Saturday 17th October – Vessels and Friends

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Vessels are simply fabulous.  We had the great pleasure of supporting them at Sneaky Pete’s on Saturday night and it was a great night all round.  It really is something special when you do a gig with friends and all 4 artists on the bill are great and worth listening to.  It’s also amazing when you deal with a band like Vessels.  By all rights these guys are a well established and a well respected act but remain a bunch of the nicest blokes you could ever find.  There was no ego, mystique or distance as is sometimes the case with headline acts.  There were no issues about moving gear, sharing gear or shortening sets to let them play for longer.  (Credit to Nick at Sneaky Pete’s for this though. Refreshing approach to the whole night.)   They were simply the nicest guys and an astoundingly good band into the bargain. 
The night began with the wonderful Debutant.  I’ve written a few times about Phil before, but this was the first time I’ve seen him play his music in a venue where he could let the sound soar and build.  This was the perfect environment for his sound and he duly provided a set of real brilliance and beauty.  There’s something about watching him play that captivates me.  I was watching his hands during his set and trying to figure out, as he layers riff upon riff, which parts he was playing and when.  It sounds like it should be a simple exercise in observation, but I have to say he had me stumped most of the time!  This was a simply wonderful performance from a man who I hope, despite his new role as guitarist in Meursault, goes on to wonderful things as a solo artist.  Lovely, lovely stuff.

Lady North were completely new to me, and indeed most people in the venue, as it was their first ever gig.  Made up of 2 thirds of Dupec this was a pretty special first gig if you ask me.  The battles-esque style of the music, off beat, discordant and just a little bit mad, was simply awesome.  One of the best drummers I’ve seen in a long time.  And he looks about 12!  Sorry, if he reads this, but he does look young, maybe more 18 than 12 though.  Anyways, he was just brilliant.  And this was such a brilliant introduction to their music that I went and booked them for our Trampoline all day event in December.  Brilliant news.  Please come along and check them out.

I think the Kays played really well.  I’m not going to review us, but from our own perspective we were all really pleased with the set.  Disappointed Graeme was missing but think we were really good and are getting better and better live.  I was delighted with how Michael played with it being his first gig.  So a good night Kays wise I think.

As for Vessels.  Well I’m not really sure there are enough words to describe how great they were.  I’d always loved what I’d heard of them on record but live they were just absolutely brilliant.  Phil (Debutant) and Chris our drummer had told me to expect something special and they duly delivered and did not disappoint.  Such tight, technical musicians, this was a really great set packed with so, so many great moments.  It would be all too easy to lump them in as a typical prog rock act and say that they sound like Mogwai.  But that would be lazy and misguided and would not do the band justice.  Their quiet moments are not that quiet in comparison to other bands of this nature.  It’s more like Battles at times as the beat never seems to stop with this band, the music often off the beat and always technically superb and delivered perfectly.  When they do go loud they really go for it, at times employing a 2nd drum kit.  It really was something quite special and anyone who missed them should try and catch them on tour supporting Oceansize in November.  You can find those dates here.  Anyways, in the meantime, check the guys out here.  They are great.  Enjoy.

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