Concert Reviews

Dead Writers / Jennings Couch / The Vone / Eyal Pik Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 05, 2019    
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Dead Writers / Jennings Couch / The Vone / Eyal Pik - Nambucca, London (UK) - 21 June 2019

We're off to Nambucca (Holloway, London) tonight, a vintage, airy space perfect for a game of pool, drinks in the leather booths, and always interesting music. The event? Launch of the Dead Writers' single, 'She's All The Animals', but before we get there here are three good reasons to get to gigs early: the support bands.
First up was Eyal Pik. The tight three-piece jived their way through an extremely well-rehearsed set led by the band's namesake. Oodles of slick guitar overlaid the fat, bluesy rhythm section in a smooth and velvety sound with big vocals. The bass came through strongly – and was very welcome – in a Hozier-esque vibe but with more Rock 'n' Roll. Like Hozier, there's not a lot of riffage but a feel-good jive vibe that kept the audience on their toes. All in all, a sound as big as their easy charisma.
Veering slightly off the beaten track now for The Vone. Opening with hard-hitting Stoner(ish) Rock with lots of play on rhythm, the band spat out eruptions of modern-edged Metal. There was definitely a lingering feel of Led Zeppelin in the way their long songs wildly explored, but the newer influences of bands like Wolfmother merging with The Picturebooks came through strongly in the blistering delivery and more modern sound. Did they lose the audience a little in the long explorations? Maybe a little. One of the highlights was the exceptionally powerful and soulful drumming from Jonny Bennett which never let up, and underpinned the percussive, earthy sound. Most interesting was a boogie track that was electrically catchy with great melody, making the set a curious hybrid of brash thrash and jazzy, honeyed Rock. Female co-vocals from Jayne Ashley accompanying lead Marcelo Cervone was an added interesting touch, as was the sax solo from Cervone.
In true diverse London style, singer-guitarist Jennings Couch brought a laid-back bluesy Pop/Rock set to flesh out the genres for the night. The unofficial love-child of Andy Timmons and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Couch pushed out powerful riffs between stripped back, minimalist verses. Punchy little riffs pulsed in 'Serotonin' while the groovy 'Alive In Paradise' had a clever minor edge to stir the hairs on your arms. 'Saviour' was by far the best track, strongly echoing KYS but with groove and a rich, multi-toned sound. Think the music equivalent of golden syrup; sweet, bodied and moreish.
By now energised and challenged the crowd were almost baying, I'd say, for just a little bit more. And they got more than they bargained for in the Dead Writers. Dark-toned, guitar-driven opener 'Meet The Shadow' channelled a vintage, bohemian sound (much like the band's retro appearance). Guitarists Sebastian Harl and Fil Faustini were Raconteurs-esque – accomplished yet cool - while frontman Paul Shine was suitably swaggering yet nonchalant. There was certainly an element of Jack White crashing into Freddie Mercury playing out, not only in the raw yet jewelled and catchy melodies but in the tight musicianship and mystical flair.
'Lisa' was complexly layered and creeping, Amy Winehouse-like in its emotional depth; The Struts with maturity. The earthy and wandering bassline from Dan Borgato laid the foundations for a sound verging on a heavier Queen. 'Strange To Me' was Kafka inspired (truly) and bled vintage Rock 'n' Roll amid strong riffs and choruses. Aside from the seamless playing, Dead Writers oozed style and self-belief, from the tambourine in 'Medusa' to the crowd-pleaser 'Desert Islands'.
'Among Spirits' was the takeaway stand-out. A slightly sinister edge elegantly bled into a spine-tingling melody worthy of The Struts, and performed with slightly more pizzazz and slightly less pretention. A cover of David Bowie's 'Ziggy Stardust' was confident and unafraid, electric in its tribute but without any attempt to copy. 'December' leaned towards ballad territory, albeit not for long, with a honey-tongued melody entwined amidst heavy guitar. At times a G N'R vibe snuck into the guitar adding a further vintage but rougher vibe. Single 'She's All The Animals' was leopard-like; lithe and suave, unassuming but commanding in delivering bright Rock 'n' Roll with a kiss of the underground. Encore 'Echoes In The Sun' was a fiery and charismatic end to a relentless set.
Dead Writers combined the breezy, vintage vibe of Led Zeppelin with the distant romanticism of bands like The Doors for an electrically-charged performance. It might only be Rock 'n' Roll, but this kind is damn worth seeking out.

Sophie Brownlee

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