It’s a Friday night and the sound of rock music is in the air. What better way to spend my time than with a trip to The Patriot in Crumlin? Gaining a deserved reputation for putting on a great night’s entertainment, this was another occasion where new rock music was front and centre.
The first band on tonight are WHO KNOWS DIDLEY, a Hard-Rock 4-piece from South Wales and a name, I’m sad to say, that I was unfamiliar with going into this evening. The band had been making music together for some time, but have reconvened after a hiatus and have been back together for around a year.
There is an 80s hard-rock sound about WHO KNOWS DIDLEY where the vocals of Paul Matthews and guitars of Gareth Alford are the main focus. That’s not to undermine the rhythm section of David McKenzie (Bass) & Craig James (Drums) because they lay down a solid rhythmic foundation that allows the others to drive the songs forward.
Songs like ’20 Kilo Suitcase’ and ‘Won’t Be Easy’ are driving, hard-hitting rock songs with elements of Extreme, Van Halen and UFO, whilst the slower, mid-tempo tracks, ‘Fairytales’ and ‘Electric Mind’ pack a heavy punch, all anchored by the weight of that rhythm section.
I’ve got to give props to Gareth on guitar. His hands were all over the fretboard displaying some fantastic chops with what, to me, looked like quite complicated playing and I enjoyed his solos too. Very creative and utilising the trem-bar and tapping techniques. He was just fun to watch.
The band clearly enjoyed their time on stage and their sense of fun comes across to the audience. Unfortunately, Pauls attempts at bantering with the crowd fell flat at times because his mic kept cutting out, making it hard to hear what he was saying, but he did self-depreciatingly say “Thank you Wembley” after ‘Won’t Be Easy’, which got a laugh.
Their set closes with ‘Take It Or Leave’ which features a big drum intro and another badass sounding riff. I liked the occasions here, and throughout the set for that matter, where Paul and Gareth would harmonise with each other and this muscular track was topped off by yet another killer lead guitar solo.
WHO KNOWS DIDLEY know how to entertain a crowd and if you’re a fan of that 80s Hard-Rock sound then you’ll probably find something to enjoy here.
Who Knows Didley are:-
Paul Matthews – Vocals
Gareth Alford – Guitar
David McKenzie – Bass
Craig James – Drums
With new EP ‘Masquerade’ released today, you could argue that tonight’s gig was the “unofficial” launch night for KIKAMORA, but officially that honour is reserved for November 30 at Exchange, Bristol.
It was my first time seeing KIKAMORA and with all the hype I’d heard about how good they are live, it’s safe to say that expectations from myself were high. No pressure boys!
Kicking off their high-octane set with ‘Alibi’, which is also the opening track to their new EP. It’s a big rocker with call and response riffage that you simply couldn’t ignore if you tried. Guitarist Jimi and vocalist Wilf set their stalls out from the get-go. Jimi being very animated on stage as he spits out fierce licks, riffs and solos, and Wilf with his powerful, gravely vocals that just wail.
‘Twist My Arm’ from 2016’s EP ‘In The Henhouse contains a monster of a drumbeat from Andy and a heavy as f*** groove before they slow things down a touch with ‘Said & Done’. Arpeggiated, clean guitars, melancholic vocals that show a different side to Wilfs voice and it’s the first time I notice bass player Rob Ives and his nimble fingers. He’s a melodic player. The track builds as the vocals open up which leads to a really cool Guns N Roses type moment for Jimi. Great song!
‘Off The Cuff’ and ‘Them & Us’ are a good, solid one-two punch slab of hard rock thunderousness (that’s a word now!) The former is a sleazy beast with drummer Andy delivering a cool tom intro and groove which I enjoyed, and it’s got such a killer riff. In fact in my notes from the show, I wrote “killer riff. Great song. Awesome vocals. Bitching solo.” – I think that sums it up fairly well, don’t you think?
‘Methadream’ slows everything down once again with a delayed, clean guitar intro, continually building verses before a slower, more melodic solo. I thought the rhythm section of Andy, Rob and rhythm guitarist Chris really anchored this song well and I could hear the bass tone clearly which I liked.
The classic rocker ‘Pest’ is dedicated to “everyone in the room wearing cowboy boots” – (One guy, I believe was wearing cowboy boots.) and their cover of Nazareth’s ‘Hair Of The Dog’ went down well apart from some woeful audience participation. Shame on us! I loved the way the track sped up as it got closer to the end.
The sorrowful ‘Sat Around Living’ is a slow burner with a phaser-heavy riff that suits Wilf's vocals very well. The drum work from Andy is great and the dynamics between the band means that nobody is overpowering anyone else.
‘Old Rosie’, another uptempo rocker, fell a bit flat at times due to, again, a lack of audience participation, but that didn’t deter the charismatic Wilf who is such a great frontman. ‘Half Rats’ saw the introduction of saxophonist Frankie Povey who added another dimension to the bands sound, and I notice that Chris has swapped out his guitar for a semi-hollow body. Is that significant? Probably not. Though, as ‘Half Rats’ has a bluesy/country riff and walking blues bass line, maybe it is? It’s a good demonstration of how to build a song up to a rip-roaring finish.
The set ends with ‘Wrong Place, Right Time’ which starts with a guitar/harmonica duet and again, it’s another song that showcases Wilfs powerful, bluesy voice and with the added saxophone and interspersed guitar riffs, this is a great way to end the night's proceedings. Very accomplished and ended what was a thundering night of rock music.
I felt that the band were in good form tonight. Jimi was on fire, Wilf’s voice was electric and the rest of the band seemed up for it. It all led to a fantastic KIKAMORA live experience for me, anyway.
Sadly, as is the norm with rock venues these days it would seem, the crowd at The Patriot was sparse, but for those in attendance, we were treated to a good couple of hours of hard rock music. Who doesn’t like crushing rhythms, big riffs and bigger vocals? I know I do and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Well worth checking out both bands.
Wilf Kite – Vocals
Jimi Bessant - Lead Guitar
Chris Archela – Rhythm Guitar
Rob Ives – Bass
Any Page – Drums
Our Review of Masquerade - https://www.downthefrontmedia.com/down-the-front-media/music-reviews/kikamora-masquerade-ep/