Friday 17th August
Uncover presents Heinz-sight, White Noise Cinema, Sam Hollis and friends, and Skewwhiff.
First up on the night was solo artist Heinz-sight. Having seen him ordering a drink at the bar before his set, I could sense nerves from this guy as he took to the stage, with spot light and all eyes firmly on him. Even seasoned professional performers get nerves, and to me, this shows a sign of true passion for spilling their thoughts out to strangers from a stage, with nowhere to run and hide. Opening track “Needle in a haystack” was a jolly little tune, with an infectious hook that drew you in , and original lines such as ” Bet your lips taste so sweet, a thousand different flavours of Rowntrees. I know that line, is pure cheese, but sometimes cheese is just what the world needs ” put a smile on my face and of those around me. “Music Man” was next up, with a military march drum beat behind the first chorus, the artist showed a mix of genres and lyrically it felt like we were being shown the pages of his diary. Clearly, I think, autobiographical words made into a mix tape of sounds during his set list. A selection of songs from previous EPs and his current one “Indie-sctructable” . Music Man was definitely a toe tapper, with empowering words- “so many people trying to get you down, the trick is not to show your frown”.
More tracks “Indie-vidual” , “Sulk” (which was a recognisable tantrum turned into a song, awesome!) and “Ghost”- written about an ex , reinforced my suspicions that the words we were hearing were personal and somewhat private, but he had a story to tell and he wanted to tell it!
“Give it” was the sets closing song, with its electro pop back track , it’s clever lyrics told of modern image, how social media plays a part, and the set was concluded with a little speech about body image, and how we should all be who we are without bowing to the pressure of social medias unrealistic expectations.
Next up were White Noise Cinema, a 6 piece band with so much equipment on stage it was unbelievable. I’m not technical with instruments but to the untrained eye, there were drums, 2 guitars, 3 keyboardy “things” , one with a set of side drums. I didn’t know where to look! Now I’ll admit to not catching the titles of some songs so, writers privileges taken to describe them! The opening song, perhaps “More than us”, had me intrigued from the get go. Every instrument played a major role in creating an epic sound blasting throughout the venue. The band members themselves, like the collection of instruments, were varied, from the topless drummer, to the unassuming singer with a surprisingly powerful voice, the mix worked. The second song, introduced more musical delights, introducing tambourine and megaphone to the cacophony of delights, intertwined with the epic guitar riffs we were hearing.
The third song was a little softer, perhaps entitled Ghosts, the singer also picked up a guitar,I’m sure I spotted a maraca, and I was feeling Maroon 5 vibes, although the guitarist on the left hand side of the stage would be suited to a Muse tribute band, my eyes and ears were often drawn to him. The fourth song we heard is ear marked to be released later in the year as a single, and again took my mind to Muse, this time the song “Madness” was emulated in my head . It’s guttural beat winds right down Nirvana style before surging back up with a vengeance.
A song about mental illness, Thin Skin perhaps, ended the set with floor thumping power. The creativity from this band is something I’ve never seen before and I’m excited to follow their career from now on. I was accompanied by two critical teens on this occasion , and both of them loved White Noise Cinema, praise indeed!
Third up on the stage was singer /songwriter Sam Hollis and friends. A quirky bunch of 5 guys with three guitars, a keyboard and drums between them, and with a set list of 7 equally quirky songs. We were treated to a little “uni lads vibe”. Singer Sam was heavily reminiscent, in the way he dresses and moved on stage, to Jarvis Cocker, a little eccentric compared to one of his band mates who looked like he’d just got out of bed! This isn’t a bad thing, oh no, it added to the feel of the set and made for interesting viewing. The songs again were written from experience, relationships being an obvious choice, although guitar heavy Deep Again seemed to focus on a best friends betrayal. “Love Dreams” was my favourite song of their set, full of attitude and smoky bar sass. Collectively these guys are very competent musicians producing musically unique songs they can be proud of. They seem to focus on the band’s sound as a whole without the need for too many instrumental solos, although Ciaran on keyboard (who I’ve reviewed before as a solo artist under his stage name “Keys”) got a little mention and a nod to his skills in the 6th song. Closing song 21st Century saw the bed head guitarist sit on the floor, following a quirky little back to the audience dance move. Groovy numbers from these likeable lads with a lot to offer. Definitely ones to watch.
Headline act Skewwhiff have also had the pleasure of being reviewed by me before so I’m not needing to do an in-depth report of this gig, although, it’s fair to say, each time I see this foursome, I love them a little bit more each time.
This band, who musically refuse to sit in just the one genre box, and are loved and supported locally, deserve to have huge success. Festival favourites across the country, the music is infectious and relatable. Their set of 13 songs should be an album, as each song seamlessly links to another creating a radio ready play list for anyone seeking feel good music to sing and dance to. Not that any of us can keep up with the vocal talents of lead singer Beanie, aka Hannah. Third song on the set “Gizmo”, shows how this talented lady can lend her delicate vocals to all kinds of music styles, ska, punk, and yes, she can even rap. Each band member, with Beanie on vocals, Hogey on guitar, Sammy on bass and Glazz on drums, is professional on stage and their hard work and commitment to their own songs is clear to hear. By the fourth song, Sam Hollis and friends took to the dance floor and entertained us with their moves as one hit after another kept the good times flowing. It is impossible not to boogie either on the dance floor or in your seat to these guys, their catchy numbers flow into you, hooking their little sound waves into your nerves and muscles and make you move to the music.
As a proud owner of Skewwhiffs long player CD “Nice Little Upper”, I’ve loved tracks such as Startrite, and Skidaddle, for a long time, since it’s release in 2014 infact, a firm favourite being “Its Obvious” , a song about the paradise of equality in a relationship, the beauty of being equal but different. However I’m always looking for new music and I’m hoping there’s a new release on the horizon featuring tracks such as the cheeky “Doll Parts” and the encore “Hey Mister”. If you’ve never seen these guys live before, you need to. Their style cannot be pin pointed so appeal to such a wide audience! You’ll want to be at the front of the crowd, but you’ll have to push past me to get there!
Video is a snippet of “Startrite” .