An average turnout for a gig that I expected to be completely packed; obviously the people of Tunbridge Wells are more boring than I first thought. I was satisfied, however, by the occasional person dressed up in true glam style.
First on the stage were the loveable rockers 9-Volt, they were fantastic for a warm up band; truly the future of Tunbridge wells rests on their shoulders. For anyone who is not familiar with them, 9-Volt are what rock should be. Led by an extremely confident Chris Hoad, whose throaty Kurt Cobain style vocals steered the band through many intelligent mood changes. He even managed to persuade the crowd into a little movement, sparking off a mini mosh. However it is unfair to pin the imminent success of this band on the singer, the immense riffs of the entire band are really what the band is about. It is very tempting to use a lot of the classic clichés that fit so well, but I shall save myself both the shame and effort. Sadly this epic band left me wanting more, I was about to start the chanting of their name when I realised they weren’t the headliners. Bleddy should be soon!
Next up were Ariel X, their style is probably best described as subtle glam, but with a more progressive rock feel. Their well-crafted songs gradually built up to a huge distorted climax. The songs they played were intelligent, building up patiently impressed me a great deal. I have to draw some comparisons to A Perfect Circle who, like Ariel X, create music that doesn’t start with the chorus or end in two minutes. Both are very focused on the beauty of music, but also are able to provide an almost metal feel towards the end. For a newly formed band they were very tight, I’m sure they will be a massive underground success in a year’s time.
Now what the majority of the audience came to see, Rachel Stamp, sleazy glam rock at its best. I defy anyone not to want to rush out and plaster their face in make-up and stomp their feet to the infectious beat that is Rachel Stamp. Lead singer David Ryder-Prangley is so arrogant and immoral that you just have to love him, however the beauty of Rachel Stamp is that they have the songs and the talent to back up their arrogance. Epic masterpieces such as ‘Black Cherry’ and ‘Hey Hey Michael You’re Really Fantastic’, influenced by bands such as Kiss and T-Rex, bring a whole new flavour to the glam scene. The strength of the songs are the explosive bass riffs, however as a guitarist I was greatly impressed and actually quite deflated (I realised I have a long way to go before I am rock star material….bugger) by Will Crewdson’s lightning solos. But perhaps Stamps’ biggest attribute is their sheer presence on stage, staring in to (and through) the crowd they really are a new breed of rocks gods. However perhaps they are better suited to the grimy walls of The Forum rather than sell out stadium concerts.