Tonight was going to be a special gig – the first ever gig by new band, The Crunch. A new band they may be, but the members are all experienced and certainly aren’t new to the music scene. Singer Soren ‘Sulo’ Karlsson was the singer with Blues-rockers Diamond Dogs, Bassist Dave Tregunna was in Sham 69 and Lords of the new church, Terry Chimes was drummer for The Clash, and Guitarist Mick Geggus was part of the Cockney Rejects. That’s a pretty impressive lineup, so to be at their first gig, and in the intimate settings of the upstairs venue at The Garage made it even more special.
To get the night started we had Eastend Promises – an indie rock band from (unsurprisingly) East London. When they come on stage the venue is pretty deserted with only a couple of dozen people there, which must be a depressing sight for any band as it’s very hard to get any sort of decent atmosphere in an almost empty venue, but all credit to them, they still give it their best shot. By the time they’ve finished their set the crowd has grown significantly, but sadly they failed to impress the crowd, with reactions after songs being limited to polite applause. I think given the right crowd they’d have gone down well, but tonight clearly wasn’t their sort of crowd.
Next up though is the band that everyone, including a large press contingent is here to see – The Crunch. By the time they come on the place is pretty busy, but on stage seems just as crowded as the rest of the venue as the band struggle to fit on the tiny stage with their instruments – partly due to them having a keyboard player joining them. Playing a gig when nobody has heard any of your songs other than the two on the debut single that has just been released is not an easy gig, but that’s exactly what the band are doing tonight. Despite the lack of familiarity with the songs they definitely go down well. The fact it’s their first gig does show quite clearly with the swapping over of instruments not going very smoothly – singer Sulo had to manage without his guitar for one song till it was brought out from backstage. Despite these minor teething problems this was a great set – I think that when they play in front of a crowd that has had time to listen to their songs then they’re going to go down really well.
The last two songs of the set are the B side of the single – ‘Gangster radio’, and then to end the set, the single itself, ‘Down by the border’. For the encore we got two songs – ‘Runaway son’ and then a Clash song, ‘Garageland’
After tonight’s gig I’m really looking forward to their album, and then some proper live dates.
The Crunch setlist:
Busy making noise
A matter of time
Right about now
A little bit of grace
Down by the border