GIN ANNIE / STATEMENT / THE 501'S - The Patriot, Crumlin 16.02.19
PHOTO CREDITS: ANTHONY JAMES PHOTOGRAPHY
What is this? Two nights out in a row? You can’t keep me away from The Patriot it would seem, and why would you want to be kept away when the live music on offer is simply irresistible. On the cards this evening we have a stacked line-up, headliners GIN ANNIE have brought their 100% Proof tour to an end here at the Home of Rock in South Wales and have brought along Danish hard rockers STATEMENT and local lads THE 501s to support. I think we’re in for a treat, were we? Let’s find out…
South Wales’ very own THE 501s are an Alternative Rock band four-piece who blend some pop-punk with a bit of Foo Fighters /QOTSA rock. Down The Front Media always gets excited by new music and discovering bands we’ve not heard of before and this was a great opportunity to listen to a band who I’m hearing nothing but good things about.
We were treated to a short, sharp set of fuzzy staccato guitar riffs laid over a rumbling rhythm section. Verses hit hard and the melodic choruses hit harder. A high point of the set was vocalist / guitarist Shane Grist’s ripping guitar solo during ‘The Enemy Within’. Drummer Scott Harris had a couple of moments to showcase his skills behind the kit in the penultimate song where he laid down a hooky hi-hat pattern before laying waste to his kit during a cool instrumental breakdown.
I was impressed with what I heard from THE 501s and am clamoring to hear more. There is a raw energy, perhaps a nervous one at times, but the potential is great. Worth your time checking these guys out!
The 501s are:-
Shane Grist – Vocals / Guitar
Nick Morton – Guitar
Scott Harris – Drums
Tristan Humphreys - Bass
From Copenhagen to Crumlin! Having first come across STATEMENT back in early-2018, you can imagine my excitement when I saw that they’d be coming to the UK to support GIN ANNIE. I will now give you a few moments to imagine my excitement….All done? Good! We first played their music, ‘Darkness In Your Eyes’, on Episode #66 of Down The Front Podcast (https://downthefront.podbean.com/e/episode-66-down-the-front-podcast/) so this was a date etched in the most permanent of permanent markers when it got announced.
Well, what can I say? The roof, walls, doors, everything, was blown off tonight. A big Statement was made!! (pun 100% definitely intended!)
From the opening intro tape complete with ominous stare down from the band into the tight, bass heavy riff of ‘Feeling Scared’. A great way to open the set as it features all the staples of a STATEMENT track. Monster riffs, melodic vocal lines and dual guitar solos. Beautiful stuff. Motoring through their set with some high-octane musicianship, endearing themselves to the locals very quickly and even getting us to join in on ‘A Hero Inside’ which, for me, had some slight Folk-Metal leanings in places. Cool!
I thought we were in for a ballad when the clean arpeggios rang out at the start of ‘Heaven Will Burn’ but it wasn’t long until those scooped riffs were thundering out of the speakers once more. Lead guitarist Niels even took over lead vocals from Jannick half way through too. They’re a talented bunch! Add to that, a truly monolithic cover of ‘California Dreaming’. Their take of this Mamas & Papas classic is, in my opinion, the best alternate version I’ve heard.
I mentioned earlier that we played ‘Darkness In Your Eyes’ on the podcast last year and to hear it live tonight was immense. The slower tempo, the gigantic grooves and meaty riffs bursting out of the speakers really bringing the track to life. It’s been taken from their forthcoming album ‘Force of Life’ which is out March 1st!
Sadly, all awesome things must come to an end and with ‘Dropzone’, it was a perfect way to close the set. More audience participation on a beast of a catchy chorus. This song summed up the level of fun that STATEMENT were clearly having tonight. The band were animated all evening, all smiles and silliness in between the seriousness of spitting out the killer tracks.
What an absolute pleasure it was to watch these guys. If you get a chance to see them, in whatever part of the world, go do it. And then, do it again! Incredible!
Jannick Brochdorf – Lead Vocals
Niels Alex Larsen – Lead Guitar / Vocals
Lars Ulrik Le Fevre – Guitars / Vocals
Martin Poulsen – Bass
Daniel Nielsen – Drums
Riding off the back of a good year or more of success, GIN ANNIE released their ‘100% Proof’ album on January 25th to great fanfare and I was keen to see how good this Hard Melodic Rock five-piece were going to be live. The album features heavy, guitar-driven music layered with melodic vocals which is right up my street and I had an inkling that the polished production would give way to an even heavier sound live and take the songs to the next level.
They kick off their set with ‘New Bad Habit’ which sets the tone. Upbeat riffs and big melodic choruses! A few technical issues with Byron's amp early on in the set couldn’t derail the band. They wanted to finish their tour off on a high-note and they did just that. They’ve played The Patriot a few times before and it’s obvious that the locals have taken them to their hearts and adopted them as one of their own. Singing along with frontman David’s smooth rock vocal throughout the night.
GIN ANNIE are an engaging band to watch on stage, with Byron and David the main instigators to whip up the crowd into a frenzy, but each member has their own moments. Songs like ‘Damage’, ‘Dead and Gone’ and ‘Born To Rock and Roll’ showcase the bands talents, not just how they play, but how they write. It was evident from listening to ‘100% Proof’ that the band are extremely capable of writing massive Hard Rock songs with catchy riffs, and soaring, anthemic choruses and they translate well in a live setting because they sound bigger, the tempos a little faster, the riffs a little sleazier. It all marries up to be a great rock show.
A few highlights for me would be ‘Falling’, ‘Dead and Gone’, ‘Chains’ with its Southern-sounding main riff. Influenced by The Cadillac Three perhaps? and ‘Next To Me’ with its pig squealing riff. As it’s their last night of a successful tour, the band thanked the crew and the supports, and for an extra special encore, STATEMENT joined GIN ANNIE on stage for the final song, a cover of AC/DC’s ‘Highway To Hell’. Lots of fun, lots of energy and a truly fantastic climax to an awesome night of rock music.
Gin Annie are-
David Foster – Vocals
Byron Garbett – Guitars
Brian Green – Guitars
Phil Burrows – Bass
Jack Ryland-Smith - Drums
PHOTOS MUST NOT BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRES TO LINDSAY@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM HIGH RES IMAGES ARE AVAILABLE FOR FURTHER USE. PRICES ON APPLICATION.