I’ve never really understood why, when people go to gigs, they just go to see one band, which is usually the headline act. Of course, there have been plenty of occasions when I’ve seen a support act have more people watch them than the headliner, usually because they are friends of the band. But why not stay and watch the rest of the acts? I always make a point of getting to the gigs early, or at least for the advertised door time, only to be left waiting around outside for any number of reasons. Having set times posted on the event page is always handy, but I usually calculate first band on half an hour after opening. I know some promoters don’t put set times because they want people to come and watch all the bands, which is fair enough, but some people have to travel a long way and not only want to get there on time, but also want to make sure that they have time to get the last train home, especially during the week. But I digress. The point I wanted to make about turning up to see all the bands is because you might discover a new band to like that you would not otherwise. This has happened with me on countless occasions, and support act of this evening was one of them. I first saw Beach Riot on a stellar line up at the Shacklewell Arms, for the launch of the We Can Do It compilation cassette. Their garage grunge left an impression amongst all the other hard hitters on the night. I’ve caught them a few times since, and they were the main draw for this evening.
Opening were, Terror Bites, yet another guitar and drums duo with punk leanings, that made Slaves seem like art rockers. They may not have had the volume or stage presence of Kent’s favourite sons, but having seen Slaves very early in the development, again as an opening act, Terror Bites have just as much promise.
Beach Riot had the evening’s middle slot, and their raw energy perfectly bridged the punk chaos the preceded and the Novatines’ more polished rock that was to follow.