Almost Ready

On the recommendation of an old work colleague I find myself at my local for a music showcase of young talent from the Christchurch area. First up are the interestingly monikered Wingnuts. ! Having recently heard their female vocalist depart for pastures new, they now employ the services of a trumpet player called Austin. They proceed to play some choice covers including Narls Barclay’s “Crazy”, in a strange Jazz/Funk fusion. The overriding sound comes from the keyboard player who is in his element, almost orchestrating the entire band with his expressions & mannerisms. However, I’m loath to say it’s crying out for a vocal! They leave the stage after 6 songs and receive decent applause.

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Next up are Lymington quartet Daisy Chains. On first impressions their attire leaves me to wonder if we have the next Manics here before us, decked out as they are in matching red jeans and leopard-print jackets. The comparison however ends there! These guys are well rehearsed, talented and have a clutch of great songs. Lead singer Brandon is the b*stard offspring of Justine Frischmann and Som Wardner (My Vitriol) and has the stagecraft to carry it off. They deliver some “Funky Indie” (if there is such a genre), before they speed things up and simply blow me away. Their riff-happy music takes in many influences including Jagger, The Hives and the Manics to name 3. However, they have quite a unique style that is part borrowed/part original. The strong, power drumming is matched by the clangy guitars and simple unfussy bass. Add to that mix a touch of Farnborough’s finest Mega City 4 in the vocals towards the end and we have the South Coast’s “one’s to watch” right in front of us! A great set played by a confident band with youth on their side-the future looks bright for Daisy Chains, I for one will be keeping an eye out for them.

Daisy Chains
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Almost Ready
Almost Ready 12

Headliners tonight are local lads Almost Ready. By their own admission this name is rather apt, as we find out during their set. They open with Arctic Monkeys “I Bet You Look Good…..” which they almost get away with. Musically it’s about right but Aidan’s “Southern drawl” doesn’t quite match the original, but that would be knit-picking. Their nervousness is masked somewhat in their between-song banter and humour. Their take on the Zutons “Valerie” is interesting to say the least! They grow in confidence somewhat when they play an original song titled “I’ll See You Soon”. Greg (bass) is chief shapeshifter this evening, playing to an assembled gathering of friends near the front of the stage. Jarad (drums) is concentrated throughout, only lifting his gaze between songs. Once again the drumming is powerful, behind a loud bass yet audible vocals from Aidan. “Tin Man” is new to me so I’ll assume it’s another original, before Radiohead’s “Fake Plastic Trees”. Aidan displays some intricate and well honed picking on “Sympathy For The Devil” before their last original tune “Batteries Not Included”. They finish with some hilarious ‘ad-libbing’ on the Proclaimers “500 Miles”, courtesy of Greg; before taking their applause. They are encouraged to do more and promptly murder Radiohead’s “Creep” before regaining some credibility with a “Spaghetti Western” rendition of The Doors “Light My Fire”. Almost Ready are frankly, as their name suggests almost there. With a few more originals replacing the lesser covers, they could be onto something. We wish them well.

Almost Ready setlist
I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor (Arctic Monkeys cover)
Valerie (Zutons cover)
I’ll See You Soon
Naive (Kooks cover)
Fake Plastic Trees (Radiohead cover)
Sympathy For The Devil (Stones cover)
Batteries Not Included
Dani California
500 Miles (Proclaimers cover)
Creep (Radiohead cover)
Light My Fire (Doors cover)

Review and Pictures by Ross A. Ferrone

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