KING CREATURE || ALMOST EASY || KIKAMORA || COWER, HOUNDS! || AT THE SUN - The Station, Cannock 07.04.18

SAMANTHA LLOYD

 

With the weather feeling less bone bitingly chilly as of late, I made my way to The Station, Cannock. The last of the daylight is slipping away as I enter the venue, and to my surprise there’s very few people in attendance. Hopefully as the night goes on that will change.

 

AT THE SUN are the first in the line-up of 5 bands tonight, a tall order for a 5 hour window but we’ll see how it goes. Hailing from London, this 5 piece hard rock band have been flying low under my radar until now and I’m excited to be able to finally see these guys perform live.

 

Booming into their first track ‘Preacher’ I’m taken back by how amazing these guys sound. We’re only 30 seconds in and I know I like their live sound already, it’s not often that a live performance sounds better than the recorded studio version. Craig (drums) batters his kit like a murderer bludgeons someone with a baseball bat; solid, heavy thuds that boom in your head and chest; while Harry on vocals delivers every note with a depth and precision that oozes maturity.

Alex is adept at making the bass thunder through the speakers, but it doesn’t overpower the sound of everything else which is a relief. ‘Breathe’, from their EP of the same name, is a bit faster paced and delivered with more of that awesome swagger. On stage these guys are tight, their performance is spot on.

 

Harry introduces Chet on the guitar, delivering an awesome riff to the small ensemble to display his musical prowess. “We didn’t have time to figure out a set list before we got here, so we thought we’d do it on stage in the middle of the set,” says Harry, chuckles emanate from the small crowd as they lead into ‘Indestructible’, a track that feels like it should be sitting in the top 10 of the rock charts. It just pulls you in and the way that it is delivered in a live environment just adds to its calibre.

‘Devil in Your Eyes’ starts off with a solo from Harry and it’s intense, giving me goosebumps along the way, such an amazing vocal delivered acapella style before the instruments kick in. The blues swagger that it is neatly layered throughout the track really gives the track a great feel, and the live performance is so captivating. I don’t think a single person has been able to take their eyes off them during their set.

 

What I find disappointing is the lack of a bigger audience; these guys certainly need to be seen to be appreciated at their best. Their set is heavy with a huge blues swagger neatly intertwined throughout; the rhythm that emanates through the speakers has such a great tone that it sets a high bar from the offset. As a whole the band sound tight, their enthusiastic and blues rock music is a great addition to the line-up. Check out their Facebook and Website for any local shows, seriously, don’t miss out on seeing these guys live. Totally worth the value of any ticket.
 

These guys are my ones to watch this year!

Set List:
Preacher
Only a fool

Bite your tongue
Breathe

Walk On Over

Indestructible

Devil In Your Eyes

Soak It Up

 

At The Sun are:

Harry - Vox

Alex - Bass

Kieron - Guitar

Chet - Guitar

Craig - Drums

 

Check them AT THE SUN on the following links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/atthesunband/

Website: https://www.atthesun.com/

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO INFO@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

COWER, HOUNDS! are up next, and having seen these guys perform here at The Station before I’m excited to see if their set has taken the next step. Secretly I’m hoping they write their set on a vinyl again and that it’s a good one so I can add it to my collection at home. Stepping up to the barrier I can see that they have indeed written their set list on a vinyl - ‘Switched On Swing’ shame it’s not Metallica or something more in line with their style of music.

Delivering the bass heavy opening track ‘Let’s Get A Dog!’ Cower, Hounds! are so laid back they’re almost horizontal throughout their set as they ease through each track. It’s good to see that more people are arriving at the venue, yet it’s still a poor turn out. Despite this, the band performs admirably and the lack of a crowd does little to suppress their enthusiasm for their music.

