Tonight promises to be a great night!
Dave’s World Podcast, which shines the spotlight on the West Midlands’ heavy music scene every Wednesday, is hosting Dave’s World Live at the Arches Venue in Coventry, which will see seven of the bands the podcast has championed take to the stage. The podcast, which launched in January 2016, is run by Kenilworth resident Dave Musson and features interviews with and music from West Midlands bands every single week, giving them a chance to have their music and voices heard by a wider audience.
Myself and Danny Ray are there to catch all the action and bring it to you, but also be sure to tune into Dave’s World podcast tonight to hear live footage from this show. To host the night is Dave himself (of Podcast fame and “That awesome duo WAVE”‘s frontman) who takes to the stage and instantly has everyone under his charming spell. Danny Ray takes on the first three bands, whilst I run around with the camera. Take it away Danny…
Up first are Blank Parody, the four-piece start with a flurry of drums and heavy riffage straight into opening track “Your Last Goodbye” (I think! Apologies if the name’s wrong, guys). The band aren’t short of confidence and guitarist Liam Howard is quick to leave the stage and roam the room. After a round of applause for event organizer Dave Musson, they kick things up a notch with old single “Locket Picture”, topped only by later song “Underachiever” which showcases the versatility of singer Joby Fitzgerald. By the end of the set you’re left in no doubt how high the bar has been set.
Next up are Telford legends Wax Futures, who barrel onto the stage like a bunch of toddlers hopped up on Kia-Ora. From the off it’s clear that they’ve already won. Sharing the same pop DNA as Brummies Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam, songs like recent single “My Body is a Landfill” are sparkling examples of their Weezer meets Nirvana approach. Throw in their inbetween song banter, and you have a brilliantly uplifting three-piece. Ones to watch.
Hot on their heels are Kirakai, an altogether noisier affair, reminiscent of the early grunge scene.
The sound really comes to life with these three fellas, the bass in particular biting and heavy. After a brutal opening, “Rain” is tossed out like a grenade. Elsewhere “Battle Weary” is more subtle but no less intense. A couple of new tracks reveal some cool interplay between guitar and bass, along with further slabs of distorted groove. Continuing the 90s theme “Wait” recalls the swagger of forgotten heroes Mindfunk. They finish the set by handing guitar duties to the audience while stealing their beer.
At this point Danny leaves to “Get his punk on”, as one third and shouty frontman of deny all ROBOTS, it’ll be his time to shine soon! Dave comes back on stage and asks if we all like dragons? Yes, we all roar. “That’s good,” he says “As things are about to get a bit metal!” I wait with bated breath (as regular readers may know, this is one genre I haven’t an inkling about). What awaits me is a pleasant surprise. Barbikan are about to tempt me into the night.
Leaping onto the stage with all the persona, enthusiasm and gargantuous grin of Russell Brand (only less of a self-obsessed twat), is frontman Greg Lisowski, slung with a white Flying V Jackson guitar and dressed head to toe in black. We were treated to thirty minutes of pure unadulterated heavy metal. These guys totally won me over as I dabbled in the dark side, enjoying every second. Tales of dungeons and dragons had the crowd throwing their horns with screams of “Burn the witch!”. I loved every minute.
Bass player Kevin Hide was just as captivating to watch, knees bent, body stooped as he crept around the stage. The connection with the crowd was immense, laughing and joking about his lack of imagination, Greg announced yet another song about dragons, the crowd lapped it up and more horn throwing and head banging ensued.
Next to take to the stage are deny all ROBOTS, who only continue to step up the noise rock tonight to another level. And not only do they go up a whole other level but they continue to power through each and every level, like the great glass elevator smashing through the ceiling and obliterating the venue completely. Frontman Dan Roberts spews out snarly lyrics, backed by his own scuzzy guitar riffs and grungy bass tones heaved by Glen Ogden. I don’t know if the lyrics are meant to be angry, but you wouldn’t want to meet these two down a dark alley.
We’re treated to new track “Keep it Shallow” live for the first time, and previous release, the super fast “Crash” seeing Dave Anderson on drums giving off steam. I’ve seen these guys several times now and they just keep upping their punky game. Tonight, though, they totally taking me by surprise with an ethereal tempo change mid-hard rock number “Knife Games.” These are ones to watch.
Dave leaps onto stage to introduce… errr… himself, and the launch of his band’s brand new EP Jurassic Parkour which is out today (and which we reviewed recently)! Probably the biggest crowd of the night, but then this is who everyone’s here for as “That awesome duo WAVE” (yup, as Dave reminds us “The most awkward band tag”) take to the stage.
This two-piece waste no time in launching a barrage of noise that really gets the crowd moving, opening with a track from the new EP “Douglas” that shows off the band’s darker, quirkier side. “Gwen” comes at us and pins us against the wall, Dave launching a guttural scream against a backdrop of brutal riffs and a barrage of militant drumming from Will Stokes. These guys are the real fuckin’ deal! They follow with an old number, “Anthea”.
Next up is a brand new song, not even on the new EP. Dave laughs, just what you do on launch night – play old songs and songs so new they’re also not on the current EP. This has the crowd in stitches as we’re treated to said new track “Stephen King”. “Here’s our ‘fast song’ ‘Brian’ next!” yells Dave and no sooner has the intro started, it’s over (in fact I’ve heard way longer intros!). More laughter from the crowd. These guys are utterly on fire! Raucous hard rock mixed with all the banter of a comedy club night, the band are going down a storm.
Time for a game called ‘mic stand’ as Dave launches into the crowd picking an unsuspecting crowd member to be just that. Another new song, again so new it’s not on the new EP, and Dave launches into the hilarious “Spoiler Alert” which literally encompasses all those endings you didn’t want to know… “And Han Solo diiiiiiiiies!”. The crowd (or surfers as Dave fondly refers to them) are eating outing out of the palms of WAVE’s hands. Thrashier “Celia” and latest single (from the new EP, finally) “PJ” are the set closers leaving the ‘surfers’ giddy, whooping and clapping with all their might. Tonight was WAVE’s night!
Headline act and another new band (for me) that I’m looking forward to are local Coventry lads Black Star Bullet who are also launching their new album Our Own Noise tonight.
A full on, out and out rock n’roll set ensues that has the room dancing, swept up in the moment. Incredible musicianship is on display tonight, and here also I must give a nod to Mr Sound Guy, who did a sterling performance for all the bands tonight.
We’re treated to tracks old and new, with front man Trev Goddard and guitarist Andy Tite often sharing lead vocals. Stand out tracks for me were “Breathe”, “Look it in the Eye” (I think?) and “Shut Up and Listen”. A nod of appreciation to those bands that had remained the whole night to offer their support and the set closes with “Play it Safe” and “Here Today”. An incredibly tight and energetic set left no one stood still, and a room full of happy faces.
A fantastic event, showcasing some great known and unknown bands to me and many others there tonight. We need more of this – bands have to support each other and keep these local venues full. Well done WAVE and Dave’s World podcast, all kudos to you!
All photos by and (c) Rachel Hasnip