The Warm

You don’t get more ‘rock’ than My Mantra. Clad all in black, peppered with tattoos, and with mean looks to match, they’re dominated by their frontman and come across as impressively confident on stage.

Many of the songs like ‘Trading Punches’ and ‘Wasted’ build up with teasing drums or melt in with the tap-tap-tap of cymbals, but all explode into yelling, heavy bass, and meaty guitars that drive the songs forward with loads of energy; they’re loud, loud, loud!

Taking a broken string in their stride, their set got better and better with the last song ‘Bridges’ being the veritable cherry on the top.

This Southampton-based four-piece have a loyal following whose utter enthusiasm for the songs matched the band’s own as they gave 110% to crashing, headbanging, and strutting across stage. It’s unfortunate that My Mantra were on first, as they deserved to have more people getting sweaty and dancing than just their own collective. 

Formerly known as Lost Weekend, Locks Heath five-piece Fortunate Son flounced on stage, peered through their floppy hair and got The Joiners quivering with their heavy rock/country/blues.

The songs had great riffs and changed tempo frequently, but the set needed a bit more variety; perhaps there could be more harmonies? Because, when the guitarist wasn’t showing off with stunning finger-picking on a guitar held behind his head , he looked as though he’d love a go at singing.

Due to the small-ish size of the stage, the lead guitar, bass, and vocalist were all crammed into one corner and needed more room to show off, especially the lead singer (who seems to be the by-product of a Mick Jagger and Liam Gallagher meeting in a maraca-fetish shop). He interspersed pouting and swaggering with the odd yowl, foot stomp, and the holding aloft of the mic stand, all polished off with strange maraca-shaking antics. Like Winchester’s The Bullycats, this band are perfect if you fancy a bit of a shimmy. 

The Warm were so good they made it worth coming out, even at the expense of missing Little Den busting Dirty Den in bed with his girlfriend in Eastenders. As skilled musicians, who came across as genuinely enjoying themselves, they pogoed onto the stage with a dazzling array of beautiful pop-rock songs.

Reminiscent of Gavin Rossdale from Bush, as well as Tom Delonge from Blink 182; the lead singer effortlessly belted out an extensive range of notes, sprinkling in several spine-tingling high bits.

This lot make you yearn to be in a band, to be able to touch people with emotional melodies about love, heartbreak, and finding happiness. Yes, there were a few sad chords, the odd melancholy riff, and the rather dubious use of a smoke machine, but overall Southampton’s The Warm bestowed gorgeous harmonies, raw shouting/singing, and superb guitar solos, held together by the rapid beats of a drummer who could keep up with Kelly Holmes on the home straight.