Its been a very long time since I have actually seen a rock show in Ashford as opposed to a run of the mill pub gig, Thankfully with the opening of this small music venue with a capacity I guess in and around the 250 mark, music can once again be enjoyed in the comfort of friendly staff and great surroundings. With the place sold out for the arrival of London 4 piece “SAINT AGNES” we were treated with 2 other support acts “SALVATION JAYNE” and a wonderful solo artist that goes under the name of “LIVES” To say this man is an amazing talent is an understatement, with just the microphone and his acoustic guitar he delivers the most powerful vocal performance that me and the majority of the gathered have ever witnessed. Although this genre of music is something that I never listen to in the car or at home, his power is that of a ROB HALFORD or a RONNIE JAMES DIO, high notes and low notes with legs kicking and guitar being shook with sheer enthusiasm this artist ( PETER CHISHOLM ) is a talent of the highest order.
This artist has Written with BOB GELDOFand JAMES MORRISON and his song craft is finally getting the credit it rightly deserves. Making it quiet clear from the stage that he rarely does cover versions he couldn’t resist doing a unique version of LADY GA GA;s “Bad Romance” a song that is like raging toothache to me, but with this young man’s spin on things it was jaw dropping and captivating. The song “Shock wave” takes after its name as it sends shock waves through the audience with the man losing the plot completely with his earth shattering voice. Very rarely do I get the chance to witness something so stripped back and personal as I did with PETER CHISHOLM a fantastic start to the evening.
Playing in their home county of Kent this up and coming 4 piece outfit with the support from the big hitters like PLANET ROCK RADIO and METAL HAMMER MAGAZINE the band are heading in the right direction even winning themselves a slot on the rising stage at this years Maidstone based Ramblin Man Fair in July. With CHESS SMITH / VOCALS
HOLLY KINNEAR / Guitar
DAN LUCAS / BASS
TOR CHARLESWORTH / DRUMS
They really dish up a fuzzy low end hard rock sound and 6 years into their career have the stage craft to be entertaining to the gig goer. With a arsenal of high standard material under their belts such as “CORTEZ” and “JAYNE DOE” it was only a matter of time before the uneducated like myself to be drawn into all the fuss.With jaw on the floor watching maniac drummer TOR beat the life out of the drums, Its been a while since ive seen either a male or female hit a kit as solid as this and with Holly peeling off the riffs one after another after another it was impossible to take your eyes off the stage. What was very clear was their ability to write catchy almost poppy songs but then rock the fuck out of
them, with front woman CHESS and her punky attitude and commanding presence being the perfect focal point from this super talented band. I would like to predict big bright things in the years ahead.
Another rising act that I have heard good things about over the last few months, riding the crest of a wave with the release of their debut album “Welcome To Silver town” this outfit have secured European shows along with many gigs in their homeland here in the UK. Fronted by the raven haired KITTY AUSTEN who weaves her hypnotic magic from the off with a spooky dark almost witch like image. With the crunching “DEATH OR GLORY GANG” coming across with plenty of light and shade with its deep down SABBATH / SOUND GARDEN riffs shows the power of the group,in contrast “I FEEL DANGEROUS AROUND YOU” with its elements of blues and mellow tones is refreshing as it shows there are many faces to the band. I would go as far as to say that no 2 songs played tonight sounded the same with the likes of “THE WITCHING HOUR” and the huge “WELCOME TO SILVER TOWN” all producing surprises such as mouth organs and the great Hammond organ sounds of the 1970s. Another fine twist to the band is the shared vocals with guitarist JON TUFNELL who with his leg permanently on the lip of the stage and his trusty harmonica within reaching distance backs up the main voice of KITTY perfectly. Once again although only a small stage the band members all energetic are all over the place with KITTY climbing onto the drum kit on more than one occasion. Witnessing the group in such a tiny venue is something that will soon be a thing of the past a recent triumphant set under their belts at the Isle Of Wight Festival bigger venues are surely beckoning.
A special shout out to VINCE who owns the rather splendid Ashford Record Store and MARK who is also involved, who both organised the event and not only managed to bring a bit of rock n roll back to Ashford but promoted it so well that they sold it out !! So fingers crossed they can repeat the same trick twice ? A great evening indeed.
Review by Steve Bruty for metalplanetmusic
Photography by Darren Smith for metalplanetmusic