 

‘Sad Exorcist’ has Andy Ford (bass) jumping around like he’s got springs attached to his shoes, hair wild around his head not missing a single note. Hard and heavy rock dealt with a relaxed tone is what you’ll get from Cower, Hounds! Mid-point through the set, Paul Reynolds (vocals / guitar) is joking around with Andy Ford about his lack of a microphone due to his attitude and his joking reply reminds me of a child pouting because they didn’t get their favourite toy for Christmas. All in jest of course, where Andy replies with a nice “F*** off!” response to Paul that has the small gathering at the barrier chuckling.

 

The relaxed performance gives way to a more commanding performance as the energy takes a step up  as they deliver ‘A.I.M.’, ‘Standard G!’ and ‘Shut Up’ (the best song in their set for me). There’s very little audience response between the songs which is a shame, but that again is down to sheer numbers as Reynolds addresses the audience regularly and attempts to create a rapport.

 

Technical issues hamper their final track ‘Tempo Deaf’, a string not holding its tune maybe? As Reynolds attempts to tune it, but alas, the guitar won’t cooperate and instead declares, “There’s something seriously wrong, this is going to be horrible people!” As they proceed to play the set despite the out of tune string.  Rob Stimpson is absolutely savage on the drums!!


“Thank you for your patience and your attention,” declares Reynolds as their set comes to a close. Much to my amusement I’m once again gifted with the vinyl written setlist.

 

Set List:
Let’s Get A Dog!
Soap Reach Dispenser

Sad Exorcist

Message P.I.E

A.I.M

Standard G!

Shut Up

Tempo Deaf

Cower, Hounds! are:

Paul Reynolds – Vocals / guitar

Andy Ford – Bass

Rob Stimpson – Drums

Check out more from Cower, Hounds! at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CowerHounds/

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO INFO@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM
 

KIKAMORA are third on the bill and they kick off their set with the huge track ‘Twist My Arm’, hair is swishing around like a bunch of women taking part in a Vidal Sassoon commercial. I don’t mean that in a bad way I’m just hoping that no-one gets their hair tangled in someone else’s tuning pegs on their guitars. Ouch! Their energy is contagious, their enthusiasm infecting the small audience that have gathered at the barrier, their sound is heavy and unrelenting with a huge bluesy swagger laced into their tracks. After a brief technical issue with Jimi Bessant’s guitar the track concludes, this does nothing however to deter Jimi from having a great time during the first song. Every member of the band is smiling and happy and it’s so good to see them really enjoying themselves. Thankfully, the rest of the set goes off without a hitch.

 

‘Them and Us’, ‘Off The Cuff’ and ‘Sat Around Living’ are delivered to the audience with a boat load of energy and enthusiasm that radiates from every moment that the guys are on stage. The small audience are enjoying every moment with cheers after every song. Jimi Bessant is frequently at the barrier, throwing out some awesome riffs, throwing his head back, his long dark hair rocking to the rhythm, Kikamora are really rocking the venue tonight.

 

Wilf Kite (vocals) addresses the audience and, taking a hat from a guy in the crowd proceeds to wear the hat during ‘Old Rosie’, a captivating stage presence throughout and a wholesomely delivered track. There’s a part in the song that requires crowd participation but this seems to fall a little flat unfortunately with the only real contributors being the people at the barrier and the guy whose hat Wilf borrowed. He's having a great time, bounding around to the music.

 

‘Wrong Place, Right Time’ is my favourite of their set. Wilf plays the harmonica in-between his vocals, usually this track would feature a saxophone player to complement the harmonica, but unfortunately she can’t be here tonight. Her absence doesn’t detract from the set though, Kikamora have played an energetic and thundering set, great work guys.

Kikamora set list:

Set List:

Twist My Arm

Them and Us

Off The Cuff

Sat Around Living

Old Rosie

Wrong Place, Right Time

 

Kikamora are:

Wilf Kite - Vocals

Jimi Bessant - Lead Guitar

Daniel Marshall - Rhythm Guitar

Rob Ives - Bass

Andy Page - Drums

Check out more from Kikamora at the following links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kikamoraband/

Website: https://kikamoraband.com/

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO INFO@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

ALMOST EASY hammers the bass and drums from the offset as they kick off with ‘Dark Sided Woman’, Jack Bloor breaking his drumstick during the first song as a splinter of it shoots over his head and hits the back wall. Their set is the loudest of the evening so far, affecting the focus on the camera when I get too close to the speakers as the bass booms.

