First up on the bill were Deal Casino from New Jersey, USA. They’re not one of the international online casino sites you may have read about! Instead they’re a band who have a more relaxed sound although still within the rock genre. The crowd listened as Joe Parella’s voice echoed to the back of the room and gave a good reception as well.
Broken Hands, a band from Kent, were next. I honestly had no idea what to expect as I had never heard of them but was impressed by their groovy rock style and the way the tempo of their music swayed from fast to slow, particularly on the song “Friends House” which started slow then towards the end the crowd were jumping and cheering. Most bands take a while for me to warm up to but not this lot and now they have been added to my playlist.
After a cryptic audio message akin to something out of a dystopia, Badflower come on stage to a huge roar as the headline band. Their sound combines rock with a tint of blues and has a raw energy that brings out emotion in a way that few bands can. Every member gives their all on every song. You can see the sweat dripping off their faces at each songs end.
While the bands lyrical content is heavy and dark their personalities are different. Josh Katz showed his humorous side when commenting on the capacity of the venue being a fire hazard then going on to say, “I like it”. When a fan asked for a bottle he drank out of, he gave it to him then opened “Let The Band Play” with “I heard he’s been giving a bottle to a man that he doesn’t know.”
Guitarist Joey Morrow experienced a bizarre moment when he finished a riff with a few strands of hair getting stuck in what looked like the tuning peg of his guitar.
This is no conventional band and the rawness of not only their sound but also the on stage antics such as Josh licking the mic for “Let The Band Play” differentiate the band from others. For “Move Me” all the members went off stage and we were left with just Josh wowing the crowd with just two instruments; vocals and guitar. After a captivating 2 minutes, the rest of the band then comes in enchanting everyone including myself.
Badflower went on to perform a cover of “Bury A Friend” with the whole venue in harmony. The song being covered with a heavier tone which the fans took a liking to judging by all the jumping. They engaged the fans as they clapped and cheered throughout with Josh riffing in front of a fan enjoying every minute. Showing his talent not only on vocals and guitar the frontman then went on to play the drums. The fans clapped with each thump. At one point in the set, despite being a small venue the crowd still broke out a mini mosh pit.
The blistering set finished with the emotional song “Promise Me” a thank you at the end. The packed out crowd headed home and I myself having witnessed one of the top 5 performances I’ve seen this year.
Photos by Nick Christou