Gig Review: Eva Plays Dead EP launch (with The Cruel Knives, False Heads and Pretty Pistol) – Thousand Island, 26th April 2018

To coincide with the release of their brand new EP The Fix on 27 April, Nottingham rock quartet Eva Plays Dead lined up two special shows; one in London and one in Nottingham. Katie went along to the London show to check out the new tunes.

Pretty Pistol (c) Katie Frost

Tonight’s venue was the 150-capacity Thousand Island in Highbury; the little sister of The Garage (previously called Upstairs At The Garage – why they decided to re-name it after a salad dressing, I will never know). I hadn’t been to this venue since its glitzy make-over a year ago when the classic dirty, sticky music venue charm was replaced with something altogether more modern (shudder), but I was prepared to keep an open mind in the name of rock & roll!

First to hit the stage were London-based punk-rock band Pretty Pistol who we featured as our Band Of The Day a few weeks ago. The feisty four-piece opened their set with “No Guts (This Is Glory)” from their brand new EP Welcome To The Dead Club  and put on a high-energy performance. Laura snarled into the mic on vocals while Emma pummelled the drums, accompanied by Billy and Rich on guitar and bass. As well as playing tracks from their latest EP, Pretty Pistol also shot us with a selection of tracks from their 2017 debut EP Bones.

Next up were London-based punk-rock trio False Heads, whose latest single “Retina” has been described by Iggy Pop as “pretty fucking good” – quite the compliment! As well as “Retina”, False Heads treated the crowd to a selection of tracks from their 2017 debut EP Gutter Press. These guys were a treat to watch, and vocalist/guitarist Luke in particular oozed rock ‘n’ roll as he pulled some of the classic moves such as lying on the stage and climbing on the speakers. Barney on drums and Jake on bass were full of energy too, and all three of them fed off the excitement of the crowd.

Eva Plays Dead (c) Katie Frost

Third on the bill tonight were four-piece rock band The Cruel Knives; consisting of Sid Glover (guitar) and Rob Ellershaw (bass) of Heaven’s Basement, together with Tom Harris (vocals) and Al Junior (drums). I have seen these guys previously when they supported one of my favourite bands, The Pretty Reckless, back in early 2017 and really enjoyed their music, so I was looking forward to seeing them in such an intimate venue. I was certainly not disappointed as they played an energetic and full-on “rock” set featuring tracks from their 2017 debut EP Side One (including latest single “Squeeze”) plus some new music that was sounding very good indeed!

We love a bit of Eva Plays Dead here at The Moshville Times, and it is always a pleasure to see them live. I somehow hadn’t managed to catch one of their shows since Fort Fest in 2016 so I was more than ready to see how the band had grown in the past couple of years. Tonight was a special show celebrating the launch of their new EP The Fix, which the band describe as “a collection of songs which speak of extremely personal issues to the band, namely mental health and Tiggy’s dealings with her own”. To add to the sentiment, the band released the EP independently through their own record label Playing Dead Records, funded via a PledgeMusic campaign.

The new EP is much angrier than their debut EP Sounds of the Written Word (2015) and shows how the band have progressed in the three years whilst maintaining their trademark big riffs, infectious melodies and punk attitude. Their performance tonight was just as I had hoped and expected; full of excitement and raw energy. Front-woman Tiggy’s punk-tinged thunderous vocals grabbed everyone’s attention as Matt brought the riffs, while Zach kept the bass dirty and Seb accompanied them all with his thunderous drumming. The new tracks worked perfectly with the band’s already strong back-catalogue, and their set was a glorious mix of the old and the new.

Side-note: thanks to Matt for buying a broke and thirsty photographer a well-needed beer – you guys are the best!

Eva Plays Dead will play the second of their EP launches at The Bodega in their home town of Nottingham on 30 April (tickets available here) before heading out on a UK tour in early May.

Pics by Katie Frost Photography

Eva Plays Dead Set-List:

  • Knots
  • Spin
  • Wonderland
  • Colours
  • Get Back
  • 1950s Woman
  • Live Again
  • Bones
  • Monogamy

Eva Plays Dead: official | facebook | twitter | instagram

The Cruel Knives: facebook | twitter | instagram

False Heads: official | facebook | twitter | instagram | soundcloud | youtube

Pretty Pistol: official | facebook | twitter | instagram | soundcloud | youtube

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