PISTON / FLOWERPOT / IN WITH THE JELLYFISH - The Patriot, Crumlin 29.03.19
PHOTO CREDITS: IAN LOVELL PHOTOGRAPHY
Spring is in the air and the nights are getting lighter, but for tonight at The Patriot, the night is getting heavier as the venue plays host to PISTON who are headlining in Wales for the first time ever. I’ve been looking forward to this gig since Jack (Edwards, guitar) gave me a sneaky heads up about it last month. Support for tonight comes from FLOWERPOT, who we reviewed here back in October, and local rockers IN WITH THE JELLYFISH. So with PISTON about to break their Welsh headline cherry, let’s get to it.
Up first are IN WITH THE JELLYFISH, and I must confess that they are not a band I’d come across before and after tonight’s set, I am kicking myself that I haven’t caught them sooner. They blazed through a 9-song set of Alt Rock / Punk / Funk / Ska and everything in between. An upbeat, fun energy complimenting songs about Power Rangers, shopping and swimming in Australia (“stay away”). The interplay between Richard and Ceri as they share lead vocal duties gives the band something different and the creative, quirky backing vocals adds flavour to the bands sound. In some regards, those vocal parts are reminiscent of System Of A Down.
Drummer Al was a groove/funk dynamo all night and Moj was splitting his time between aggressive power chord riffing and interesting creative lead lines. I enjoyed IN WITH THE JELLYFISH a lot, especially Ceri who has a great way with the crowd and was ripping up the fretboard with his quick, melodic bass lines. Oh, and to quote Homer Simpson he “ruined two perfectly good jackets” (look it up).
A quirky, fun band that can rock hard with bags of potential and a thoroughly enjoyable listen. Catch them live when you can. Recommended!
In With The Jellyfish are:-
Richard Martell – Vocals / Guitar
Moj Taylor – Guitar
Ceri Diggion – Bass / Vocals
Al Murray – Drums / Vocals
Taking to the stage next is Bristol’s own FLOWERPOT. I mentioned that we saw them play back in October and I enjoyed what I saw/heard then, so I was eager to see them once again. Since that gig they have been in the studio recording their upcoming EP which is due out in May and what I saw tonight was a band that has grown as a live entity, there is confidence oozing from them that leads to a self-assured performance that radiates from the stage.
Vocalist Steph is one hell of a singer and an enigmatic performer, slipping into character for each song, putting on a performance as opposed to just singing the songs. She engaged naturally with the crowd and has a commanding stage presence. Tom on guitar has grown into his role (he was fairly new back in October I seem to recall) and I love how he is keeping Dean guitars in business. Was it 4 guitar changes, Tom? Some epic metal riffing and I appreciated the whammy dives in a couple of the solos. He has some serious talent and it was cool to see him shine tonight.
FLOWERPOT are anchored by powerhouse drummer Jess and the hefty weight of Morgan’s bass. Seriously she could level buildings with her tone. So full, rounded and thick. They are the glue holding the band together that then allows Tom to shred a solo, and they give Steph all the space she needs to do her thing. Love those bass lines too by the way! We were treated to a couple of new tracks, one of which, ‘Bruised’ sounded really awesome topped off with a cool guitar riff and a rumbling rhythm section. Makes me excited to hear the new EP when it comes out in May
Steph says they are also touring in May. Check out their website below for dates and I would highly suggest that you see them. A phenomenal performance tonight.
Steph – Vocals
Tom – Guitar
Morgan – Bass
Jess – Drums
The moment has arrived. PISTON hit the stage full of confidence and swagger, the band on a high since the release of their awesome current single ‘One More Day’ has been doing the rounds on rock radio and of course, the awesome podcast that is Down The Front.
There have been a few stop-start moments in the past few years for PISTON, most notably having recorded an album, then scrapping it all together to retool and resculpt their sound. Momentum is currently well and truly on their side now, however, with the release of ‘One More Day’, and the band seem revitalised by their new music.
Tearing through a short set, this was the best I’ve ever seen PISTON play. It helps that the sound system at The Patriot is superb but regardless of that, the band played with authority, and Rob Angelico on vocals was on fire. So much passion in his voice when he sings and with a rich tone too. Jack Edwards is the consummate rock star, striking poses between each monster riff and solo, whether on his Les Paul or his beautiful White Falcon (jealous much?), I especially liked the blistering solo on ‘Leave If You Dare’.
The aforementioned ‘One More Day’ comes off far better live than on the studio recording, but don’t take that as a criticism of the recording, nor the excellent remix job done by Romesh Dodangoda, it’s just that in a live setting the song has more of a vibrant energy and with the backing vocals of Edwards, guitarist Luke Allat and bass player Stuart Egan on the choruses it feels much more anthemic.
Whilst Jack is allowed free reign, the bands sound is pinned down by Allat and Egan, the former having a fantastic tone and a tight rhythm and the latter, an effortless cool as his fingers dance over the fretboard. I always praise the sound at The Patriot because you can hear the bass clearly and it’s the first time I’ve probably actually heard Stuart's basslines properly. They groove, none more apparent than on another new song ‘Blown Away’ (or is it ‘Blow Away’? apologies for not catching it) which is another beast of a track with a big riff and melodic backing vocals.
You can’t talk about a PISTON gig without mentioning the man, the hair, the arms, Mr Brad Newlands on drums. Such an engaging performer behind his kit and on the likes of ‘Leave If You Dare’ and ‘Now You See Me’, he is a blur of hair and arms, never missing a beat. He’s fun to watch.
Rob brings out the acoustic for the obligatory ballad ‘Carry Us Home’ and the set is rounded out by two covers, AC/DC’s ‘Gone Shootin’’ and the final song of the set, ‘Proud Mary’ which was the best I’d ever heard them perform that version.
As I say, it was a short set which left me wanting more, but it was an incendiary performance and a great way to initiate themselves to The Patriot crowd, all of which seemingly enjoying the PISTON experience. I’ve seen the guys play a few times and we’ve been following them since before Down The Front Media was even a thing and they just get better and better. With new show announcements, you want to make sure you get your tickets because PISTON is a band that is well worth your attention and I’m sure this is just the first of many Welsh headlining sets to come.
Rob Angelico – Vocals
Jack Edwards – Lead Guitar
Luke Allatt – Guitar
Brad Newlands – Drums
Stuart Egan – Bass
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