THEIA - THE HOWLING TIDES - SMILING TIGERS - The Patriot, Crumlin 21.07.18



With temperatures nearing 30 degrees, the calling of an awesome line-up of bands at the superb rock venue that is The Patriot, Crumlin was the only thing that was ever going to give me the motivation to get up and move away from the cool breeze of my fans (air circulatory not actual fans obviously).


If you’ve not heard of this venue, that is all about to change. The Patriot is a 150-capacity venue driven by the most fantastic team of passionate and enthusiastic supporters of new music. It is fast becoming ‘the place to play’ and with diaries fit to burst, bands are queuing up for the chance to play at Wales Hottest Music Venue. With a sole motivation to help support new music, it's Down The Front Media's absolute pleasure to support the venue. Weekend after weekend The Patriot offers up a small sample of the greatest new talent that both the UK and further afield have to offer from the Rock world .


Arriving early, a small crowd in great spirits had already begun to gather outside. In what can only be described as a paradox, this venue for me has always generated an absolute buzz of excitement for what lays in store, and at the same time presents the most relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. The Patriot is the true definition of a rock club, and I am eager to get inside.

It's worth mentioning that The Patriot has disabled access and for those of you who struggle to stand at gigs there are plenty of stools around, and to my absolute delight a giant sofa too! This has to be a first for me, watching a gig, #DownTheFront whilst lounging in comfort!! Amazing!


We didn’t have to wait for long before Smiling Tigers, a local band from Pontypool took to the stage with a bounding energy. Going in cold and with no idea what to expect, they really impressed me. Delivering a raw slice of classic influenced, Bluesy infused rock songs; they soon had the attention of the room. The band intrigued me as they switched through tempos, tones, and stretched vocals in ways I never expected, they had an air of confidence, and having been going for 6 years now, you’re in no doubt that they have found their sound. Treating the crowd to seven of their tracks, I particularly loved those that dipped in to the heavier sound, but one thing’s certain, these guys rocked! Now on my radar I cannot wait to catch them again.


Go give them a like on Facebook:



I was so fired up to see the main support for this gig, a band we have spoken about many times at Down The Front, but one that had so far eluded me on the live circuit. Coming from Uttoxeter and with their brand new name following a recent change, ‘The Howling Tides’ couldn’t jump on to The Patriots stage quick enough. There was no doubt that they were ready to show the fast growing crowd what they were all about. Delivering a gratifying blend of Rock & Blues, they wasted no time in bursting into ‘Crack My Soul’. After raving about their recent self-titled EP release, I was not prepared for how much more incredible these tracks would sound live! Rob’s clear and gruff vocals are outrageously good, just what you want to hear from a rock vocalist. Luke and 'Herbie' present a formidable rhythm section, and once the skilled guitar tones of Hayden are layered upon the sound, they're a force to be reckoned with. None of the guys overplayed their parts, everything just fit perfectly to create the well oiled machine that they are. The Howling Tides are certainly one of the UK’s most incredible sounding live rock acts on the circuit today! They write great songs, something too often lacking in otherwise awesome sounding bands. Impressive musicianship, a captivating stage presence, humility and with youth well on their side, this bands future excites me!


Give these guys your support and check out their Facebook page:



Headliners for the evening were the slick hard rock unit from Burton Upon Trent, Theia. I first saw these guys in 2016 and bursting onto that stage with a ferocity to behold, they took my breath away. Pleased to say nothing has changed. With a seemingly endless supply of energy, they channel everything they have into their performance, and remind you that you’ve come to see an explosive Rock n’Roll show.  Having recently released their brand new album ‘The Ghost Light’, it’s a delight to hear how well these new tracks fit alongside the old favourites. I really enjoyed hearing the almost country blues sounding tracks. Kyle’s vocals suit this style entirely, and played within the cool surroundings of this buzzing rock club, it all just seemed to fit perfectly. Great to hear their skills as musicians flex briefly into other rock branches. I personally love to hear them play the heavier sounding tracks, with ribcage rattling guitar riffs and drumming sure to reset your heartbeat, but it’s a pure delight to listen to their versatility within a single set list. With a confident hard hitting performance from all, and with a frontman, adept at working the crowds, you can see this bands hunger for what they do. Another band of humble, hard working guys, that put on a kick ass rock n roll show, and if they continue in this vein they are sure to do well. Ending their set with a crowd favourite 'Whoop-Dee-Fucking-Doo!' , I think it's clear that the night was a rip roaring success as everyone chanted in unison..


Go check out their Facebook page and find out where you can see them next:




The Patriot, Crumlin is one awesome venue! After having installed new lighting, and a new PA system, the bands are thrilled at their set up. They have big plans and with their passion to #SupportNewMusic I have no doubt in my mind that they will achieve what they set out to do. I urge you to check this venue out for a guaranteed great night, it’s worth the drive!


Check them out here:

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