Finger-tap magic

Originally written for the Gazette and Herald

Were you at the bell last Saturday? If not… you missed out, really badly.

It was quite possibly the best thing any local ‘indie kid’ could dream of. There was a spectrum of talent that spanned from the crunch of distorted guitars to the tickling of well-placed synth sounds.

The night was started by an enthusiastic I’m Designer who wooed a fast growing audience and their expectations for the next acts. Hybrid Town featured Ellis Capon sporting a new barnet full of hair, played a number of covers the crowd loved and topped off a great set with a rendition of Bombay Bicycle Club’s Always Like This that was scarily good.

Next up was Year of The Thief. They started young and have grown to have a tighter sound and loyal fans. They seem to promise a lot for the future, having already produced a number of their own songs. Catchy songs at that. Crowd favourites such as their Arctic Monkeys-esque song Jonny made a welcome appearance and the set was rounded off with a cover of My Chemical Romance’s Na Na Na which was mental.

How do you start writing about Sailors? Summing up their sound is a near-impossible task. the band has transformed, not only adding Paddy Henchman but also some sexy samples that create an intense atmosphere.

I couldn’t draw my eyes away from Alex Share as he finger-tapped up and down the neck of his guitar and I saw the jaws of every guitar player in the room hit the floor.

Where does Sailors’ magic end? They transformed Rebecca Black’s Friday into a bearable tune and the crowd loved it.

And then there was Camera Culture. Those that didn’t have an early bedtime stayed and were rewarded. The Bristol band brought a storm; an 80s whirlwind of varied sounds peppered with influences like The Smiths, Bowie and Springsteen. The set was fluent, gliding blissfully from one song to another. There was some bewildering bass playing and synth that perfected their sound, they looked the part and they brought the goods.

The night was charged with emotions, people storming in and out of the building, friends falling out, ‘accusation tennis’ and there may have even been tears… but the soundtrack was good. I don’t know how this gig could be topped.