The Joiners, Southampton

The Spitfires

Tonight the Joiners host’s Watford band The Spitfires; who are part of a new generation of Mod bands who take inspiration from the glory days of the past, with new injections of modern times. They have developed a unique sound, coupled with their distinctly suburban lyrics that has gained them a whole army of well-attired followers. It has recently been announced that a sequel to the iconic film Quadrophenia is to be made giving even more momentum to this much-followed way of life. The Spitfires certainly have their work cut out tonight as there are two quality; much loved Southampton band’s ahead of them, hoping to take away their limelight.

The first of these is four piece band The Novatones who are already making a few waves for themselves; with a host of major festival appearances, along with support slots with The Ordinary Boys and The Rifles. As a hometown show the boys have many fans amongst the audience and there is an excitable Friday night atmosphere in the place as they start. Frontman Anthony knows this is an occasion where the band need to impress and from the first song you can tell these guys are something special. They have it all-the passion, huge amounts of youthful energy and chorus-led songs that lead to easy interaction with their audience. The infectious guitar melodies and near perfect vocal harmonies on songs like “Never Going Under” and the frantic “She’s Out” are such a joy to watch. It is clear these guys really love what they do and entertaining an audience like this is second nature to them. They leave the stage with their epic anthem “Living for the Weekend” bouncing off the walls of the Joiners in celebration of the start of this new weekend.

The Novatones

The Novatones 12

Next up are local young band The Costellos, who aim to continue the high momentum that The Novatones started. Performing under a much lower light these guys play some exceptional rock ‘n’ roll tunes that keep the hands clapping and the feet tapping. The lower lighting I believe prevents the audience from really connecting with the band, with the minimal interaction from frontman George not helping either. They are still really young and have a lot to learn about stage craft but boy can they play. They already have huge tunes like the well delivered “Down for The Weekend” and “Bring Your Love Down” (Available for free on their Soundcloud here. It has to be said that the pairing of exceptional Drummer Tomi Lewis with bassist Harry Stevenson is a match made in heaven. They are an incredible force and one of the best rhythm sections to grace this stage in a long while. The band leave the stage having impressed the vast majority of the Joiners crowd and getting plenty of well-deserved applause.

The Costellos

The Costellos 12

Tonight’s soundman must have brought along the wrong playlist on his iPod as sadly the in between band entertainment was provided by mostly inappropriate metal bands. As The Spitfires frontman Billy Sullivan takes to the stage he says “turn this crap off” and immediately starts “Last Goodbye”. The absolutely rammed Joiners crowd are ready for The Spitfires who I’m sure next time they visit Southampton will be playing a much larger venue. Their uniquely British sound is made by combining Hammond organ and keyboards with furious guitar-delivered melodies that are a cut above anything else around at the moment. Billy wields his tightly held telecaster guitar on stage like a weapon of war, firing expertly played killer riffs towards the delighted audience. There is an impressive mix of influences from ska, punk and reggae which are combined brilliantly to create a refreshingly new sound.

The Spitfires
The Spitfires 123

The audience are lapping up every tune, with album opener “Disciples” sounding even better live than on the record. A couple of new tunes including ìOn My Mindî gives fans a peak into the band’s direction for the next album. The beautiful slower-paced ìSpoke Too Soonî is an incredible highlight of a very memorable evening. The band leave the stage after a dub-soaked extended version of “When I Call Out Your Name”, which seems to drift around the Joiners for many moments after the last note is played. A truly fantastic evening featuring three great bands, all who give an amazing nightís entertainment and a brilliant start to the weekend.

Set Lists
The Spitfires
Last Goodbye
Escape Me
So Long
Disciples/Monday Morning Dub
Stand Down
On My Mind
A Thousand Times
Spoke Too Soon
Words to Say
I’m Holdin’ On
Day to Day

When I Call Out Your Name
Spark to Start

The Costellos
Keep On Lying
Down For the Weekend
Bring Your Love Down
Up The Game
Don’t You Know
Shine Away
Mould Me a New One
Thinking About

The Novatones
Weston Song
Guns and Dynamite
Daddy Didn’t Know
Never Going Under
Dream is Over
She’s Out
Avenue Road
Living for the Weekend



Words, Pictures & Videos by Dave Chinery (Chinners).

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