Musicians Against Homelessness: The Exchange

Nixon Tate Sounding Sweet At The Exchange

Emily Jones || October 6th

All Videos By David Barrs

It was my dream gig; five of the local area’s most talented bands all on the same bill.

The King’s Pistol were the first band to begin proceedings. Featuring Julian Casewell on vocals and guitar, Andy Shardlow on bass and James Farmer on drums, The King’s Pistol are a tight unit. Their second album release is looming and the impatience is obvious, by the choice of a song taken from their third album - something that hasn’t even been decided yet. Playing through classic KP tracks ‘Paperback Road’, ‘Host Of Bones’ and ‘Jack Light Blues’ all taken from their current album ‘Into The Wilderness’, The King’s Pistol seemed at ease on the stage. Watching Casewell truly emerge himself in his music is a sight that must be observed by all local music fans. Closing his eyes, he seems to lose himself somewhere within the melody and that’s when you realise you’re witnessing something quite special.

Following shortly behind was Blackwater Trading Company, a bluesy rock outfit with a powerful vocalist in the form of Rich Brown. His vocals seemed to hang in the air after every note, reaching the ceiling and ricocheting all around. In truth, all members of this band are as vital as each other, meaning they produce the kind of summery, laid back tracks that make you want to get your groove on. ‘Still In Love’ and ‘False Love’ definitely fitted that title, whilst ‘No End In Sight’ saw Brown leave the stage to observe his band do their thing. Blackwater Trading Company were awe-inspiring and left audience members with something to talk about.

When The Red Kites appeared, it was obvious that things were going well. The drinks were flowing and the music was loud, and James Biddulph Jnr seemed just as relaxed as those that had gone before. Their set consisted of tracks from their current ‘Gamechanger’ EP such as ‘Psychedelic Trance’ and ‘Don’t It Make You Sad’, along with newer material including the equally as excellent ‘Celebration’. Grant G Foster’s spirally guitar enhanced their sound further and the four-piece continued to impress and entertain. Although still relatively new to the local scene, The Red Kites are already a talented band and it’ll be exciting to watch how they develop even further.

The penultimate act of the evening was Megan Dixon-Hood. Being the only woman on the bill and sporting one of the most delicate yet strongest voices, MDH seemed to take it all in her stride. Aided by her band and trusty piano, she engulfed the room with her sound in a way I’ve never observed before. Even as she performed her brand new [The] Crucible inspired track, possibly titled ‘Abigail’, she seemed filled to the brim with confidence, playing through her set with ease and enjoyment. ‘Drown’ and band favourite ‘Wolves’ were definite set highlights, with ‘With Time’ being the most dramatic finale of the evening. Megan Dixon-Hood blew everyone away with her performance as well as making herself an extremely hard act to follow.

Bringing things to a close was everyone’s favourite, Nixon Tate & The Honey Club. Having recently announced that a six-track EP featuring all of the singles we’ve already heard (plus two as yet unreleased ones) will be coming our way before the year is over, NTHC had a very good reason to be in high spirits. Cool as a cucumber, NTHC seemed, as ever, nonchalant in their approach. Their set consisted of the four singles that the band have already released, including ‘Dancehall Blues’, ‘Heady Redwood Days’, ‘All Over Now’ and the most recent of the bunch, the slightly darker ‘Honeytrap’. If that wasn’t already enough, us audience members were treated to two brand new tracks to “see how they go”. They were mighty fine if you ask me, Nixon. I will never tire of seeing Nixon Tate & The Honey Club and I hope they never tire of making music.