Joiners, Southampton

With their brilliant new single to plug and forthcoming album set to drop late Summer, October Drift is in town on this, the first night of their promotional tour. A case of Covid in the camp has put paid to main tour support China Bears so local boys Jetski Babylon jump up to the main headline, and don’t disappoint. They open with “Hollow” which is anything but. Olly (vox) with his multi-layered vocals and innovative shapeshifting sets the mood early for these homegrown Alt/Rockers.

The wall of sound that they create continues with “Breathe”, Olly’s eyes protrude as if on storks at moments during his delivery – this is one passionate frontman. Guitar shredding is equally shared throughout by Messrs Matt and Joe (guitars) while bassist George offers occasional additional vocals. And staying with George he makes a passionate plea for donations for Ukraine through a third party, while offering discounted merchandise – “Sympathy” suddenly now seems rather apt and reminds me of Alt/Rock underachievers Vex Red. “Porcelain” on the other hand reminds me of Colour of Fire who I once saw in this very venue. Tom’s snare-heavy hitting is matched only by more guitar shredding as Olly summons every bit of energy to harmonize throughout. “Tuesday Night’s” follows which is much more melodic with shimmering guitars and a heartfelt vocal. They depart us confidently on “I Like it When” and probably gain one or two more fans, definitely “one’s to watch”.

Jetski Babylon
Jetski Babylon 123

October Drift take to the stage with little fuss – no strangers to this venue they assume their position(s) and simply deliver. And if we needed reminding how far this band has come they open with the mesmerizing “Airborne Panic Attack”. Kiran (Vocals/Guitar) is resplendent in his Clockwork Orange-inspired attire. Tonight a half-full Joiners are treated to a set of new material and classic bangers. The lighting is minimal, giving an altogether ‘darker’ feel to the ambiance. The now-familiar “Losing My Touch” follows, Kiran vocalises with heartfelt honesty. Daniel (guitars) is the chief shapeshifter tonight almost from the off while Alex (bass) indulges in some haunting stares on the few occasions I catch his eye – there’s an eerie darkness in the room, possibly deliberate but adding to the atmosphere. “Cherry Red” sees one or two punters move around a little as they begin to hit their stride, while the overall sound becomes more measured. “Just Got Caught” sees Chris (drums) open with precise hitting while holding the main beat. Kiran makes one of many forays into the pit area, punters are snap-happy seeing their hero up this close. ‘Don’t Give Me Hope’ is the first big singalong this evening before a note-perfect “Oh the Silence”.

October Drift
October Drift 1234

The band debuted a new song (to me) in the form of “Lost Without You” and staying in the lost theme they give us a B-side in the shape of “Lost”. The song itself slowly builds and is a fine departure from the more familiar. Once again Kiran is so animated, putting real feeling into his delivery. The chiming guitars begin the intro to the wonderful “Cinnamon Girl” which elevates wonderfully in the chorus – the guys are really on fire now. The throbbing bass intro to the recent single “Insects” shows a keen Grunge influence while the rest of the song is steeped in shoegaze. Suddenly this Joiners crowd awakes as there’s more movement in the room. Staying in the faster ballpark “Come and Find Me” follows as they indulge in wonderful wall of sound. “Forever Whatever” is (officially) the final song that rounds off a superb set – the band begin apacella before launching into the song full throttle, always keep the audience guessing?! As is the norm now Daniel and Alex depart us, leaving Kiran and Chris to go acapella on us once more with “Like Snow We Fall”. The audience respectfully remain silent – you could hear a pin drop. More photo opportunities once more as the boys deliver in what I can only describe as a sea-shanty style delivery. The guys take one last bow and depart us.

I have to say I was hoping they would be playing to a full room; such is the majesty of new single “insects”, but I guess the trajectory of this great band might be more of a slow burner. I hope I’m proved wrong as they seem to have acquired a cult following (myself included), not afraid to leave our hometown (s) to support the band on their journey. But while they are still touring the more intimate venues and delivering time and again, (and at risk of repeating myself) they remain ‘ours’ and not in the mainstream.

October Drift
Airbourne Panic Attack
Losing My Touch
Cherry Red
Just Got Caught
Don’t Give Me Hope
Oh The Silence
Lost Without You
Cinnamon Girl
Come & Find Me
Forever Whatever
Like Snow We Fall

Jetski Babylon
Tuesday Nights (Are Not Like They Used to Be)
I Like It when



Words by Ross A Ferrone
Media by David Chinery (Chinners)