Live (Blind Storm / Simple Reason)
A night of expectation all round. High Wycombe’s student darlings The Wutars topped the bill with their partisan crowd eagerly awaiting their presence on stage, whilst the Monday night regulars ( who started to mutter ‘too many bloody indie bands are clogging up our alt night’) were supplied with Simple Reason an alternative, emo rock band, also based in High Wycombe. Fingers crossed everybody would be happy!
Blindstorm got the ball rolling when they strolled on stage at 8.45pm. Blindstorm are a three piece outfit from High Wycombe. The band began their set at a medium pace slowly warming up to a nice steady flow. Songs, ‘Calling Out’ and ‘Take Me Away’ are catchy and commercial sounding, and their Pink Floyd electric guitar is great. I would describe their overall sound as a bit ’80’s power rock’ – that’s not necessarily a bad thing before you ask!
The vocals on all the songs were really strong and there was clearly a lot of musical ability on offer. Unfortunately, the guys didn’t manage to keep hold of my attention and were a bit static on stage.
Although Blind Storm don’t look like a rock band they definitely sound like one, with obvious influences from the Stones, Foo’s and perhaps even Pink Floyd, particularly on bands latest release, ‘Led By The Sun’. At this moment I wouldn’t say I have become a fan of Blind Storm but, as I decided in my last review, I’ll not write them off just yet. A bit more zest and excitement could do these guys a power of good.
Second band up were Wycombe’s Simple Reason and, although they look 15, I can assure readers that they are all over 18!
Now I don’t pretend to know much and understand the heavier ’emo’, ‘alt’ genre but I was really impressed by Simple Reason and it’s easy to see why they are signed to Crash Records and have a steady flow of releases under their loose belts. There is a lot of maturity in the way they play; funky bass-lines, great rhythm guitar and pounding drums – all topped off with Josh’s incredibly energetic and rocking voice. I loved the harmonies; they added a bit of softness to the set whilst heavier music can easily sound samie on firstlisten.
The song, ‘Singled Out’ was easily the best of the night so check out the EP which will be out in February. Overall, they get big thumbs up from me, offering a stark but welcome contrast to Blindstorm and the Wutars. We hope Simple Reason helped all those ‘sick of indie bands on Monday nights’ get their rocks off and release some of their ‘alt’ pleasures!
Finally came headliners The Wutars. An air of excitement gathered around the venue as the boys took the stage to do there last minute stage preparations. As the 50 or so hardcore Wutar fans stepped closer towards to the stage the band unleashed a large white ( bed?) sheet with ‘The Wutars’ in big black thick letters grafitted on. The crowd loved this revelation however, the feeling soon melted down as the band had major problems attaching the sheet to the wall! After about 5 minutes and a certain amount of embarrassment the sheet was un-eloquently masking taped to the wall! I have a feeling that plan maybe revised for next time!
With a start like that this set really did look like it was going to be a slight cabaret act and it lived up to it! The band set up a merchandise stand ( as usual) selling Wutar belts, T-Shirts, Hoodies and Spoons! The set included a cake raffle and a surprise birthday cake presentation for one of their mates and finally the throwing of inflatable footballs and microphones into the crowd which admittedly gave the atmosphere a classic boisterous, teenage axsty feel.
So what about the actual important bit? The music!
After a few problems with Alex’s mic ( I bet he wishes him and Matt hadn’t swapped places now!), the band really gave their all and were a lot more rocking than usual. They definitely ‘Put On A Show’! The classics, ‘Extensive Research’ and ‘David’ got a good response as did Smiths cover ‘There Is a Light’. The crowd lapped up the entire set. The guys have a couple of new songs as well now so things are a bit less familiar.
However the problem is The Wutars gig so much in the same town and venues that this show seemed to be yet another on the list and there was a ‘just going through the gears’ feel to the whole thing. I must admit I admire the band for their professional approach to marketing their band and the way they have such partisan followers ( who I don’t think actually listen to any other music so’s not to cheat on their beloved band!) However, I definitely get the feeling they are on the edge of killing it by over exposure!
Take my advice guys: move into the next town( s) play in front of the next 20 people and continually build the fan base from outside of your mates. Wembley is along way off and you don’t need your pink suitcase full of merchandise just yet!
On the whole though it was a good set and I thoroughly enjoyed the faffing about with the banner!
Guest article from Katie M.
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