Review: Bar Wotever

by Ruth

What a night!

Tuesday’s set at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern was without a doubt the best gig we’ve ever played. Until now we’ve enjoyed providing some increasingly raucous performances, but we’d not quite managed to tap into that sound that we get in the practice room, when it all comes together and sounds like it’s meant to, like it does in our heads.

On Tuesday we managed it and then some. Sure, we’re still pretty rough and ready, but that’s the point. I felt my voice and my bass lock in with Kirsty’s vicious riffs and Snowy’s inventive drumming, as we shared our joy and anger with an utterly receptive audience. We also debuted a new backdrop flag and a new cover: Manic Street Preachers’ Repeat, a perfect song for the Jubilee.

We couldn’t ask for a more warm and welcoming crowd than at Wotever. A massive “thank you” to everyone who came!

Of course, our set was just the start of the night!

I didn’t manage to catch much of Killer’s Riches because we were packing our stuff, but what I did hear was pretty awesome. Kye Oram is a lovely fellow with a great voice, great hair, great politics and a heap of passion. I’m not sure whether he was attacking his guitar or making love to it, but either way there was a whole load of noise for one guy with an acoustic instrument.

I’ve been meaning to see The Makeshifts for ages so this was the perfect opportunity to do so. Their music moved organically from quiet beauty to raging folk-punk wig-out and back again without fault: wonderful! I was particularly impressed by the addition of two new band members (including a temporary drummer, covering for a guy who has just had surgery) without any apparent impact on the group’s sound, which was very impressive. The addition of a violinist was particularly cool and really worked. A special mention should also go to the mesmerising cover of Mr Brightside – I really hate that song, and the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed the Makeshifts’ moving reinvention says a great deal. Vocal harmonies for the win.

Closing the night were Battle Of You, who were without a doubt the most polished act of the night. This was pop music as it should be, with songs that are actually about something performed with meaning and energy. Each song was stuffed full of hooks that cried out for you to dance around and sing along. There was some great musicianship from each member of the group, but it always served the bands’s quest for a perfect tune. Plus: pink spandex! A great headline act who I really hope to catch again one day.

Kudos also to Joe Pop and Seth Corbin for great DJ sets.

Finally, thanks to Jo and Ingo for organising such a wonderful night, and putting faith in us!

Here’s a video about the night by Jess Eyre, including a short snippet of “Tory Scum” and a brief interview with myself:

Our setlist is up here, with photos to hopefully follow soon!