Words – Doug Bearne
Pictures – Alison Boler
People have been waiting a long time for this gig. After the joys of Lockdown and no live music for nearly eighteen months, this should have been happening in August, but COVID-19 in the camp stopped that happening. But, thanks to all involved, the date was rescheduled, and went ahead tonight!
The upstairs room at The Jolly Farmer is an interesting one, reminiscent of a church hall. The masses have certainly thronged together, and the room is busy with an expectant crowd from the start.
Openers The Quails have the task of warming the crowd (though to be honest the room is hot anyway!). The indie rock band from Teignmouth in Devon formed in 2006 but split in 2011. A reforming of the band in 2019 to play at the local airshow seems to have helped kicked the band back into action, and from tonight’s showing it seems like they never stopped. The set opens with Master of Imperfection, the title track from the band’s last album released in 2010. A great opener, the boys and the crowd find their feet quickly. Two more from that album follow, in That Other World and Games With The Devil – the latter of which, vocalist/guitarist Dan Sneer tells us is about the year he nearly died! The rest of the set is made up of songs from the afore mentioned M.O.I. along with 2008’s I’ve Heard It’s All A Rumour. True, no new songs, but hopefully the band will now continue and right some more. Pop Idol is a fun track, and has a few die-hards singing along in their band t-shirts. They save the best for last though, and finish the set with Fever, which sees the band and the crowd go into…well…feverish mode!
Local boys Firekind have waited a long time to get back to the venue they call home, and the fans have waited a long time for it too, it’s plain to see. The crowd is a good mix – young and older, male and female, all here to see their local heroes. The band take to the stage to cheers from the audience, and fire off with It’s Not Over, before going in to the heavy Adrenalin. The band sound great, and are really tight. Not band seeing as new drummer Mitch Pike has only been with the band for a short time – and obviously without gigs. He is a great addition though, and works well with Dan Morris on bass. The set flows along nicely, with all the songs coming from the superb What I Have Found Is Already Lost album (apart from a surprise at the end!). The set, like the album, is a good mix of softer and heavier tracks, all played with finesse, though still with the band showing their enjoyment at being back on stage in front of a crowd again. Jas Morris on vocals and guitar is in fine voice and enjoying showing us his guitar skills – picking and tapping with the best of them. It’s not long before we are given the rock version of No Stone Unturned – my personal favourite – as opposed to the acoustic version which appears on the album. And it definitely rocks. As the set moves on, the drink seems to be flowing too, as more of the younger ones in the crowd are getting more vocal and mobile! The band of course are lapping it up and playing to the crowd and enticing them to sing along. And as the set goes on, Jas and Dan are getting more mobile too – drawing the set towards its conclusion with These Are The Thoughts, Defend and Sound of Rain. These are followed with an exciting instrumental piece which sees both Jas and Dan shredding on guitar and bass while swapping positions on the stage. This then leads in to a track from the bands former life under the name of Rude Tiger; Desolate. And too soon it is over. The band thanks the crowd, the venue and the sound guy, before leaving the stage to a rapturous applause.
The band are on tour soon, supporting Jack J Hutchinson on his The Hammer Falls tour through October, and November, and have also just been announced for Planet Rock’s Winter’s End Festival in March 2022.
The Quails: https://www.facebook.com/thequails/