Due to a bit of a logistical cock-up I managed to dash into the Brickyard just in time to miss the first couple of songs of Hearbreak Remedy’s set. This hacked me off a little as I have seen their full set before and liked them a lot so I was looking forward to seeing how they would strip themselves down so to speak. Anyway, by the time I arrived they were in the middle of a song that I think was called “Open Book” – a slow bluesy number that took very well to being played with just a couple of acoustic guitars and some drum brushes. Matty Penn’s voice gets better every time I hear it, and this song really gave him the chance to show us his range. Next up was a much more bouncy uptempo song called “Tell Me Why” which allowed both Matty and the crowd to have a bit of a dance and featured proper drumsticks! Matty then explained to us that there are three ways to get over the breakup of a relatonship. You can hit the booze, find someone else for a bit of revenge sex or turn to music, leading into a brand-new love song “Rose”. Another slow groover that started with Stephen on the drums finding some timpani mallets for a more muted sound, and morphed into something that put me in mind very much of Zeppelin at their best. Perfect for Valentines Day? Well maybe not, as the final song of the set was a rousing cover of the Guns N Roses favourite “Used To Love Her (But I Had To Kill Her)”. Much clapping and singing along ensued from the crowd, lots of whoops and whistles in the right places and a perfect way to end. There is a lot of talent in this band and I think (hope?) they have the potential to really go somewhere if this performance is any indicator.
Jamie is a diffident young man from Preston. He introduced himself and was obviously very nervous, saying this was a different sort of gig to anything he had done before so although he had the hair to fit in (and had made the effort by finding an AC/DC tshirt to wear) he wasn’t sure if we would like him, or vice versa. He needn’t have worried. Jamie is an instrumentalist rather than a singer so laid his guitar across his knee and launched into “Songbird”, and watching his fingers zoom up and down those frets our collective mouths fell open in amazement. Next up the guitar went back to a more “normal” position and we got “Unwound”, a slower tune that enabled Jamie to show his skills in using his guitar as a percussion instrument as well as an actual guitar. The crowd, who had been a little hesitant up til now, began to warm to him and the space at the front of the stage began to fill up. The next song was “Untitled” which Jamie told us was a very new song. It was a little more funky than the previous two, with what I thought were some Spanish overtones, and it put me in mind of John Williams. I found this song to be very evocative, and would love to hear it played around a campfire on a warm summers evening! Playing to the audience now, Jamie threw in a couple of covers. Would we like some cheese? Oh go on then, and we got Van Halen’s “Jump” as you have never heard it before. At this time the word “virtuoso” was scribbled on my little notepad, as Jamie managed to play the melody, add in a bass line and then throw in some percussion effects for good measure, all on the one guitar. He followed this with a deconstructed version of “Sweet Child O Mine” that he had to downtune for and that was very popular with the crowd. “Breaking Traditions” came next, with Latin styling reminiscent of Santana. Finally and somewhat ironically was the first song Jamie ever wrote, which he called “First of Many” and which again was a toe-tapping head-nodding experience that the audience really appreciated. This is a young man who really knows how to get the best out of a guitar and while he is far from fitting the conventional stereotype of “rock” his material is perfect listening for a relaxed weekend afternoon, beverage of choice in hand.
Knock Out Kaine
I’ve not seen Knock Out Kaine before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I got was a very tight, together performance from a band who didn’t deserve to be that good given the size of their collective hangovers! Anyway they started with “Backstreet Romeo” a catchy, riffy kind of tune even when played acoustically with some cracking harmony vocals and backing “whoo-whoo”’s! This was followed by a song from the first album which I think was called “Got It Made” although it could have been “Just How You Are”. This was another bouncy song that had me wanting to dance. A cover followed, Steve Earle’s “Copperhead Road” played a bit faster than the original but still with a proper country and western feel to it, I wanted to line-dance and shout “yee-haw” and I swear you COULD smell the whisky burning………. I am now looking at my little notepad in some perplexity as I have described “Coming Home”, another song from their first album, as a big sweaty ballad. Sweaty?!! I hope I just can’t read my own writing as it wasn’t sweaty at all, it started off all sweet and tinkly and was a little reminiscent of “Norwegian Wood”, growing into a proper power ballad with proper power chords and vocalist Dean Foxx sounding a lot like Neil Diamond! There was also a bit of a singalong na-na-na-na-na bit in the middle which I thoroughly enjoyed. The final song (due to time constraints) was “Going Down”, another fast-paced toe-tapper with shades of early 70s glam crossed with a bit of Zeppelin. I loved it! Knock Out Kaine have a new album out on 2nd March which was then played in full over the Brickyard PA – unfortunately I wasn’t able to stay and listen to the whole thing but the 3 tracks I heard sounded pretty good to these jaded old ears. Watch out for a proper review of the album coming to a PlanetMosh page near you soon, and if you get chance to go and see them live soon give me a wave cos I will definitely be there.
Review and Images by Jo Crosby