Spoke Too Soon – EP launch ft. – Fight the Raptor – Cherry Park – Below The Neck

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Spoke Too Soon

Featuring: Fight the Raptor | Cherry Park | Below the Neck

EP Launch – Ironworks 01/09/18

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First of September – the day for EP launches it seems.  Sly at Last were launching their EP in Mad Hatters, and Spoke Too Soon were launching theirs in Inverness Ironworks.

I weighed up which one I was going to see and review – although there was potentially enough time to see both, I wanted to do a full writeup, rather than an I woz ere and I saw this band type article, so from a reviewing point of view a choice had to be made.

Being that I’m an impoverished sod I’d normally go to the free gig of the two, which would’ve been the Hoots/Mad Hatters gig, but the Spoke Too Soon EP launch was only six quid, and had four bands playing. In hoots I can get one and a half glasses of coke for six pounds, versus paying £1.50 per band to see the Ironworks.

Going to Ironworks I was also less likely to encounter the ever pickled eegit that I had witnessed the other night, completely misinterpreting the phrase “dance as if no one is watching” in more of a “please, look at me, look at me twirl” following an affected entrance, swinging between emotions and dramatic facial expressions like one of those boglin puppets that you got in the 1990’s that you stuck four fingers in to manipulate. 

With that in mind, The Ironworks was the place for me tonight, which, it transpires, was a good decision.

Following a day of enthusiastic discussion with tourists about; Outlander, whether someone was related to the Old Fox, and where Mel Gibson fits into all of this, a good bit of punk was what was needed to ‘purge the 1/12th Scotch on their grandfather’s side holidaymakers’ from my mind.

It’s not that I dislike my job, it’s actually pretty cool, and flexible, but sometimes the craic can be a bit samey, much like your mum.

Below the Neck

The first of the four bands set up on stage. From the first note sprung, my face was vibrating with the force of the thrashy metal madness being fired at me, and my fellow audience members from the stage.

On a side note, we will update the photos here, but this is what was available at time of going to publish

These gents are animated as fuck, which is what you’d expect from a metal band. Actually, that’s doing them a disservice, you do occasionally get static metal bands, which doesn’t go well towards a good gig – for me a lot of metal is about the performance, it has to be. Below the Neck were full pelt with personality.

It was actually their first live performance as a band, and as I understand it, the singer’s first stage performance ever. You couldn’t tell; far from it – there was a slick interaction and confidence which came off as a really impressive debut from Fred Durst in a beanie and his crew. If Fred Durst didn’t have a whiney voice and was likeable.

Their second song came in with a train type momentum and rhythm; Songs like that are always a winner for me, across any genre. if I wasn’t reviewing I’d be up for awe bit of a mosh pit – is that allowed these days, is it still a thing? 

Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin

It led on to the next gratifying  number, a thrashy song with minor notes intermixed throughout, sounding like a Sepultura piece had been amalgamated with a hidden track on a Korn or Nirvana album.  This was followed by an anthemy type affair which again got my approval. It was as if the cookie monster was sad, whilst listening to thrash with major chords. Sounded a bit like an early Papa Roach tune.  I wasn’t able to make out the lyrics for any of these songs due to the style, but I think that’s fairly standard for a first listen of compositions in the cookie monster metal genre.

Also standard was the broken string from one of the two guitarists, but they fired through like true pros. They coped well with the Inverness reservedNESS from the crowd.

ReservedNESS, that should be a thing right? We’ve had RockNESS, MockNess, NESScon,  ProudNESS, so why not ReservedNESS, where everyone goes to a live gig and stands like mutes whilst a medium sized band perform. I guess we don’t need a named event for that. The crowd were beginning to warm though, Below the Neck had lubed them all up by the end, ready for the three further acts to come.

Something different this way comes.

Cherry Park, owning the stage

There was enough time for a plastic pint of coke and some fresh air to debug my eardrums after the first act and I was all set for Cherry Park.

Cherry Park opened their set with their beautifully crafted melancholy song which I would speculate was called ‘Unhappy Birthday’. As Ewan (bass) and Theo (lead guitar) threw the lyrics “blow out a candle for me, sorry that I didn’t come to your birthday” a feeling of warmth ran through my soul. Had I pissed myself? Na, it was just the contrast between the previous act and this band that was most welcome. Not good or bad different, just complimentary.

Their second track was proper bangin’ mun! In The Dead of Night was an optimistic, ‘this is what gigs are all about’ type track. The energy Cherry Park emitted was rubbing off onto the crowd like a panda spreading it’s pheromones on a tree.

This may have actually been what was happening, it was quite toasty up on the stage I hear.  Ironworks, is that what you do? Are your crowds powered by to secretions from the bands glands? In fairness there was enough quality tunage that the likelihood is it was a reaction to the general just swellNESS of the Cherry Park outfit.

Belting it out.

There was a song dedicated to fans of the film ‘The Room’ – which, by the way, is in the “so bad it’s watchable” state of affairs that you should watch it. Once. Just so you have.

The next track, I didn’t catch the name of, but it was a proper curl your toes with joy, I’m at a fucking NoFx gig, this is amazing tune. It was just spectacular. This was peak gig for me, all instruments and vocals amalgamated into a well crafted thing of beauty that gave me that warm feeling again. *checks* – Still haven’t pissed myself. Given that the drummer, Donna, had just finished doing a 10k Beast Race hours before, the fact that she wasn’t asleep was amazing enough, so gee-ing it laldy relentlessly was pretty spectacular.

