It may have been a few weeks ago now, but a slow recovery from a concussion since the Blind River album release show is testament to just how good and busy it got. It is no secret how much we (and very much I) have championed these guys since first coming across them last year, and bands like them are the very reason we love to try and get ourselves at RAMzine into a gig as doors open and see what surprises we are treated with. This gig was no different as I hope on an earlier than usual train to make sure I secure myself a spot front and centre for the nights showcase.
It is never an easy job to open, especially when filling in last minute, Dead Lettuce sadly didn’t make the night but Orbital Junction were invited along and opened proceedings, a fresh new group bringing a healthy slab of fuzz filled stoner rock steeped in beer to the table. As a four piece, they create a sound much larger than the number of their parts courtesy of drummer Jack Revans raining down intently and bassist Billy Dale making use of gear to create a rhythm guitar harmony to his bass lines, guitarist Ric Fordyce hammers out so monstrous leads with Owen Armstrong soaring and rasping over top. a refreshing band to be introduced to. Much like the next band, they deserve a larger crowd to play in front of, but they don’t let this hold them back. Scheduled to record their debut EP this summer, we look forward to more of them.
Stone Soup soon followed on, and they have a sound that throws everything into the melting pot, blues rock, stoner, hints of prog and groove all rear their heads at one point or another. They blend it well although being close up to the front had at times lost some of the vocals in the mix. Almost too big for the stage, they didn’t have much room for movement but followed the same spirit as Orbital Junction and made the most of their time with gusto. Well worth your time and money.
Blind River were lucky enough to play to a packed out room, slightly irritating to see so many arrive for a free show so late and miss out on the two openers, but that is just the way it goes sometimes. Seeing it so busy is a great sign for the main act though, they’ve achieved plenty in their year together and it shows when even they mention maybe next time they’ll have to consider a bigger venue. Beer is will on the way with all and the party is in full swing as they play their entire album in some order. Having had the pleasure of being sent the album to review, it very quickly seemed to turn into my go to album, with each track leading the way in my phones most played list (no easy feat with a near 4000 songs on it!) Being so familiar with it really aided in the not having to pay much attention to all the nuances and enjoy the show, they started the band with effectively one rule and still live by it, play gigs and have fun, none more so than on that night.
The packed in crowd lapped up every moment, from the swaggering Unto the Creature, to the Ballad-esque Home, and the very rocking Peacemaker. It was hard to see if the crowd or band had the bigger smiles for the most part, The entire set went down, and even out performed the impressive electrical storm that took the capital that night. For my fourth time capturing the guys, I am well versed in what to expect and yet they still get better with each and every performance, I actually now have hints of envy for those that are still discovering Blind River for the first time! Probably already my album of the year, their on stage display matches the quality of their work, and it’ll take a serious release to knock it off its pedestal. If you haven’t checked it out yet, what are you doing with your life?!