In what can only be described in my opinion as a night of headline bands, we attended Camden Assembly to see 3 of the most superior bands on the scene right now. I’m massive fans of them all, but with Sisteray and The Blinders, that’s mainly based on what I’ve heard online. I had only seen The Shimmer Band live, who are firm favourites of mine as they have never failed to excite and impress me.
I always reserve true judgement until I see a band in the flesh, as live performance is paramount to a band’s stature and success. I can 110% say that The Blinders and Sisteray surpassed all my expectations.
These two bands are successfully representing the voice of a nation, full of angst and intolerance at the screwed up political system that we have reluctantly been placed in.
From doors opening the venue was heaving, which is always a pleasure to see and also demonstrates how much of a reputation and substantial fan base these 3 bands have. The whole night left a lasting impression, and that those lucky enough to be there, had witnessed something special.
Politics And Poets…… Sisteray
Dominating the stage Sisteray, formed in 2014 are a punk four piece who have a lot of meaningful anti-establishment things to say. They express their meaningful lyrics so powerfully that you are immediately engrossed in them. Tackling social issues with riotous drums and aggressive guitars, the audience was treated to songs ‘Gentrification’ ‘Who R Ya’ ‘Faaast Food’ and ‘Queens English’ amongst others, which were all well received by the packed-out crowd. Attitude goes for your jugular, as frontman Niall Rowan projects his catchy choruses upon you. It’s clearly evident his band have successfully carved out their own sound taking influences from many bands such as The Clash, The Libertines and The Smiths. One thing this band is more than capable of is keeping the crowd captivated from beginning to end and I literally can’t wait to catch them again.
There Is No Hope…. The Blinders
One word, WOW. Lost for words at how good this band are. I actually found myself grinning from ear to ear throughout the set, because I knew I was watching a very exceptional band indeed. The Blinders are one of the small handfuls of authentic bands that are finally escaping the indistinguishable masses that have dominated the music scene. Originating from Doncaster but now residing in Manchester, The Blinders are so naturally gifted and beautiful to watch, its just mind blowing. Tipped as one of This Feelings ‘Big in 2017’ the music seeps out of their every pore and on stage, they are so lost in their set, it’s like they are possessed. The crowd looked on in awe as McGough’s pulsating bass ripped through the room, accompanied by Matty Neale’s explosive attack on the drums, the band tore apart songs like ‘Swine’ ‘ICB Blues’ and my favourite B-side ‘Ramona Flowers’. Songwriting is a technical skill, needs artistic intuition, and, sometimes, a literary genius which is all demonstrated perfectly in each of The Blinders songs. The band have effortlessly managed to make their show an art and the word is spreading like wildfire. Starting NE 14 months ago I did an interview with Merc clothing and stated the lack of frontmen that have an impact these days, well this is it, my search is over. I don’t want to compare this guy to anyone because this is what makes him special, he’s one on his own. Thomas Haywood is in the league of being the next frontman people idolise. It doesn’t stop there either; bassist Charlie McGough is also just as captivating, I was torn between who to pin my eyeballs on. You’re literally getting two frontmen for the price of one.
Visually, they are absolutely mesmerising, musically they are bang on. The best thing about all of it is, I don’t feel like they are similar to anyone else, they are unique, which really, really excites me.
2017 is undoubtedly going to be their year.
If you haven’t heard of The Blinders yet, mark my words you’re going to.
The Pied Pipers Of Psychedelic Rock…. The Shimmer Band
Bristol’s psychedelic rockers, The Shimmer Band have rightfully earned their place at the top of the bill and had the venue absolutely shaking. Brimming with charisma and confidence, singer Tom Newman’s flawless voice is on point and with every performance, they just get better and better. This band as always, have the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands and they are easily destined for the main stages at all the major festivals and on the brink of filling out the bigger capacity venues. I am so happy that I’ve had the privilege of seeing them at the smaller venues because it really is only a matter of time before this band really take off. Their musicianship just gets stronger and stronger with every live performance. The Shimmer Band delivered many anthemic classics like ‘Sunkick’ ‘Freedom’ ‘Jacknife and the Death Call’ and new single ‘What Is Mine’ which they delivered exceptionally well and had the crowd going absolutely mental. Yet again, they absolutely smashed it. Here is a band with endless anthems under their belt and every song is a sure-fire hit. I encourage everyone to go and see them and I look forward to seeing them reach the top of their game, which is clearly inevitable.