Live (Simon / Freezer Burn / Kumiss)
With the venue supplying the gritty, stained, and slightly springy-underfoot platform for the evening, it was down to the bands to supply the class.
A band named Simon were up first, opening energetically with a mixture of heavy rock and funk. The songs were, at times, a bit similar in terms of the formula, but there were also plenty of good points, including some strong backing vocals. Simon clearly aren’t the finished product just yet, but they have enough ability to improve and hopefully move on from what is currently a bit of a pub-rock style.
With a new line-up, lots of fairy lights and plenty of stage presence (even in the absence of a stage) Freezer Burn smashed out a brilliant series songs that spanned the range from decadently overwhelming to beautifully vulnerable. Intense brain-vibrating sections were pierced by delicately picked guitar duels. Some Muse and Radiohead references are sure to be levelled at this band, but they have definitely picked their own path (musically as well as through the dangerously scattered lights on the floor).
Kumiss laid down their trademark funky jazz rock style with plenty of Hendrix influenced guitar riffs, Mick Fleetwood drumming madness and gutsy vocals. On top of some of the tracks from their rather nifty EP, a couple of new tracks found their way into the set. Having worked hard on their performance, Kumiss are really starting to capture the energy of the songs with a bit of movement on stage helping the additional hair-growth from the past six months to bounce along with every song.
If there’s one area that could be improved on, it would probably be in the song length / wild endings department. There’s nothing wrong with the odd epic track, or the sometimes mandatory end-of-set blow out, but restraint should be exercised to ensure that not all songs dwell on the huge instrumental outros.
Air Traffic bounced along neatly with their combination of piano and guitar led indie-pop. A vibrant performance accompanied a whole host of up-beat songs that had obvious comparisons to the likes of Keane and Coldplay as well as a few more obscure links to Something Corporate and Toploader. Not only were songs anthemic, Air Traffic also knew when to break things down to an emotional sounding piano-vocal section and then rock it up in a feet stomping chorus.
If they want to make it big, their fuse may well be short as this is very much what’s making waves in the top twenty at the moment through the likes of Keane, Powter et al. However, if they’re happy doing what they did tonight, I’m certainly not going to complain about seeing them up close and personal!
Written by Fenton on