The Joiners, Southampton


Featuring; Toreador, Future Love, Ghost Club, Bare Dreams, Weatherstate, Blue Canary, & Middlenamekill

The Ranch Production House is a modern dual recording studio located in Nursling Hampshire close to Southampton. They have worked with notable acts such as Creeper, Muncie Girls, Milk Teeth, Gnarwolves, Puppy, Wallflower, Boston Manor, Miss Vincent, Bad Sign to name but a few. They have become a huge source of help to the bustling local music scene. With the watchful eye of producers Neil Kennedy, Lewis Johns and Daly George, many bands have flourished with the help of their expertise. This month they are celebrating their 10th Anniversary and there is no better way of celebrating than putting on a gig full of bands they have worked with at their favourite local music venue, the legendary Joiners.

With a seven-strong line-up to get through things kick off fairly early with the first band Middlenamekill, a trio from Salisbury who recorded both their albums “When Lions Fight Bears” and “Choose Your Own Adventure” at The Ranch. The alternative rock trio certainly packed a punch and provide some powerfully delivered tunes to get the audience warmed up. The highlight of their set was “The Kintner Boy” or “Shark Song” as they called it about a young Alex Kinter who got munched by a Great White Shark in the film “Jaws”. The song has some great melodic guitars with some catchy emotive lyrics – “you knew there were sharks in the water and you still let them swim”.

Middlenamekill 12

Next up are Blue Canary who describe themselves as a limp-wristed indie band, mixed in with a line-up of rock bands. Their description had me rather confused as they seemed to fit in perfectly with this line-up and took to the stage with plenty of positive support from the crowd. Quirky frontman/ vocalist/guitarist Harry Burgess looks a stark contrast to guitarist/vocalist Daniel who looks almost too cool to be in an indie band. They perform tracks from their Ranch recorded album “In Electric Bethlehem” including some clever lyrical content in “Sensitivity” and the damn right infectious single “Carolina”. The four-piece create some infectious melodies with some impressive harmonies and some nice effect-driven, creative guitar work. It was sadly only a short set but impressive all the same and after seeking out their album online, they would definitely be worth checking out when they next play live.

Blue Canary
Blue Canary 12

All the way from Bristol are no-nonsense rock band Weatherstate who seem to turn up the volume just a notch to bring their simple but effective and creative sounds to Southampton. The four-piece impress the Joiners crowd with some delicately executed six-string work that transmits plenty of positive energy into the willing ears of the audience. The highlight of the set was a great tune called “Stuck In A Hole” which featured some spot on rhythms, coupled with melodic guitars and Harry’s sound vocal delivery. The band leaves the stage with plenty of support from the well-entertained crowd.

Weatherstate 12

The award for the furthest travelled band here tonight, without doubt, goes to Bare Dreams, who have made the trip all the way from Tel Aviv in Israel. They enter the stage to an intro tape that sounds like an old analogue radio being tuned. It’s their first time performing outside of Israel and it is great to see a new band with plenty of fresh influences. The four- piece certainly have a punk edge along with an experimental side and bring some synthesiser effects, combined with their hard-hitting rhythms and alternative guitar styles and well-delivered vocals. They thankfully for us sing in English and deliver a wide range of great tunes which include an uplifting anthem “Stay By My Side”, which features a church organ-style effect on it. They have recently recorded the follow up to their debut EP “Au Revoir” at The Ranch which will be out shortly, and on this showing, I for one will be keeping my eyes out for its release.

Bare Dreams
Bare Dreams 12

Next to the stage is a band that Ranch producer Neil Kennedy fronted about ten years ago and after getting name-checked and thanked by the bands all evening it is his turn to take to the stage. Putting aside a few short rehearsals this is the first time the band have played together in a very long time and kindly they limit themselves to a short two-song set to give more time for the final two acts. This reformation is the bands 10th anniversary and the five-piece bring no shame on themselves with a sound that features three electric guitars, coupled with some powerful vocal delivery and the accolade of pulling the biggest crowd of the evening.

Ghost Club
Ghost Club 12

Future Love are based in Northampton and have deep ties with the city of Southampton as their frontman is Andrew Convey, former singer with local favourites “Burn the Fleet”. Ever since Andrew dueted with Nicole Morgan on the “I Met Nature” tune “Miles Away” I felt he had to at some stage combines once again his considerable vocal talent with another female vocalist. Future Love’s Meg fitted the bill perfectly and they combine their voices beautifully on tunes like ‘Dearly Beloved’ and “Form & Void” from their debut EP.

Future Love
Future Love 1234

Tonight I finally get to see them live after sadly missing their previous Joiners appointment. They don’t disappoint and sound a lot heavier live than their recordings portray with plenty of energy put into bringing their songs to life. There is a very thought-provoking tune called “Joyce” which gets us all thinking? It is all about Joyce Vincent, a British woman whose death went unnoticed for more than two years as her corpse lay undiscovered in her London bedsit. A film “Dreams Of A Life” highlights the sad ending of this previously intelligent and socially active woman. The four-piece treats us to a new song called “Settle” from the forthcoming Ranch recorded EP about the pitfalls of being in a shit relationship. A thoroughly entertaining set and I hope our paths cross once again sometime soon.

Toreador 123

The final band of the evening is Toreador, a three-piece creative rock band that is currently making quite a few waves around the local scene. Despite it being quite late, much of the audience have stayed to see the final act of the evening. From the first song you can tell that these guys are something special. They have incredible energy with huge rhythmic grooves, coupled with epic atmospheric guitar riffs and strong three-way vocal harmonies. With their pulsating driving basslines and foundation-shaking drumbeats, they take the traditional rock ingredients and completely mix things up with a unique take on it. With influences from Rage Against The Machine, to Muse to Royal Blood – these guys have something here that is totally original, delivering it in an energetic and entertaining way. What a fantastic end to a great evening.

Long may The Ranch continue to produce great, ground-breaking music while wholeheartedly supporting the local music community……….


Ranch Production House

Words & Pictures by David Chinery (Chinners).

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