Altar Club-Salisbury Arts Centre

the Talks

With January’s temperatures dipping below freezing outside it is quite a hard time to start thinking about Summer festivals. Tonight’s gig though is a promotion for Salisbury’s annual “Sausage Festival”. The evening is a preview of 6 bands playing over two stages, giving everyone a taste of what to expect in July. The 6 bands are all of very different and diverse genres providing something for everyone.

Opening proceedings are five piece Salisbury band “The Neighbourhood Strange” who warm things up nicely with their twin guitars and keyboard-led sound. The band’s clear influences are towards the 60’s and the Mod generation. It cannot be easy being the first band, on a night like tonight. Neighbour Strange though give a good account of themselves with some well performed, crowd pleasing songs like “I’ll Try” and the heavy bass-led “Bombs Away”.

Neighbourhood Strange
Neighbourhood Strange 

The next act arrives on the second stage barely a few moments after the “Neighbourhood Strange” have finished their set. “Aqua Vista” are a very talented pair that send their instrumental only sounds of 50’s Surf Rock to every corner of this beautifully acoustic church. Imagine a variation of Dick Dale’s “Misirlou” made famous by the Movie “Pulp Fiction” and you won’t be far from the mark. These guys really have their art well-rehearsed and despite a slight hiccup with a snare drum, put in a thrilling 30 minute set of something refreshingly different.

Aqua Vista
Aqua Vista 

The night really gets a huge shot in the arm when those Lymington based Punks “Bamboo Vipers” take to the stage. Frontman Shaun is on a mission, jumping around like a man possessed as he whips up the crowd. There are songs about Swinging, Suzi Quatro, Boris Johnson and being abducted by aliens. The lyrics are all finely crafted together to generate some addictive songs that get the crowd singing along after only hearing the choruses once. These guys have been around for a long time, having already graced this stage as The Cropdusters and the Peeping Toms. The new project is just growing and growing, gathering huge momentum at every venue they play.

Bamboo Vipers

Bamboo Vipers 1

With another smooth changeover, Hampshire band “Signals” arrive on stage with some beautifully executed funky Electro/Pop. Front girl Ellie stalks the stage like an excited kid at Christmas, flashing huge smiles at everyone in the audience. The very polished set features “Recuperate”, a brand new song called “Lungs Apart” and the great new single “Sleep Talk”. With the skilful use of keyboards and synthesisers; along with Ellie’s well delivered and passionate vocals, this 4 piece certainly gained themselves a few new fans here tonight.

Signals 1

Undisputed Kings of the Salisbury music scene in 2014, “Lyrical Monsoon” are up next. They won the best live act and best band at a local awards ceremony last year. Tonight they have a huge amount of support from all their loyal, local fans. The frontmen Carl and Gavin absolutely own the stage for the 30 minutes, rapping their social commentary-based tunes. The hip hop-style duo are backed by a full band who can be playing Metal or Disco one minute and Funk the next. This band have the crowd all on their feet, with their arms in the air loving every second. Just wait for the festival performance itself-it is gonna be huge!!

Lyrical Monsoon
Lyrical Monsoon 1

New Wave Ska band The Talks from Hull are tonight’s headliners and take to the stage just after 10:30. Their infectious hi-energy Ska sound immediately gets the audience dancing from the start. Performing tunes from their debut album “Commoners, Peers, Drunks & Thieves”, the sound is ‘like a cross between The Specials and The Clash’; taking the best of both, bringing the Punk/Ska sound to a whole new generation. The set includes the fantastically happy “Don’t Look behind You”, the single “Radio” and a great reworked version of The Specials “Skinhead Moonstomp”.

The Talks

The Talks 1

The band invite event organiser Robb Blake to the stage to perform a song’Sober Days’ by his band “Whitmore”. As well as being in “Whitmore” Rob is an accomplished solo musician and an active music promoter. There is massive appreciation from the audience as Robb left the stage for all the hard work he puts in to his events. If tonight is only a little slice of the quality of the actual “Sausage Festival”, then it should be a pretty amazing event. Well done to all the organisers and bands for a truly great night.



For further Altar Club gigs at Salisbury Arts Centre check their website here.

For Tickets and information on the Sausage Festival check their website here.

Words Pictures & Video by Dave Chinery (Chinners).

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