Sold out, eh? Sounds promising. Tonight at the Captains Rest, the line-up is mightily impressive and first up, although certainly over-qualified for an opening slot, is The Mademoiselle. Brilliantly tight bass and thunderous, resonant drums make for a very satisfying and bold rhythm section, setting foundations for soulful guitar and unyielding, Jeff Buckley-style, warbling vocals. They give a solid and intense performance, including stand out track Red Moon Woman before ending with their self titled EP.
Next up is Whigs and Rakes who bring the lights down low and effortlessly turn up the angst. Full of attitude, this band power through a dizzying set of stroppy vocals and strong, very loud, Paramore-has-a-drink-with-Biffy style rock riffs. Creating a sensory attack of raving strobe lights to match their raw sound, this is a group with talent very much beyond their musical years.
Penultimate band Wrongnote change the mood and fire out some punk pop with a reggae feel to an enthusiastic crowd, throwing in some class in-between song chat. Complete with Robert Smith inspired vocals and demented guitars these guys deliver a sound set with plenty of hook and plenty of edge.
Introducing themselves to a somewhat misleading techno theme, Skippy Dyes enter the stage to a now packed Captains Rest. Recording a live set for a forthcoming EP, posters dotted about the venue encourage punters to sing along, and with a buzzing crowd and a sold out gig, they set about making it one to remember.
Trebly guitars and earnest melodies a plenty, the four-piece dive straight into their blend of atmospheric, yet uptempo, pop-rock, and throw in a dash of folk for good measure.
Their entire set screams “anthem”; throughout the drums come to several crashing crescendos and the delicious sax intertwines with the guitar to create a winning formula that their fans can’t get enough of. Pulling out all the stops, they even employ keys for a sombre moment, while fan favourite Keep Safe wins a cheer from the crowd.
Several instrumentals and a lot of frustrated harmonies later, the band exit the stage to distortion and white noise, leaving just enough time before heading back for a glorious encore; completing their set with a bolshy, drummy, celebration of sing alongs and noise. I think they definitely nailed their live EP.
Review by Sheryll Armstrong
Photos by Kate Sam Photography