Words & Pictures: Adrian Hextall \ MindHex Media
When a band add a venue at the beginning and the end of their tour, it’s got to be a pretty special location. So when Carousel Vertigo added the Priory Hotel to their tour schedule again it seemed only right that we took a trip down to Dover, to a hotel next to Dover Priory station to see what it was that kept drawing the band back to play there time and time again.
Fronted by vocalist/guitarist Vincent Martinez, the Parisian delivers a vocal performance in the small, intimate venue that would be more in keeping with somewhere five times the size. His voice simply fills the room and brings to mind the soulful vocals of someone like Paul Rodgers whilst also managing to deliver the gravelly tones of the late Bon Scott in his delivery. It’s just one of the unique traits that makes Carousel Vertigo one of the most exciting bands that deserve your attention at the moment.
The blend of blues rock guitar that he manages to add to the band’s sound conjures up visions of the Black Crowes, something Vincent will swear he cannot hear in the band’s music but to be fair I think, as you might expect, he just wants us to hear Carousel Vertigo in the music.
Partner in crime, giving the band their Jagger \ Richards, Tyler \ Perry feel is producer/guitarist Jansen Press. Acting as the Ying to Vincent’s Yang, Jansen layers some sublime guitar work into the mix and provides just the right amount of support to the band’s frontman.
With the release of their self-titled EP in 2009, the press stated that Carousel Vertigo play as if they had created the 1970s hard rock genre, and now they are poised to affirm this with the release of their first full-length album, ‘Mighty’. Recorded in Paris, France, and mixed in Boca Raton, Florida, USA, by Keith Rose (Aerosmith, Coverdale/Page), the band have now delivered the follow up to that album in the form of ‘Revenge of Rock ‘n’ Roll’.
Both the older tracks and the new album get a suitable airing inside the bar area of the hotel and the room is filled with regulars from Dover and also people staying at the hotel for the night. That includes the band who, following the breakfast that, according to Jansen and Vincent is the real reason they keep going back, will see the band get back on the Eurostar to Paris where they reside.
With the rhythm section of Olivier Brossard on bass and Jimmy Montout on Drums looking like they’re having an absolute blast throughout the evening, none more so than when Olivier takes over the mic and tears the room a new one, the band manage to create a solid well crafted sound that, had it been the 1970s would have seen them touring with Free, Bad Company, The Rolling Stones and more.
This was a show for fans and also a show for the band. The reason they play this small, homely venue is a simple one. The landlord at the hotel is a huge fan of the band. The deal; “If you play when you enter the UK and when you leave the UK, then I’ll put you up and provide those wonderful English breakfasts.” It’s a great deal and one that sees the hotel being a regular venue for the band as a result. Can you believe, until recently the landlord didn’t even charge people to come and see Carousel Vertigo play, that’s how much he simply wanted the band to play in his bar… Fair play to him.
If you get to see Carousel Vertigo on tour, in your typical music venue, great, you will see a 70s, blues rock themed band that simply deserves to be heard live. If however you get to see them at the Priory Hotel in Dover (usually at the beginning or end of the tour) then you’re in for a treat. It does not get more intimate and honest a show than this. Check them out !
See you down front!
The next show is April 26 in Paris