‘What’s In The Box?’ Is another hammering track, heavy drums and masses of bounding energy from the band. It seems to me that they’re too big (energy wise) for this stage. They need more room to vent and bounce around; I’m half expecting one of them to come flying over the barriers any minute!

Lead guitarist/vocalist David Saunders takes his shirt off (I’m sorry this just doesn’t work for me). What also isn’t working for me is the over cranked volume, there’s just too much bass drowning everything else out. I’d rather have a clean crisp sound from all the instruments than have the distorted static from too much volume on the bass. I can’t hear the riffs from the dual guitars clearly enough through it all and for me I find that disheartening.

 

David Saunders addresses the audience, “Is everyone having a good time?” To which they get a hearty response from the crowd. ‘Mystic Girl’ is the heaviest track of their set, it’s actually hurting my eardrums though and I’m wearing earplugs! But that’s an issue with the sound tech and not the band. Don’t get me wrong I like my music loud but I’m not the only one who thinks it is too overpowering during their set, I can barely hear anything else through the reverberating bass.

‘The Otherside’ sees the band bounding around the stage, jumping, crossing guitars, playing each other’s strings like some kind of standoff or guitar duel, it looks awesome! The crowd are loving it, several people are bounding around.  The showmanship and sheer fun is delivered in bucket loads from the band, their faces full of smiles and it’s plain to see that these guys are having a great time tonight.

 

‘You Win Some, You Lose Some’ has some of the audience jumping too, the energy from the band transferring to the crowd that has thankfully increased in size somewhat, the lyrics being sung back to the band in a call and response style fashion goes down really well. A bolstering set, hampered slightly by the over cranked sound, but nonetheless, these guys know how to deliver a show. The concluding track to their set has certainly got the crowd in the mood for the headliners.

  

Setlist:

Dark Sided Woman

Roll On

Mystic Girl

Wildfire

Lost

Devil Queen

The Otherside

You Win Some You Lose Some

 

Almost Easy are:

David Saunders - Vocals/Guitar

Jack Bloor- Drums

Adam Saunders - Guitar

Jack Watkins - Bass

 

Check out more from Almost Easy on the following link:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/almosteasybanduk/

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO INFO@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM
 

Finally it’s time for the headliners ‘King Creature’, and I am really looking forward to seeing these guys tonight, having never caught them for a live performance up until now.

Launching their set with ‘Wrath’ there’s an instant realisation that these guys are on too small a stage. Matt Vincent is an absolute monster on the guitar, and the presence that he brings to the venue is huge.  The depth of sound that these guys create deserves bigger venues, certainly bigger crowds and way more recognition. ‘Delusions’ is up next; Jack Sutton-Bassett (drums) is a mass of long, thick, wavy hair, his head thrashing around as he pummels his kit. I had no idea you could contain that much hair in a beanie! A cheer from the crowd ensues as the song concludes.

Dave Kellaway (lead vocals / bass) addresses the audience, “Thank you very much!” as they launch in to ‘Drinker’. This tune has a swagger to it that gets the majority of the crowd standing at the barrier swinging their hips in time to the music. Love this track, and so does the audience.

“Right, this song’s a new song, we've only played it once or twice, and not really in front of people. So, uh, this one’s called ‘World Of Sin’,” says front man Dave Kellaway. It’s a huge track, delivered with as much bite as the previous songs, “You still with us Cannock? Make some noise, come on!” He demands!

