The Joiners, Southampton

Nine Black Alps

It’s Sunday night and the Joiners is less than half full for tonight’s openers The Lost Souls Club. Hailing from Southampton they open with the quite brilliant “Jesus”. Heavy drums are accompanied by an equally heavy bass and some clangy guitars. Joe (vox/guitar) has a powerful voice, which is just as well considering the wall of noise being made around him.

The Lost Souls Club
The Lost Souls Club 1

“I Dont Love You Anymore” drops the tempo a little while the ominous “All Gonna Die” brings the power back. Simon (guitars) has all the right moves while James (bass) shoegazes and moves only occasionally. Jon (drums) is all power throughout the entire set while Joe thanks us “for stickin’ around” for the first band. He explains that they’re a Southampton band before name checking other local luminaries to mild applause”. Set highlight “Romeo” is well received before they end on another high with “Heathen”. A great way to start the evenings entertainment.

Castrovalva 123

What comes next is anyone’s guess! Hailing from Leeds Castrovalva explode into action with their brutal experimental noise terrorism. Part grime part screamo one finds it difficult to make out what it is they’re attempting to be. The music itself is great,albeit with real intensity-its just crying out for a decent vocal. Entertaining yes,enjoyable debatable. Leemun (bars/keys) comes across softly spoken almost camp, before he explodes into post/hardcore screaming mode. Daniel (beats) is thumping the skins but Anthony (bass) is the star of the show with his shapeshifting and uncompromising style. Towards the end of their set they jump into this now expanding crowd to “play” their last song. Entertaining til’ the end, it’s just lost on this reviewer. However I’m sure there’s an audience out there for them.

Nine Black Alps
Nine Black Alps 1234

And so to the headliners. After a self imposed 3 year hiatus Nine Black Alps are back upon us with a new album’s material to promote. They open with the excellent “Not Everyone” and already people are moving. Seven years down the line the band still play with the same intensity,same enthusiasm. “Buy Nothing” from the 3rd LP is loud and forceful while “Cosmopolitan” takes us back to the beginning again. “My One and Only” is the first new track debuted tonight; and mighty fine it is too, followed by the equally impressive “Don’t Forget To Breathe”.

It’s a travesty that the venue is only 2 thirds full, such is the quality of performance. Sam (vox) beckons people to move forward “so we’re close enough to smell him” (his words)- a few tentatively move forward. Set highlight and newie “Be My Girl” gets a few of us moving, one punter in particular showing great adulation for the band. New face Karl (bass) is shoegazing but there’s no let up from mainstay David (guitar) as he chimes away the intro to the unforgettable “Unsatisfied”. 3 songs from the less popular Love/Hate LP get an airing including the excellent “Burn Faster”. James (drums) is gurning and grinning in equal measure all night long,while there’s no let up in the power of his hitting. Sam tells us we’re the strangest audience of the tour so far and asks ‘what drugs are we on Southampton?’ A punter replies “sh*t ones!” They save the best til’ last with the Grungey “Get Your Guns”, “Ironside” and end with the classic “Shot Down”. 3 years away hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm of NBA,moreover this is a return to form. No longer are they NME darlings, out on their own on their terms, with a great new LP to match “Everything Is”. Go see,go listen-miss ’em at your peril. Ladies and Gentlemen, Nine Black Alps are back!

Track Listings
The Lost Souls Club
I Don’t Love You Anymore
ll Gonna Die
Only Friend

Nine Black Alps
Not Everyone
Buy Nothing
My One And Only
Don’t Forget To Breathe
Ilana Song
Vampire In The Sun
Be My Girl
Burn Faster
Forget My Name
Living In A Dream
Heavier Than Water
Get Your Guns
Along For The Ride
Shot Down

Band Links

Review & Pictures BY Ross A Ferrone.

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