathedrals and Cars as one of the best bands from BSE.

Last up were the headliners Hollowstar, from Cambridge. An absolutely electric set which blew the roof off The Apex. They told the crowd they had only been around for about two years, took me by surprise considering how accomplished and confident they were on stage. Their whole set sounded huge, sandwiched by a passionate speech from their frontman about mental illness, that led into the phenomenal Feel The Burn. The band dedicated their new song All I Gotta Say to their loyal fan base. They said comically that without their fans they’d be “at home wanking and playing FIFA”. Sounding absolutely huge, let’s hope they’re back in Bury St Edmunds sooner rather than later!

A fantastic event as always at The Apex. I’m already looking forward to next year’s 545!