Live (The Bullycats)
The Bullycats are a five-piece rock band from Winchester who’ve been playing their Kings of Leon-esque country/rock locally for a couple of years. Their instant appeal can be attributed to the vocalist’s stunning gravely twang and stylishly clumsy dance moves. His country and western voice sounds like it’s generated by a night on Jack Daniels and Marlboro reds, but frequently rises high and sweet.
With beats and hooks to get toes tapping, this mass of guitar-fused noise is perfectly complemented by the vocals of all the band members, particularly the impressively nimble bass player. But either the long-haired guitarists are very shy (and prefer to execute their immense riffs in the dark) or The Joiners’ lighting doesn’t accommodate the band’s configuration! Joking aside, these guys needed spotlights to be able to suitably impress the crowd with their rapid-finger talent. With more local gigs coming up, The Bullycats are definitely ones to watch.
Not since the Four Non-Blondes has a band’s name so accurately reflected their look. These ‘trendy’ London-types have the Delays-inspired indoor scarf-wearing style and brought a fashionable collective with them to Southampton.
With likeable indie songs that bop along pleasantly, they look comfortable and confident on stage and, despite being fairly young, play with a mature sincerity that often eclipses their lyrics. The set was as much rock as it was pop with the occasional ‘gathering around the speakers for mass-feedback’ moment to conclude a song.
The lead vocalist is cheerfully charming but, when he shouts rather than sings, his voice is regrettably nondescript. The three-way harmonies in ‘Ghosts’ managed to hit the spot, but the stand out voice was not his; they were the honey-like vocals of the lead guitarist, which were heard again in ‘Tell Me’.
The set had promising moments, in particular the keyboard solos and the ballads, but these were sadly short-lived. A cacophony of sound developed as each band member attempted to be as loud as possible – the key culprit being the drummer, consistently drowning the others out. Songs that began acoustically were blessed relief to the ears and a lot more of these would be welcome in the set until the drumming is refined.
As this is the start of their tour, they’ll no doubt improve in leaps and bounds but the overall verdict? Great if you fancy a cuppa tea and a digestive but give The Trend a miss if you prefer something a bit stronger.