Another showcase line up of unsigned bands at the forum. A good mix of musical genres tonight with a mix of punk, funk and rock.
Opening tonight is local Tunbridge Wells forum veterans and all girl band 'Vivid Release'. This is the second time i've seen these gals play the venue (once before supporting Intraverse) and they have improved significantly since last time but there's still something missing from their sound. The band don't ever seem to look like they are enjoying themselves, which is one of the most important thing about playing in a band. Out of the five piece line up the member that impressed me the most was the bands vocalist. Throughout most of the set the vocals were well executed and precise but occasionally there's a few dud notes, but this is often the case with upcoming bands. If the band had a professionally produced CD I think their sound would be something that alot of people could listen to, but live there is not enough energy. Overall a good band they do need to get up more energy on stage and smile once in a while....
Next up are out of towners Nexus. After checking out the bands website I expected a female fronted Chili peppers kind of sound. But although good the band are really not funk rock (as they say on their site) and have more of a basic female fronted rock sound. Their songs had good sections and one track near the end of their set stood out as one of the better songs of the night. A mix of blues based riffs and catchy vocals makes their set worth while but I do think that they needed some more funk based stuff. I'm not sure if the band have played the venue before but I do think they have alot of potential and I would like to see them at the venue again sometime.
By now the venue is pretty much as full as it's going to get, which unfortunately isn't many people. It's a shame really because the next band of the night are defiantly worth listening to. I have seen these guys at the forum before supporting a band called Toupe and they amazed me as much this time as they did the first time I saw them. Although not on top form tonight the band impress me and others in the venue with a funk and blues rock sound mixed with incredible guitar and bass work. Overall they are defiantly a very decent band, a tight and punchy sound that would transfer well onto recording. The only criticism I have is that the set they played seem to be the same as last time I saw them. Need some more songs guys! But other than that and the few mistakes evident in the set these guys are awesome. Funk-Blues rock at it's finest!
Tonight's 'headliners' are Kent based Exus. A mixture of punk and heavy rock isn't really something the world is lacking in, so in all honesty this band are never going to impress me that much. The unsigned music scene anywhere in the world is packed with punk and ska bands so unless Exus have something really special up their sleeve they are just going to get lumped into a pile with all these other bands. From the moment the band start playing it's obvious they have a total pre-maddona attitude to everything. The instrumentalists begin the first song with the vocalist elsewhere in the building, and after 30 seconds or so he runs on stage in a cheesy attempt to feel like a rockstar. The band have good stage presence and go at it with all they got but unfortunately all they got ain't much. The songs are nothing special, simple riffs and meaningless lyrics only seem to impress friends of the band. As the band finish their first song theres an uproar of girly screams from 14 year old girls down the front which I think added an extra waste size to the bands already very large ego. The whole thing went downhill even more when the band performed a song called 'Take It Like A Bitch Now'. After announcing that they wanted girls to come up on stage to re-create the sound of a porn film during the song, a wash of more 14 year old's came up on stage and in a tasteless attempt at comedy the band play through the song. I don't think i've ever wanted a band to finish as much as I wanted these guys to, and to my dismay the band ended and proceeded to go into an encore of two awful attempts at covering Offspring songs. I've seen unsigned bands who don't feel the need to play an 'encore' but I guess these guys feel they are big enough to do that. Ah well another punk-rock band onto the pile!