Other highlights from Cherry Park included the track “Reptilian” featuring lyrics “I’ll Shed My Skin”, a slower, emotive song that sounded a bit soundscape-ish due to the harmonising of all three of the guitar type members complementing each other’s different vocal styles.

They finished up with the last song that sounded a bit like Feeder’s Oxygen, but with more depth to it. Side note, I’m still partially convinced Oxygen is a song about buzzing on aerosols, but that’s just a theory. Cherry Park owned the set, and the playout was brilliant and the whole thing felt like a gig you’d make the effort to travel to go see – so we’re lucky to have them here in our wee town city of Inverness. 

Hold on, I’m going for a number three? Er what?

The third band, and last support act up were Fight the Raptor, who opened with mellow stums, like the start of The Burning Red by Machinehead then fired into rock riffs.

As the three piece band got into the first track, my honest initial thought was that I didn’t like the vocals, and it felt a wee bit like a garage rock band, rather than the well put together previous two acts.  I was restricted to using my notebook in the dark briefly due to my phone having a tantrum, so ended up with a couple bits of scrawled illegible notes for the second and third tracks.

 

There was a fair bit of initial screaming type vocals, but a bit of atmosphere kicked in with some pinched harmonic bass in the musical break in the second track, sounding a bit like Phil Collins was frottaging with Pink Floyd. It wasn’t too bad, but the point I started enjoying the band was from the third track in.

Unrelated to the start of the enjoyment (I was drinking coke, not snorting coke, drugs are bad m’kay), the next song was announced as about drink and drugs. Halfway through the song it switched into a sample sound that I’ve noted down was like funky tripping music. It was at this point whilst trying to balance a plastic pint of coke in my mouth, bop to the music, and write in the notepad that I spilt the coke on the notebook. The fact that I was moving with the tunes was good though, I think the band just needed to warm up a bit, and they had.

The Bassist, being bassisty

“This song is about the seaside” was how the bouncing, rocking thrashing piece was put together. There was a good bit of fingering too. EEEEYY! The song about the seaside contained lyrics about drowning, which was heartwarming – and they managed to make their guitar sound like a helicopter. I didn’t get all the lyrics, but was this a coastal rescue song? Obviously is was. (not). But it was good.

The pumping industrial opening of the band’s interpretation of a love song came next. This one had some interesting sounds in it, and the group really shone with this one. There was a Squarepusher type bass-iness in there, and the track felt like a whole range of genres were played with, squeezed out and forged into their own style of metal. It was good eh!

‘ere’s the drummer too

The singer dedicated the next song to people that have put up with him personally over the years, but the most important part was that the song had a cowbell. Need more cowbell. It was a pretty pumping, Oi! Oi! Oi! song, which led into the last track, which induced proper moshing in the crowd. Moshing is a rare sight these days, but like ducks fucking, and white dog poo sightings, it was welcomed as a nostalgic sight from my teenage years. 

 

Spoke Too Soon

Three acts played, three acts good, let’s get onto the headliners. Spoke Too Soon’s backdrop was slightly different on the stage. In the build-up, the curtains were down, the lighting was different and there was sci-fi space music and an ominous atmosphere.

Spooky…

The atmosphere was building until someone – lets call him Dave – pulled the plug out of the amp. He put it back in though and the ambience was back. Well done Dave. Spoke too Soon assembled on the stage to get their EP launch up and running.

Bursting into life, their first track’s opening sounded like Screamager by Therapy?, but with out the frustrated depressed Irish vocal tones, then flowed through and finishing up nicely with some ska-punk

Animated as fuck

Number two was a euphoric alt-rock number, shaking the crowd into full pelt. The band were all over the stage kicking their legs, jumping and just giving the whole thing a fun and proper EP launch party feel. This was carried through to their third track, a song that I can most closely relate to Green Day’s “Brain Stew” but with a Top Gear driving album guitar lick. Wait, OMG, are they doing the soundtrack to a new Road Rash game? They fucking should – I’d happily drive round on a bike with some whips and chains. Erm, too much? Moving on.

All together now!

The Lead singer was elated to buggery with the whole thing as he introduced

a song from their EP. Potentially called “Standing on the edge”, It was a punky twangy number, that sounded like a dastardly cartoon evolving into a bit of a beastie boys vibe in the style of rock music.  

At one point the singer managed to get most of the crowd to crouch down like a collective of weird fiddler crabs, and if you can get a crowd to do that, you’ve won. I’m not sure what it was all about, but if you can do that, you’re sorted in life. Life goals and that.

The band just look cool!

There were a couple more pop-punk type songs, and one that was so new t

hat it superseded the EP’s release. Rather than describe it, I’ll just let you see it here – it’s about one minute in.

 

All in all Spoke Too Soon come across as seasoned, with a good singer that can sing in the traditional sense. As the last song played out with a fast, upbeat energy the fan-base lapped it up. It were good, the band were delighted, the crowd was delighted, and I was happy to have again been lucky enough to have seen a small band make a big impact.

 

Audio description:

 

Want to see more reviews, previews and stuff like this as it’s published. When gigs are appearing and all that?
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