This Feeling are really good at promoting exciting new talent, and do it on a regular basis, up and down the country, as well as around London. You can be assured of a strong line up at their gigs, and their sold-out Big in 2018 show at Nambucca on 13 January 2018 was no exception. With nine bands on the bill, it was going to be a long night, even with shorter sets and quick change-overs. In fact, I bailed early so as not to double the length of my late-night journey home.
Opening was Lucie Barât, who belted her way through her set of blues-tinged pop-rock. It was also an introduction to the venue’s new lighting rig. It may have been teething problems, or unfamiliarity, but it was not an improvement over was there previously. For Lucie’s set, red, blue and a combination of those, were the order of the day/night. And for the most part it didn’t improve for the rest of the night. I know that complaining about lighting in venues is something that is mostly only of interest to other photographers, but if the lighting is good for a photographer, then it has to be good for the band and for the audience. Just saying, if anyone is listening.
Next up were Brum band The Surrenders, who played a great set of blues-soul-rock, with some powerful vocals from frontman Connor Brooks. Following them were old favourites Calva Louise, who I have written about plenty, and who never disappoint.
One of the highlights of the evening, for me (and quite a few others) was Avalanche Party. Energetic doesn’t even cover it. From the outset, singer, and sometime guitarist, Jordan Bell poured a bottle of water of himself and launched himself into the packed audience. Their garage rock, with a side order of fuzzed-out psychedelic guitar, was right up my street. And fantastic stage presence that makes for great photos.
Hey Charlie are a three-piece girl band that have cultivated their own look and sound. Personally, it’s not one that particularly appeals to me, but I can see them building quite a fan base.
Welsh band Himalayas are another indie guitar band and, as far as I’m concerned, there can never be too many good guitar bands, even if they do all start to sound a little similar there is plenty of audience to go around. Everyone can’t like everything, or go to every gig.
In order to not be caught by the pumpkin hour, I missed Sheafs, Anteros and Judas. It was also starting to heat up down the front, which meant being restricted to one place to shoot from, and an increased chance of moshing, so it was as much a tactical retreat as it was a transport induced one.