Chameleon, Nottingham


Instead of mourning the loss of any dignity remaining from Saturday night’s antics, the good people of Nottingham turned out in force for an exquisite matinee show on a brisk Sunday afternoon, offering a more favourable way to digest your Sunday carvery. Although this was my first visit to the ambiguously located Chameleon, it won’t be my last. The intimate venue boasts all the charm of a living room, but packs the technical qualities to create a special experience. Alongside the venue’s charm, the sterling work of DIY promoters like “Seeing Your Scene”, “Another DIY show” and “Thurg Manor” has seen many an exciting band emerge from the underground circuit.

Opening proceedings is The Lion and the Wolf (AKA Tom George) who expertly showcases some of the finest cuts of his debut release “Symptoms”, which has received fitting acclaim across the board. The difference between Tom George and the endless sea of hopeful singer songwriters is the haunting atmosphere in his storytelling and performance. Every finely crafted tale coincides with each melody to induce an injection of reality, as the lump in your throat accurately replicates the pain behind his inspiration. In the emotionally potent “My Fathers Eyes”, written about his father’s recent heart attack, you can instantly recount the shock of such a highly relatable event through the hair raising delivery and stunning quality of instrumentation on display. It’s been said before with good reason, but I firmly consider The Lion and The Wolf to be one of the UK’s most promising songwriters. Few can match to his spiritual connection with his audience, highlighted by his polished showmanship and stunning songwriting. Bliss.

Bad Ideas are excellent; what irony in that statement! However, when an outfit takes this namesake and creates such a euphoric sound, you can’t help but accept this as a fact. Powering through their set with electric precision and intelligent pauses, the Lincoln based alt-rockers boast the tenacity and potency in their material to beckon the larger stages. Exhibiting an exhilarating display of soaring harmonies and intriguing riffs, they leave a seriously strong impression. Sensational closer, “Clumsy Hands” wields dynamics reminiscent of Manchester Orchestra, but maintains the essence of their triumphant blend of indie/punk. It’s an immensely impressive set from an outfit with an incredibly bright future ahead of them.

Once in a while, a band comes along and blows away your perception of punk. As the raucous “Sad” kicks into overdrive, Lou Hanman shreds like the female equivalent of an MDMA boosted Angus Young. Their thundering riffs, furious energy and piercing harmonies blend to create a seamlessly tight, highly impressive collection of blistering anthems. Steaming through their set, the band revel in a composite of menacing chord progressions, scuzzy bass lines and an abundance of hair flying in every direction; it’s a winning formula. Once the word spreads, it seems that Caves will be soaring atop the underground ladder and breaching the thick skinned coating of the mainstream. It’s a breath taking display from one of the most exciting live acts you’ll see this year.

Although you’d expect closing the night to be an absolute nightmare after such exceptional displays, it’s hard to fail when your band name is BANGERS. The task could never be simpler in this case, as the impeccably tight, melodically balanced sound of tonight’s headliners summarises the afternoon in a sonic perfection. Their distinguished brand of alternative anthems, with gruff vocal prowess and soaring progressive elements could have easily soundtracked Han Solo’s mission to the centre of the Death Star (in some strange alternative Star Wars). Positive and powerful, the deftly sharp precision in their instrumentation leaves the mind basking in their compelling riffs, jagged melodies and pulsating rhythm. Mirroring the noteworthy elements of Four Year Strong and Gnarwolves in both their performance and material, Bangers close proceedings in a professional manner. It’s been an afternoon of unflappable brilliance, as yet another DIY show proves to be an expected triumph.

Sunday matinee shows; let’s make it a weekly thing, yeah?


Words by George Fullerton.

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