BAM In The Bar
with Goodnight Venice, Black Atlas, Liam Circuit Acoustic, Fellow Culprits, Paleskin.
Dannys Bar Lev 1 Esquires Bedford. 18th November and 1st December 2017.
Photos (c) Gary James.
The plan being to mix a few bands with an acoustic opener on the last two BAM gigs in the bar failed as on both occasions they had to pull out for their personal reasons.
Closest we got to an acoustic set on the two sessions was the 1st December gig where at short notice Mr. Liam Circuit entertained us with his three gifts namely singing, guitaring and cheeky smiles inbetween. Familiar songs are played smooth song radio classics and lesser tracks are performed, knowing when to underplay softer vocal harmonies and belting out louder vocal parts. At short notice Liam was certainly in his stride in getting an act together, not even distractions from the crowd swayed him. A great lil set to open our second or the two bar gigs.
Well Goodnight Venice to me is a bit of a supergroup! All amazing people and musicians in their own right and each coming from various different bands in their musical life’s episodic spectrum, - Doubting Thomas, Blind Theory, His n Herpes, Gain, Wolf Law, The VIP’s, Gold Skies Ahead, to name just a few (unless l have named them all.
The songs sound rather sweet and fuse together a country folk rock sound all played deliciously well and also having each vocalist able to give us some very good to listen to vocals with a strong singing ability. Their main singer guitarist looking every inch a rock star tapping his chest, posturing and leaving his position occasionally throughout the set to walk about, throw some shapes and add movement to the songs performed. Although opening on the first set they are well deserved headliners on the second gig, back by popular demand, demonstrating just how tight their set can be, not a note or squeak out of place, they just need to get a few more new songs under their belt to stay fresh as they certainly have that spark of entertainment value.
I saw Fellow Culprits earlier in the year at an empty gig on a cold February night at the Harper suite in Bedford. Here they played to a larger crowd. With brothers hailing from the much enjoyed and missed Sunset Reset Fellow Culprits have a set of tuneful songs and a distinct touch of class to their sound, some of the guitar playing adds a heavier dimension to their usual indi rock stance, incorporating a steel tube on the finger over the strings to add a sliding blues edge to the sound. The drumming stands out also as being well practiced and bursts of added flourishes to make the percussion extra busy with added fills to gold the interest. They are altogether quite simply ‘a class act’
When The Basilisk announced their hiatus and dispersed to different uni’s their drummer formed a new band and brought it back to Bedford to test themselves out on a Bedford Crowd. Paleskin I was told before hand are less heavy than previous. They have Harvey on drums still making drumming look easy, producing a skilful set of beats without looking as though he is working to hard at it, sudden bursts of energy are added with extra punctuated beats getting them all in to fit the song in a timed rhythm. They have a Scots lad on guitar playing well and adding much to the sound and a female lead singer who isn’t afraid to belt out a hard punchy vocal inclusion moving around to emphasise the energy of their sound which is all in all rather entertaining, certainly a band I would definitely not hesitate in seeing again.
Black Atlas are one of our rare Bedford bands in to the metal genre, mixing a grunge, stoner, doom quality in with all round competent abilities all good musicians and incidentally all sporting beards!
Not a huge amount of on stage engagement with the crowd or movement, instead concentrating on a well honed sound that if you looked around the room you could see people nodding and rocking out to in enjoyment. Despite a sell out gig on level two at the time an audience was still ever present in the bar, not even wild horses or a Ferocious Dog (Lev 2 punk band) would tear them away.
I think they could be a lesser band if it wasn’t for some outstanding guitars that burst through on songs, giving us a ripping peel of metal guitar shreds to shake out the cobwebs and keep it exuberantly metal. A band for Bedford to be proud of!
Review by keith. www.bedfordalternativemusic.co.uk