After DTFM reviewed the debut EP 'Come Whatever May' from Cambridge rockers The Hot One Two, I decided to take myself along to their EP launch at The Blue Moon in Cambridge on Saturday night. I’m so glad I did as it was a great night watching three very different bands playing different styles of rock music.
After battling my way through the crowds of residents who had just finished watching Cambridge’s bonfire night firework display I arrived at the venue for my first ever gig there. The Blue Moon is a great little venue in a room behind the main bar. They had even just invested in a new set of stage lighting but unfortunately no-one there on the night knew how to operate them so it was a challenge to photograph, but at even bigger challenge for the bands to perform under.
First up were GrassRoof, a local band of four second year music students from Anglia Ruskin University. As the University was literally a stone’s throw away they were joined by a large contingent of friends from the college which was good to see. They even created their name from a roof in the University where they study which is covered in grass, hence GrassRoof, which I am sure is a modern environmental architectural masterpiece but sounds like a maintenance problem waiting to happen to me.
The band consists of James Turnbull on guitar and vocals, Rayne Browne on keyboard, Matt Abbott on bass and Ben Parker on drums. This was the second time they had played here and they play a very unique style of music which is a blend of psychedelic, pop, indie and alternative rock, and they like wearing psychedelic shirts to match. They have a focus on the instrumentals with vocals to support them. All the lads said they had their own influences rather than a single one and that followed. I thought I heard bits of Muse, Kasabian, Kaiser Chiefs and Primal Scream to name but a few and it flowed well together.
They played 6 tracks in all; ‘Pilot’, ‘Oh so’, ‘Run Jungle’, ‘Spiral Anna’, ‘Mountainside’ and they finished with a Pink Floyd inspired track called ‘Swan’. Unfortunately for them, the new lights shone straight into their eyes which made it really difficult for them to see but they coped well. James moved around as much as he could on the small stage in his psychedelic socks and no shoes and Matt did a great bass solo to begin with and later on in the crowd. Ben insisted on playing the drums in his bare feet which was impressive and Rayne played the keys with professionalism. They were a great young band, good musicians with a really enjoyable unique individual style.
Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/grassroofmusic/
Next up we’re Dye The Flux, a four piece alternative rock band from Woking that was a bit between metal and thrash metal. The lads had met band members from The Hot One Two at music college so were pleased to support them at their first EP launch. The band consisted of Leuan Horgan on bass and vocals, Angus Chandler on lead vocals and guitar, Will Campbell on lead guitar and Sam Griffith’s on drums. The lights were manually moved but now shone at the lads midriffs but they played a good long set with Leuan jumping around and coming into the crowd and playing a couple of times. They played their recent single ‘Rage’ and their new one ‘Time’ which is out in a couple of weeks before they release their EP ‘Fox’. They’re a really lively band so if you like your rock music loud with some screaming added in then Dye The Flux will touch your taste buds.
Follow the band on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DyeTheFlux/
Last up were the headliners The Hot One Two. The band come from Cambridge and were only formed 8 months ago; this was only their 8th gig. During that time they had already won the best new rock band at this year’s Cambridge Band Competition so to launch an EP after only 8 months and play an hour’s set of 10 tracks was pretty impressive. They are a great band and I could immediately see why they have progressed so far in such a short time. They are a five piece band with Leicester man Josh Hill on vocals, Nick Manners on lead guitar, Nick Blackburn on bass, Jim Guy on guitar and Joe Chivers on drums. They play energetic rhythmic rock with great melodies and riffs. But what sets them apart is that as well as being accomplished musicians they know how to perform which makes them an awesome live band to watch. All of them constantly move and jump around interacting with the fans and just look like they are having a great time.
The set consisted of all four tracks from their EP which was recently reviewed by Samantha Jayne of Down The Front Media with high acclaim. The lights were adjusted slightly again but were still not perfect as they had to stay on full beam or off. They opened with ‘Flush’ and followed with ‘Bleed On Me’, ‘Martial Law’, ‘Big Shot’, ‘Something Real’, ‘Break The Chains’, ‘Rolling Stone’, ‘Shot Down’, ‘Neon’ and finally their single ‘Better Than You Know’. The band don’t just stick to a single style, they are able to mix it up brilliantly. My personal favourites were the more bluesy rock ‘n’ roll tracks ‘Rolling Stone’ and ‘Neon’ but I thought they were all great. The switching around, playing in the crowd, energetic vibe of the band and the music was awesome and the fans there to celebrate the launch loved the show as much as I did. The lads obviously did as they were Hot by name, Hot by nature. They were jumping around so much they were soaked by about the second track and they just got wetter. But that made for a great night. I think they have the real ability to reach the next level. They are hoping to have a big year at the festivals in 2018 and I see no reason why they won’t get noticed and gain the break they are seeking.
For more info check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thehotonetwo/
I will certainly be following their progress and look forward to seeing them again next week on 17 November when they will be supporting Hollowstar and False Hearts at the larger Cambridge Junction. For information on this event please follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/events/153090761850637/
**PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA / VOLCANIC ROCK PHOTOGRAPHY**