Last week found me in my usual haunts for two radically different shows. Wednesday, as usual, was all about the acoustic session at The Roaring Donkey and this week it was the turn of Sue Hart, a Salisbury based Americana songwriter to entertain the small, attentive and gradually increasing number punters. Aided and abetted by “a mildly disgruntled man” whose real name was Pete on bass the duo treated the room to not only lessons in song writing, dexterous musicianship and vocal harmonising, but also the less tangible and often overlooked traits – charisma, audience engagement and the ability to take your music seriously whilst finding humour in the whole process of making music for a living. They were gracious and wonderful company and they perfectly epitomised those wonderful anecdotes that you only get from working with musicians. Not only is Pete’s “day job” working as Chrissie Hynde’s lighting guy, Sue also revealed in the wonderfully titled song, “ You Were A Lying, Drunken Bum, But I Got To See The Mountains” how she took a road trip across America and “accidently” got married. You just don’t get stories like that hanging around with four guys who working in Nationwide during the day and try to sound like Green Day in the evenings.
The following evening revolved around a trip to The Victoria, a place I watch a lot of bands but not normally ones as hard and heavy as the ones on offer that night. Arriving late I missed Eden Falls but did manage to catch a bit of Heriot who mixed howling vocals and heavy riffs with doomy interludes and atmospheric asides, interesting but the main thrust of their sound wasn’t one that spoke to me.
Although the intensity and sheer raw brutality of Screamo style metal isn’t really my thing, I think if you are going to watch any genre that falls largely outside your comfort zone then pick the best band of that genre. Headliners Sleep Inertia certainly seem the best of their peer group. Four–fifths born from the ashes of The Dead Lay Waiting they have deliberately pushed their new sound towards a more mature target audience. The result is a brutal, near apocalyptic, onslaught of high-octane riffs, pulsing bass runs, crashing back beats and primordial vocals, and for all its overwhelming attack of sight and sound, you can’t help but get carried away by its sheer force. Not the sort of thing you are going to use as the sound track to a Sunday fine dining experience, but in the right context an unforgettable experience.
(first published at Swindon Link)