The Joiners, Southampton

Western Sand

An empty car park and a deserted street never bode well for a successful gig; it was with bewilderment that Chinners and I entered that bastion of badass music, The Joiners for the last date of the Western Sand EP launch tour. I still can’t understand why more people don’t bother to venture out for support acts – a ticket for tonight was less than a tenner for three great bands, yet there was hardly anybody there to start with. Crazy.

Anyhow, local Hampshire-based band Kodah bravely took to the stage as the openers and they gave a good show with their own, slightly melancholic brand of tunes. I remarked that they reminded me of Nirvana; they obliged with a very passable cover of “On A Plain”, which drew a in a further trickle of people from the bar. Although I would have liked to have seen a bit more engagement with the, admittedly sparse, crowd, I will say that I thought that Scott is one of the best drummers I have seen for a while. Overall, I would recommend that you catch Kodah live if you can.

Kodah 1

Second act, One Last Thrill stepped unassumingly onto the stage, waiting for the sound man to turn off the recorded music. Hailing from Wiltshire, the five-piece instantly captured the crowd in the palm of their collective hand with the awesome “Biting At The Bit”. The applause grew with each of the seven songs that they belted out, and front woman Steph accepted it gracefully. She seems shy, but when she opens her mouth and your ears are caressed with that fabulous voice, you just know you’re looking at something special. With solid support from a couple of fans at the front who danced their way through the whole set, One Last Thrill delighted the growing audience; all competent and solid musicians, it’s always a pleasure when you go to a gig and a band like this surprise you.

One Last Thrill
One Last Thrill 12

So, we come to the Southern-infused rock powerhouse that is Western Sand. I hadn’t seen them for ages and I was looking forward to their set. As they took to the stage, Tyler, Nathan, Findlay and Jimmy looked every inch the rock stars, comfortable and at ease on the stage.

Kicking off their set with “Dark Horse”, the first track off of the new “Cut You Down To Size EP”, the crowd seemed a little reticent. Once Tyler entreated them to move down to the front, things got a lot livelier. They smashed through song after song, including the awesome “Dog Without A Bone” and a face melting cover of The Almightys “Free ‘n Easy”, before the anthemic “Welcome To The Badlands”. With the guys handing out free beer to the audience and an absolutely cracking, jaw-dropping drum solo from Nathan, it was a shame when their set finished, although a two song encore featuring the title track from the new EP was a treat.

Western Sand
Western Sand 1234

I knew it would be a strong set, but what I wasn’t prepared for was how much more mature they looked and sounded than the last time I saw them back in February. I guess a triumphant set at Hard Rock Hell, coupled with the anticipation of a tour this month with the legend that is Michael Schenker will do that for a band. I would thoroughly recommend that you check these guys out if you’ve not seen them before, or even if you have but not for a while – they’re a very different band now to what they were at the start of the year.

Set List
Western Sand
Dark Horse
Doin’Me Wrong
Better Days
Black Water Resolution
Do Without A Bone
Broken Bones
Please I Call Home
Free ‘n Easy (The Almighty)
Drum Solo
Welcome To The Badlands
Cut You Down To Size

Going Down
Nothing To Lose

One Last Thrill
Biting At The Bit
A New Day Rises
Rotting Away
The Cage
About Me
Scream Out Loud
I Wanna Dance



Words by Vikkie Richmond (blog | FaceBook | Twitter)
Pictures & Videos By Dave Chinery (Chinners)

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