In a previous post I mentioned that I’d found my musical tribe with the new psychedelic movement (if it is one), and a big part of that has been because of Roadkill Records and the fantastic free gigs they put on. Such are the good vibes in this particular London scene, that many of the artists that play at these gigs are not even signed to the label. One thing is for sure though, if it’s a Roadkill show you are guaranteed excellent bands, great releases and quality merch. The gig at Lock Tavern on 21 July 2017 was to launch the new album from Brighton duo Dirty White Fever, “…on the shores of San Salvador”.
The evening kicked off in style with rockabilly/rock ’n’ rollers Jay Vee and The Cardinal Sins. This three-piece certainly know how to rock. Any thoughts that the gig might have peaked way too early were quickly dispelled by another Brighton, Skinny Milk, whose drum and bass driven psych/space rock raised the bar a couple of more notches. Never to be outdone, long time favourites Saint Agnes showed that their recent European tour had made them even tighter and grittier. It can’t be long before they finally get the larger audience recognition they deserve as one of the best live bands around. Saint Agnes are a hard act to follow, but Dirty White Fever easily matched on energy levels and showcased their new album to its full extent.
Although it hosts some impressive gigs, Lock Tavern is one of my least favourite venues around London, as I have mentioned previously, for its lack of stage lighting. A mirror ball and ambient light from the bar doesn’t really do any justice to the bands. It also means that photographers are forced to use flash, which can not only annoy the bands, but also produces photos that lack atmosphere. In all the years I’ve been shooting gigs, this was the first time I’ve resorted to using a flash throughout a gig.