Emily Jones || October 11th
Part 2 of Rebel Bear Precinct’s Musicians Against Homelessness gigs, was just as tremendous as the first. Including a stellar line up of four bands and one solo acoustic act, RBP knew from the get go that this was going to be a good night.
Acoustic soloist Jim McShee was the nights’ opener. An extremely humble and underrated musician, McShee played his entire set without pausing for applause. Having last seen him live around two years ago, at another bands’ album launch, it was interesting to observe his development from the shaky performer who seemed to want his set to be over quickly, to the cool, calm and collected talent that sat before me. Maybe it was the venue choice; a relaxed room in the basement of The Exchange, surrounded by fellow musicians seemed to probably help McShee, as well as the cause he was performing for. It was a treat to hear Jim McShee again. I doubt there will ever be a time when I don’t enjoy his music. He left the stage looking relieved and, hopefully, more than just a little bit good about himself.
Two-piece rock outfit Indigo, consisting of Elliot Wilcox and Jim Windsor (both formally of The Fortunas), removed the relaxing ambience that McShee had spent his set creating, and replaced it with a whole heap of heavy. With their brand new single ‘Devil’s Treasure’ with equally as awesome ‘The Stranger’ as b-side, only recently released, it’s safe to assume that Indigo are feeling on top form. They most certainly played that way, giving everyone in the room exactly what they needed and more. With a sound as incredible and as big as Indigo’s, it’s always hard to believe that there really is only two of them. Their sound spilled out of the doors and up the stairs, into the venue’s foyer, beckoning those that weren’t already preset, to be part of something great.
Having heard their music a lot but never witnessing a live set, I was pretty excited for Thieves Asylum’s set. I wasn’t disappointed. Thieves Asylum were on top form, sitting happily on the crest of a wave that sees them supporting national Brit-pop favourites Cast, alongside Psyence, on 19th November at Keele University. They took things up a level with their latest track ‘I.K.Y.K.I.K.’, along with tracks old and new, and kept crowds entertained throughout. As they finished their set, it appeared that they could have carried on long into the night. Their set at the Student’s Union is sure to be equally as, if not more, excellent.
RINSE were another band who knew exactly how to control the stage. Playing the perfectly titled ‘Lude Jaw’ and recent single ‘Taser Party’, and with front man Josh Hollingworth even taking to the speaker for added rockstar value, RINSE were mighty. They were the perfect addition to the lineup, seeming to feed off of the crowd’s adoration and enthusiasm with every song they played. It’s clear that the four-piece, with their floaty, grungey, guitar tracks, are growing with every performance, and it will be interesting to observe their continued development into the new year.
Finding out that you’re headlining last minute must be pretty daunting, but it didn’t seem to faze Dirty Rotten Souls. Mark Bailey, Danny Nicholson and Mike Williams tuned up and powered on through their set which included ‘Galley Of Skull & Bone’, ‘Devil On My Shoulder’ and ‘I Bet She’s Filthy’. They seemed in high spirits, with Williams deciding to crack a couple of very poor “dad jokes”, such as the one about the hoover gathering dust. Thankfully, their performance was much better than their jokes, and they gave the audience exactly what they wanted - a high energy, rock heavy, louder than life set. Concluding their set with crowd favourite ‘You’d Look Better With A Bullet In You’ (“Fuck the Tories”), once again, Dirty Rotten Souls entertained to the highest standard.