It’s a beautiful Saturday morning in Gateshead and I wake up at 11am as it’s the first day I haven’t had to set my alarm for work in ten days. I’m already excited as I no that come 2pm I’ll be on the peasant wagon to Sunderland to watch loads of local musical talent at Rrriot Fest 7 at the newly opened Independent.
First things first though I need to get ready. I lay on the couch for a couple of hours then eventually get prepared to leave but the one thing that has to be done before I head to the metro station is to make myself a cheeky jazz cigarette. This is mainly to keep me company and occupy myself during the walk to the metro station.
On the metro I begin to get a bit of sweaty paranoia and feel somewhat claustrophobic but it’s all good as soon I will be in the land of beer and bands. After getting off at Sunderland city centre I make my way around to Independent where bands have already began.
The first band I happened to catch were a local Sunderland based four piece called Silence Fiction. They might not have been the tightest act I was going to see that day but after being told that this was their first ever show and judging by the looks of all the members that they were still extremely young, I was more than just a bit impressed. I only managed to catch the last two songs but any band who play songs by established acts such as Three Days Grace are good in my books. Hopefully the guys in Silence Fiction will continue to perform around the north east as this scene is currently craving for some young blood.
Next up for me to have the pleasure of watching was Pussy Willow Furry Venus, a three piece acoustic act. I was pleasantly surprised by these guys. Songs that are usually heavy covered with an acoustic twist to them. My first few beers had lined my belly and I was already as happy as a pig in shit. What took me aback the most by these was of all things their cover of Smells like Teen Spirit. Any band who covers a Nirvana song know they are taking on a huge challenge but to do it in a completely different style really takes guts. Well done guys and girls.
Up next for my viewing and listening pleasure were The Stumps. I was informed that this was their first show in two years and they pre warned the audience that things might go wrong. From where I was standing nothing went wrong at all. The Stumps provided an old school punk rock show where as many songs as possible were crammed into a very short space of time. There was no pissing about introducing band members, this was straight up in your face and if you didn’t like it you best leave just as punk music should be.
Next up on the cards for me were B-Type. A local nerd rap act. I’m hoping the guys don’t mind me referring to them as this genre as I remember many years ago when B-Type was only a solo act this is what they were classed as. This music isn’t exactly my thing at all but I have to give it up to all three musicians on the stage. For how hands on their music is they managed to grab the audience’s attention of whom now were reeking of alcohol (or maybe my stench was just filling the room).
After a quick cigarette break and a couple more beers in me it was time for the next act and that act was only known as Bukkake Gungetank, a band I knew nothing about but upon walking in to see them immediately noticed that the members on stage were Dave from Carved Lies, Barry from The Creep Void and Nathan from Warning! Bukkake Gungetank blasted through rock classics ranging from Iggy and The Stooges through to QOTSA before playing their own song which was entitled “This cock is pixelated under Japanese law” or something along those lines. The main lyrics included the chants of “Show me your cock” and “Show me where you piss from” and I can now it was the
highlight of my day. I was actually crying with laughter throughout the song and for a band who had only just formed and practised the night before to fill a vacant slot these guys were fantastic.
Unfortunately I was only able to catch small bits of Allegro Bay and Real Gone due to having to withdraw more beer tokens from an ATM which was fully operational. Trying to find one of these in Sunderland city centre can be a chore sometimes.
Up next for me were Dead Like Wolves and Scarlet Conviction. Two bands of whom I’ve seen regularly in different venues all across the north east when going to see friend’s bands and they’ve just happened to be sharing the bill. Both bands played blinding sets despite their music being different there is an alternative under current than brings them somewhat together. Scarlet Conviction are a ballsy, female fronted pop rock outfit whereas Dead Like Wolves are a loud abrasive band, consisting of hairy men who have some anger to extract. You could maybe compare both bands to a north east version of Nirvana and Hole (I joke, I joke). Both of these bands have been cutting their chops for a while now and it’s good to see them starting to get some recognition back from the scene.
From this point on I was only able to catch another two bands due to having to make it to a friend’s birthday on the other side of town. Those acts were Dirty Rock and Roll and Carved Lies.
I can’t think of an actual genre to describe Dirty Rock and Roll except for maybe imagine if The Jam decided to take a lot of speed and turn their distortion up or maybe the band’s name itself is enough of a description. Dirty Rock and Roll live seem to be all about the riff and the groove. There are no clichés or any theatrics at all. It’s straight up, take it or leave it, balls hanging out rock and roll. Also rumour has it on the grapevine that their drummer is Harold Bishop from Neighbours stunt double but shhh keep that under wraps.
Last but not least for me on this great day of lovely local music were the guys in Carved Lies. A two piece electro, progressive rock act who don’t have any boundaries. You may think that being in a three piece band can be difficult at times well try taking the drummer out of the equation then see what you say. Carved Lies play their own brand of music that can only be put in leagues such as industrial pioneers such as Nine Inch Nails for example but this is a very loose comparison. Carved Lies put on performance based on the sheer power of the riff and the drop of a bass line. I’ve seen these guys numerous times now and I have to say they never disappoint.
This may seem like a very smattered review but I think I’m still recovering from the alcohol to which my liver is still battling with.
Shout out of the day has to go to Chris Hanna from The Creep Void for organising this entire event. The north east music scene is currently thriving but it always seems that it’s bands watching bands rather than an actual audience watching bands.
Hopefully this event has helped bands to network with one another and in the future hopefully more great gigs featuring some of this local talent will arise.