Live (Subdued/For the Fever/Secluded)
Subdued kicked off a busy Friday night at The Joiners with great success. They clearly had a talented vocalist who really made the performance with a voice stretching from harmonious to anger; and not unlike Jack Black.
With confidence from the bassist to dedicate a song to his girlfriend (and deal with the cringe-worthy reaction), this band had good stage presence, showing a lack of nerves underlined by the occasional joke from the bass man. As for the music, there was nothing to complain about and, even with the oh-so familiar riffs, Subdued still showed something special.
Subdued set themselves up as a hard act to follow but For the Fever managed to pull it off with a very unique and unusual set – upbeat keyboards and tambourine work giving the growing, Joiner’s audience something different. Surprisingly, for a six piece, the music didn’t sound overly chaotic. Being naturally sceptical when they brought out the keyboards, I was thankfully proved wrong as they successfully outdid my expectations – although the keys did have a tendency to drown out the vocals and often venture into sci-fi territories.
For the Fever, on face value, appeared to be quite rock with foot stomping riffs and powerful bass in songs like ‘Avalanche’ but at the same time they managed to sound both alternative and very original.
Secluded seemed to be the favourite of the evening in terms of fanbase, judging by the sudden stampede to get to the stage and the amount of audience members sporting their shirts. They were also the heaviest of the night, despite being the smallest as a three-piece, with a good vocal pulling off a heavier but apt cover of a Muse track (chosen by the audience when given the chance to chant for the song they’d prefer to hear). ‘My Saviour’ allowed their set to take a mellow turn, but heavier verses psyched up the crowd nicely for the appearance of Valhalla.
Secluded shirts or not, Valhalla didn’t let down as headliners. They received the best crowd response for the evening and showed fantastic stage presence A charismatic vocalist knew how to keep the crowd happy, stopping to tell a joke about a ‘prostitute and a camel’ and explaining that he hadn’t learnt the words to the next song because he’d “got mashed”. Not only charismatic, but also talented, this guy’s vocals were similar to that of Kings of Leon’s frontman, yet was still able to belt out a pretty good version of Motorhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’ – there must have been a fair few Valhalla fans hidden amongst those Secluded shirts judging by the loud chant for Motorhead’s finest.
In fact, carrying on the Lemmy theme, they wouldn’t have looked out of place in the 70’s with their long haired, leather clad guitarist and certainly wouldn’t have sounded out of place, with riffs that have that legendary feel and songs about ‘rock n roll’. Definitely the highlight of the evening, I would have no objections to seeing Valhalla again.