The first gig to be featured on our reviews page, is the inaugral event from Home Grown Rock at the 100 Club in London. A venue steeped in music history, hosting such greats as The Sex Pistols, The Rolling Stones, and more recently Paul Weller. Fans that had listened to the 5 bands on the bill, probably knew what to expect, and my God, we were not disappointed!!
First up were Dollface who, due to being without a drummer, played an acoustic set to start the nights proceedings. Greg and James were on top form starting off with the brilliant "You to Lose" (my personal fave), and playing their way through the rest of the set to an unfortunately smaller crowd than the performance deserved. They really set the tone for the rest of the night and were a fantastic way to kick things off.
After a brief intermission, to change over bit of equipment, etc, The Dead Stray were the next band to perform. After a riff from an unfinished track on their new EP, they dived straight into the title track of the previous release "Three Years". Having heard the EP version a few times and liking the almost indie vibe to the track, I was surprised at the far 'rockier' sound of the live version. However, it was surprise in a very good way. Brad, Nik, and Piete played their way through a storming 8 song set, including covers of West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band's track "A Child of a Few Hours" and a great version of Captain Beefheart's "Moon Child", as the 100 Club steadily filled with more rock lovers, and by the they'd finished playing "Sleight of Hand", the people couldn't get enough! It was a great performance from the band and no surprise that they have recently signed a recording deal. Check this video out!
After the equipment alterations, and to a now seemingly packed 100 Club, rumHoney took to the stage. To the delight of the crowd, Sky, Jaime, and the rest of the gang treated us to a performance that has to go down, simply, as AWESOME!! Playing their way through most of the "East to West" album, Sky Wood had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand, commanding the stage like a seasoned pro. Treating the fans to favourites such as "T for Trouble", "She's so Fine" and "Since You Went Away", Sky even relented singing duties to allow Jamie to give a brilliant rendition of "Secret Smile". The crowd in attendance simply couldn't get enough of the soulful, bluesy-rock tunes and the people in front of the stage were grooving their way through each note played. By the time "Sunningdale Shoes" came on, (which happens to be my fave track on the album), the rest of the room and I were in rumHoney Heaven. A truly great performance from a fantastic band.
It was getting down to crunch time and with headline act Slam Cartel waiting in the wings, figureatively speaking, Voodoo Vegas took their place on stage to entertain. Now, I'd not had chance to listen to much of their music beforehand, apart from "So Unkind", which thankfully was on the setlist, lol. But I can safely say that after witnessing this performance first hand, I'm certainly looking forward to the release of the recently recorded debut album. They kept the crowd rocking, including a pocket of seemingly hardcore Voodoo Vegas fans, playing tracks including "Bullet", "King Without a Crown" and the previously mentioned "So Unkind". The set was so popular, that as they were about to leave the stage, the crowd were demanding more! But after a thumbs-up from the soundman, an encore was indeed what the crowd got. A great showing from the south coast natives. Here's a video of "Bullet".
It was now time for the nights headline act, Slam Cartel, and for those who had stuck around, they were not to be disappointed. From the opening riff of "Handful of Dreams", the title track of their album, via the brillaint "Wishing Eye" and "Once in a Lifetime" to "Powerstorm" and "Breathe", Giles, Terry, Adam et al, wowed the crowd with undiminishing energy. The fans were clapping, singing, shouting, and generally rocking out from start, the only disappoointing thing was, that it all had to come to an end.
All in all it was a great first event for HGR and their head honcho Lisa, one I'm sure she, along with the guests and bands in attendance will remember for a long time to come.