Live gig review credit: Adrian Hextall
Live gig photography credit : Anna Honey Photography
A rare chance to see Damn Dice playing a headlining show is how tonight is billed. In the process of recording their debut album, the band have decided to air some of those unheard tracks as well as some of the live favourites from support slots the band have delivered. As is the case when a young band gets a break and has the opportunity to headline and showcase their material, local fans and family are present and we get a really mixed crowd from mid teens through to ‘mum and dad’.
The Academy 2 in Islington is a small venue but there’s enough people here tonight to ensure that all four bands playing get a decent audience.
Guns Of Anarchy
‘Guns of Anarchy’ is a Watford based melodic hard rock band formed in early 2013 by Lead Guitarist Ollie Tindall and Drummer James Norkett. The band is finalised by bassist, Alex Gifford, rhythm guitarist Martin Vadhia and recent star find, front man, Todd Michaels.
They present solid energetic hard / glam rock and get a great reaction from those that have arrived early enough to see them. My personal opinion is that first band on the bill is completely the wrong slot for them as the energy they exude and intensity of their songs warrants the main support billing tonight. The bands that follow don’t have the energy or similarity to the headliners that ‘Guns of Anarchy’ do so it’s a shame when there short set finishes as I’d have loved to have seen more. Look out for this band when they play near you as one day you’ll say “I saw them when they played to 30 people in my local club”, right before they take to the stage at Wembley.
Next up are
LINKS: Filthy Visuals Facebook
Alternative rock band Filthy Visuals (an unusual name given the style of music they play) play next and have clearly brought some friends and fans along with them. They get a reasonable reception from the remainder of the crowd in the Academy 2 tonight but the energy comes mainly from the fans that seem to have followed the band here.
Their alternative rock style leaves me slightly cold especially after the energetic starter from ‘Guns of Anarchy’. The feeling seems to permeate with the majority of the audience as well and the response is slightly muted. It’s OK but not a great fit with tonight’s headliners.
Stef Anderson / James Walsh / Matthew “Bujj” Bujok / Rich Taylor / Guy Webster
LINKS: Trash Monroe Facebook
The same can be said of Trash Monroe. They sit higher on the bill I assume due the recorded output to date and some positive reviews from local press in the south east of England. They’ve not brought as many fans along as ‘Filthy Visuals’ and as such, vocalist Melany Dantes is forced to work so much harder to motivate the crowd who are clearly here to see “other” acts.
Co-founded with Dave Bradbury in 2003 the band have now been going over ten years and have several independent releases under their belt yet remain I believe unsigned. According to the band’s Facebook page, “the unwritten and even unspoken (until now) point of the band is to use a wide variety of ideas within a collective, to embrace it and enjoy the creative freedom that comes from ‘not being pigeon holed’.” Not being pigeon holed sadly means that they do struggle to find something for the audience to latch on to and the frustration in getting a muted reaction from the crowd becomes slightly apparent with Melany’s banter with the audience.
Trash Monroe: Releases:
‘Batesian Mimicry’ EP
‘Shooting From the Lips & Other Crimes of Passion.’
Addiction Of Duplicities part 1.
LINKS: Damn Dice Facebook
Taking a quick break from the studio to headline the O2 Academy Islington 2 tonight, the band have promised some unheard material from their debut album and more.
If you don’t know them, DAMN DICE are a four-piece Hard-Rock / Metal band from London. They’ve put the effort in to date and previous reviews have shown that their “adrenaline fuelled performance and larger than life stage show they have quickly earned a loyal and expanding fan base.”
The band has been together for just over two years, in which time they have already toured Europe as main support for the US band L.A. Guns. They played their biggest show to date in late 2013, packing out the Camden Underworld.
Playing a set tonight comprising tracks from their ‘Wild”N Ready’ E.P. as well some from their soon to follow debut full length album, the produce a good glam fuelled set with looks, sound and style clearly modelled on the Sunset Strip bands of the mid-80s.
They quickly reinvigorate the crowd and bring back the energy first seen this evening with ‘Guns of Anarchy’. Longer sets from both bands playing music in a similar vein would have been perfect tonight but I’m assuming more bands ensures each brings their own fan base and generates a good gate for the promoter.
On the strength of the show tonight, Damn Dice’s debut album will certainly be worth checking out. The band has all of the moves, the wailing guitars, heavy rhythm section and solid vocals that combine with leather and hairspray to deliver the complete package to the enthusiastic crowd. Because of the number of bands on the bill tonight and I suppose due to the fact that they only have one E.P and are still working on their debut, the set length isn’t particularly long but what they do play they play well, the leather and licks approach is certainly in vogue at the moment with several young bands wanting to replicate the sound and feel of their glam heroes of yesteryear.
Definitely worth keeping an eye out for live and consider that debut album when it hits the shelves.