 

‘Down In Flames’ is a heavy hitter, the audience visibly enjoying this one. Dave K is giving me the crazy eyes as I take photos. Matt is absolutely killing it on his guitar. The riffs from both him and Dave Evans (guitar) are phenomenal. Seriously amazing musicians, both commanding the stage in very different ways, Dave Evans with his subtle but captivating presence, and Matt with his fierce, Undertaker style demeanour that makes me think at any time he’s going to choke slam someone at any point during the set. He’s thrashing his hair about, but less like the Vidal Sassoon commercial I mentioned earlier, and more like an aggressive Spartan or Viking style Warrior. Manly is probably the word I’d use to describe his presence; brutish, defiant and commanding.

Dave Kellaway calls out, “Make some noise for the other bands tonight!” Which results in cheers from the crowd as they lay down ‘King For A Day’ and deliver more of their unique display of hard rock.

‘Can You Forgive me?’ brings us to a slower track. The riffs are no less captivating as they are in the heavy hitters, Scary-eyes Dave has taken on a softer tone to his voice, the aggressive driving vocals giving way to a more subdued range that gives this track so much emotion (I really can’t call him Scary-eyes anymore after this track). Matt is still delivering those huge riffs. Such a great track, delivered with so much more feeling in this live performance. Love it!

“Right this song is a bit faster for you,” says Dave, “This is a song called ‘Breaking Down’”. We’re back to the heavy hitters, fast paced and oozing hard guitar driven rock. Dave slapping the bass with aplomb, while Jack (drums) hammers the kit like a wild Tasmanian devil. It’s getting quite warm and sweaty in The Station now as ‘Pay No Mind’ continues the heavy hitting tunes, I can visibly see sweat on Dave K’s face, Matt’s hair is sticking to his forehead. That is until the fans are turned on and Matt’s hair begins blowing behind him, it makes him look like he should be in a music video right now, the dramatic windswept effect as he plays guitar, wind blowing in his hair. He still looks awesome though!

“I haven’t heard your voices too much tonight, do you have them?” enquires Dave, to which a small amount of the audience reply with, “Yeah!” A drum beat ensues for the beginning of ‘Money’ as Dave incites a call and response with the crowd. It takes a couple of “woh woh’s” before they start to join in with the responses. Unfortunately Dave’s voice cracks a little during the second set of call and responses, resulting in him making his way to the drink he has on the backline of Marshall speakers. A tough crowd tonight but they seem to have been won over.
 

“So, you guys want a couple more?” asks Dave.

“Yeah!” reply the crowd.
“You fucking sure?”
“Yeah, we want more than that!”
“More than that? How many do you want?”
“Two or three, or four or five!” comes the reply from the crowd.
“How about you guys all decide on a number and we’ll do that!” says Dave, as they launch into the next song ‘Lowlife’ (A video to this is available on YouTube).
 

“We’re gonna play an old song called ‘Wasted Life’. This is the first song we ever wrote together,” explains Dave as they start to play the heavy tune. The later part of the track has this amazing part where Dave and Matt sing the title over and over, the music dropping away to a more subtle feel before they return to the heavy side. A relentless delivery of riffs and drums. Seriously, amazing musicianship on show here tonight. I’d say that this track is probably my favourite of their set.

 

Finishing off their formidable set is ‘Power’ and I have to say that King Creature have delivered power, presence and an absolutely staggering set here tonight. Dedicating this last song to their manager, “We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you,” says Dave as he points over to their manager who is sitting at the merch desk. An awesome end to a ferocious, enthralling and totally mind blowing set that I want to watch all over again, but we’re running over time already, not that I mind, I could watch and listen to these guys all night. A staggering performance to match the music that has been on display here tonight. Wow!

 

Set List:

Wrath
Delusions

Drinker

World Of Sin

D. I. F.

King For A Day

Can You Forgive me?

Breaking Down

Pay No Mind

Money

Lowlife

Wasted Life

Power


King Creature are:

Dave Kellaway - Vocals / Bass

Matt Karl Vincent - Guitar

Jack Sutton-Bassett - Drums

Dave Evans- Guitar

 

I thoroughly recommend that you check out more from King Creature on the following links and if you can then get to a live performance ASAP:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KingCreature/
Website: http://www.kingcreature.com/

 

PHOTOS MUST NOT BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO INFO@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

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