Friday 26th August, 2011

The Ivy Leaf Bar, Sheerness.

If there is anyone reading this under the impression that the Medway area is incapable of producing commendable talent, they need to think again.
So Shatterpoint are back, and hailing as a “booze soaked southern fest” they bought with them a line-up that was not going to disappoint.
It would be approximately 6:30pm when we stepped foot onto the grounds of The Ivy Leaf Bar, set back in the heart of the delightful town of Sheerness. It was apparent the night could only get better, as the place was near on deserted. Alas, the bands eventually arrived and a formidable crowd began to form.
The first act of the night, and the one to experience technical difficulties, were Indianna; a four that are set to cause a hype with their alternative funk, and heavy rock roots. With inevitable influences like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and RATM, they are bringing something seemingly fresh to the local scene. Despite the technical difficulties which resulted in the bass not coming through strong enough, Indianna were quick to fill the silence and jam a song, new to everyone’s ears. Once back on track, a breeze of youthful air was unleashed and an energetic vibe quickly filled the room. I later overheard the guys talking and in a fashion I heard “if you give it some, the crowd are drawn in”. This reigned true throughout the whole night; but Indianna had something going on, a kind of compelling energy notably fuelled through their bassist’s uncontrollable performance. Who else have you seen that can completely loosen the guitar strap whilst emitting slap bass?
Next to grace the stage with their presence was Broken Banjo. Already I knew it would be a better gig for them, as they actually had a crowd; a welcoming crowd at that. The blues/rock inspired 3-piece were able to feed off the energy of their new appreciative fans and really get into the mood of performing. Even when they jammed a tune from Pok√©mon, they got a response – in hindsight I think it could have been a bigger response than their eminent rendition of Muddy Waters’ “Hoochie Coochie Man”. It is plain to see that Broken Banjo have, what I like to call, a “catchy groove”. Something to really intrigue you; something that really refreshes your mind and makes you think, “Yes these are the guys to bring it all back”

Dirty Vibes also have this effect, they also note that “Jodie is watching”... and yes she most certainly is, and yes you make her life very difficult with your continuously good performances

To date, this was probably my favourite gig Dirty Vibes have played, and as blunt as that seems it is all I can say. This time around at The Ivy Leaf, Dirty Vibes got to play the “main stage”, which was a far better size for them as it meant they could have a better interaction with one another. There was room to breathe. It is safe to say that the future is clear for Dirty Vibes; they have the drive to push through and definitely have a good thing going. Upon culmination of their set, they performed a cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Black to Black”, which to much surprise conveniently fed into AC/DC’s “Black in Black”. As far as “mash-ups” go, this was most certainly an enjoyable one, with a particular relevance to the band as a whole. Dirty Vibes leave a lasting impression. Fact.

After some fresh air a deserved sit down, Then the Wave Came took to the stage. While a slightly interesting choice for a blues-esque rock night, they were well-received nonetheless. The energy and passion is still apparent, and you can’t deny that they are putting everything into their performance. Needless to say, while I’m still not convinced of my love for “cyber death groove-core”, Then the Wave Came are doing something right as they have a strong following and a defined sound. How can I argue with that?

Finally, the moment everyone had been waiting for; the return of Shatterpoint.
Having been away for a little while, and settling down with new bassist, Joe Green, it was time for the boys to turn it back up again. And this is exactly what they did; perhaps it was even their best performance to date?
Once again I’ll relay the same old speech about how they have a great energy, a good connection with one and other, a distinct sound and edge, and always have a responsive crowd. It’s almost as if they haven’t been gone. But on a serious note it is great to see good guys back doing what they do best; putting rock back into the community. So to speak. Shatterpoint did however play a cover, and I guess there is a first time for everything. After speaking with vocalist, Ed Stone, he told me he doesn’t like to play covers on a regular basis as he feels he is doing the artists he loves a “dis-service”, but he need not worry about that. While “Tush” (originally performed by ZZ Top) was note quite perfect, it certainly was not a disaster like he thought it would be.
It was the perfect end to the high energy set they gave late Friday night, but it was good to see the having fun with it, after all you can’t take everything too seriously can you?