Monday, 26 September 2011

GIG REVIEW: Liveo, Bean and Jordan Whatley - The Pilot, Bowerhill, 19/09/2011

What follows is possibly the weirdest gig review you will ever read on these pages....

Now due to the fact that I have become intolerant towards alcohol, seeing me down the pub is a rare thing but tonight (Friday 19th September) I am taking a short walk to The Pilot, a venue that is a few seconds away from our new place in Bowerhill. And the reason? Melksham band Liveo are about to release their debut EP 'Ride Out The Waves' and to launch the release they are playing a free gig along with two support acts. But also tonight we are providing a home for two cats, who I also have to pick up from their previous owner's house tonight. So I arrive at The Pilot about 8pm, dash off at 9pm to collect our new feline friends and then return a mere half hour later having left the cats in the capable hands of my other half Gemma.

By the time I arrive back the first act has taken to the stage in the form of the young but very promising Jordan Whatley, singing some originals and well chosen covers accompanied solely by his acoustic guitar. A very brave acapella version of Frank Turner's 'The English Curse' is delivered to a rapturous applause, and Jordan leaves the stage having gained more people to add to his increasing fanbase. Next up is the ever-enjoyable Bean, the local legend who can usually be found rocking out with the brilliant Hell Death Fury. But tonight it is just him and his trusty ukelele. Two brilliantly quirky NOFX covers 'All Outta Angst' and 'Eat The Meek' were performed just as a man singing songs from one of his favourite bands should, and Bean even manages to make an annoying Lady fucking Gaga song sound half decent. However the highlight  has to be his rousing rendition of Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now', which has chords perfect for hammering out on the ukelele.

Liveo are the of course the main act of the night and before they arrive on stage I had an interesting chat with their guitarist Joe, who like myself is a big fan of Cherry Ghost, a band who they count as one of their influences alongside the likes of Rage Against The Machine and irritating dickhead Eminem. I ask him how a band can be influenced by three artists so diverse and wonder how these influences have shaped the sound. I am about to find out as they take the stage and launch into their opening number... The band are comprised of a rapper who also plays keyboards, a guitarist who does the singing bits, a de-shirted bassist and a drummer who looks somewhat older than the rest of the group. By now there is an enthusiastic crowd really getting into their combination of uniquely British rap, lively riffs and emotional singalong choruses, and copies of the debut EP are being handed out for free around the venue. One of the tracks from that EP is the fantastic 'Eye For An Eye', the strongest and most vital song they have in their cannon with an intricate and ear-catching guitar hook and a powerful lyric. It displays an intelligence and depth far removed from the nu-metal nonsense that most combinations of rapping and guitars usually seem to conjure up memories of. Their original songs are a bit stronger than the covers they choose to pad their set out with, one of them is apparently a Chase And Status song. No, I have no idea who they are but some of the kids here seem to appreciate it.

Sadly by the time the band are halfway through their set I have to depart the venue before the shop next door closes, since I need to buy some food for our newly homed cats. Walking down the road on my way back home I can hear the band playing a King Blues-esque bit of hip hop ska that makes me wish I could have stayed longer. Judging by the way the crowd seemed to enjoy it, I'd say it won't be too long before Liveo are playing more gigs around the area again.

See some (very bad quality) videos of Bean and Liveo below...

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