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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

High Level Music with High Tide–EP Launch @ The Marlowe Studio

Review by Tom Coombs

It is always good to hear live music so when an EP release show comes up it would be rude not to go. The High Tide release show was held at the new Marlowe Studio venue in Canterbury, and what a great venue, the place is set up perfectly for this sort of gig.
The night consisted of three support acts, firstly was one of Genius Babble’s favourites David Ellis along with his full band of David Wright (lead guitar), Patrick Channon (Base) and Emily Downs (Drums). Genius Babble had the pleasure of having the duo of David and David play at the first Live Music Night held at The Old Wine Vaults in February. To see the full band was great and the pure talent of David Ellis is a sight to see. Their harmonic tracks, including a cover of Black and Gold and of course the superb single Tornado, are just done so well that you could listen to them all day. The use of loop pedals which is also David’s party trick is a wonder to hear and gives the tracks a sound greater than the sum of its parts. 
Next up were the rock sounds of Skies, who you may know under their former name which I am not going to put as I can just about say it without passing out from the randomness of it. This is the first time I have encountered the band and what an encounter is was. Their songs are unique and up beat and the six piece band play like true pros, their link with each other was perfection and they would be able to play a stadium without a problem. The lead vocals of singer Alie were a dream to listen to and you could feel the passion and love for the songs, and the whole band seemed to love what they do, which came across on stage. Among their set they performed their debut single Leave Me which had many singing along, so I am obviously out the loop with the fan base of Skies.
The final support act was The Fruit Group? A Jam Session band who look as if they could play anywhere, from the living room to the stage and even in outer space comfortably. The three piece band do seem more comfortable with just jamming along with each other than singing any lyrics, which took me a while to realise through the first track (I thought it was a very long intro). They had a couple of tracks with lyrics which were simple but affective like the song Muscles. The band may not be to everyone’s tastes but the crowd were dancing along to the rhythmic tracks and the musicianship of all three of the members can’t be denied, they are full of skill, even swapping instruments for different tracks. Their set ended with them calling High Tide on to the stage to finish the track with them. The crowd loved it and as per normal Ben of High Tide had that great enthusiastic energy even when playing just a tambourine.
Finally it was time for the head line act and the reason everyone was at the Marlowe Studio. The crowd quickly moved to the front of the stage and the room suddenly got packed out (everyone must have been at the bar), the energy of the crowd was enough on its own to know we were in for a great show. The band consisting of James Baxter (Songwriter, Guitar, Vocals), Roger Vann (Bass, Guitar and Vocals) and Ben Gregory (Percussion, Vocals) are self described as a soulful three piece, which doesn’t come close to the pure energy that they bring on stage and with every track. They played the full EP (obviously, but thought I’d make the point) and the tracks are unique in every way even when playing a cover like the upbeat High Tide version of ‘Let’s Face The Music and Dance’.  Which is so unique I didn’t realise it was the 1936 song for a few seconds. Also their rendition of ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ was, as always, truly amazing and they make it their own especially by finishing the track as ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’, but all the tracks are music you need to own. The energy comes from the fast paced guitar of James, the great lead play by Roger and I have to say that even more from Ben, who sitting in the middle at the back looks like an over excited toddler in a flat cap, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. James jokingly introduced them as the “Gregors” as the Ben Gregory fan club were definitely in the room. The cheeky chappy-ness of the band makes there performance even more unique even telling a couple of jokes, oddly both based around cheese. There EP is called Raincoat Man so go get hold of a copy now and you might as well buy one from one of their live gigs.
I have seen High Tide before at the Big Gig in Faversham and was taken aback by their performance then. And because of that gig I have managed to get the band to play this year’s Faversham Hop Festival, so if you want to see these guys do what they do best, make your way to The Old Wine Vaults on Saturday 31st of August from 8pm you won’t be disappointed. Also on the 31st at 3pm I have David Ellis playing as a trio as sadly Emily can’t make it, but they are still a band not to miss.
(Other bands are booked throughout the day so do come along, random plug for the venue so a free pint will be fine as payment)
Now as this is a review I need to give it a star rating out of 5, which is harder than you may think as you are taking into account the venue and the other musicians on the bill. So out of the five stars what do I do? Well I took feedback from the crowd (ease dropping god in action)..............and I came up with...............
6 Stars!!!We only have 5 stars? I had to crack out the big guns, for the exceptional music, brilliant musicians and an AWESOME night all round, WE HAVE OUR FIRST EVER AND MAYBE ONLY 6 STARS!!! Well done to all the bands.

1 comment:

  1. Was a great time , great music , really genuine great kids and cant wait to see them get better and better , if thats possible