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Tuesday, 28 May 2019

A View From The Back Of The Room: The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell (Live Review By Paul H)

The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell – The Crofter’s Rights, Bristol 24th May 2019

Eschewing the delights of Cardiff’s extreme metal fest at Fuel for one year, a trip across the bridge to the delightful The Crofter’s Rights for a night of something a little different proved a fabulous move. Three bands for £10, up close and personal, provided great value for money and more importantly, provided support for another small live music venue. Next time a band want £60 + for a massive arena show where you can hardly see them, remember the grass roots first. This is where the real music and action is.
Opening proceedings were Superseed (8), a five-piece triple guitar attack from Bristol. With a range of sounds that varied greatly, their mix of hard rock, punk, garage and stoner was fantastic to get the evening started. The three guitarist, Ben Taylor, Dan Armson and David Edgar also swapped vocals throughout their set and with a raft of original material earned a well-deserved ovation. The three-pronged guitar attack gave the band massive heft and the riffs fell hard, heavy and frequent. David Edgar took the lion’s share of the lead vocals and was resplendent in his REO Speedwagon tee and Sabbath ink. Behind him the solid drumming of Matt Colley and pumping bass of Keith Bowers ensured solidity. Tracks from their debut release which was duly picked up after their set went down well and their diversity whilst retaining a heavy rock edge was excellent.

On our trip over Mrs H and I sampled a bit of Notts based Haggard Cat (8). We remarked that they sounded like Royal Blood mixed with The Arctic Monkeys. Well, we weren’t far away at all as the duo proceeded to level the venue with their explosive brand of hard punk fused rock. Unassuming off stage, guitarist/vocalist Matt Reynolds and drummer Tom March blasted into life as soon as they started their set, and the only challenge was how the audience could possibly keep up. A small but vociferous pocket of support cheered them on from the front and whilst the venue wasn’t even a quarter full, this failed to stop Haggard Cat from a blistering high energy set which saw them deliver tracks from album Challenger including the superb Bone Shaker, The Patriot and American Graffiti. Marsh’s violent assault on his kit, combined with massive hooks and Reynolds roaring vocals left you pleasingly uneasy as to whether the lid would stay on this bubbling pot of passion and energy. I think control was just about maintained. With a European Tour with the Dead Kennedys just announced, this is a band who will continue to wow audiences – the sky is their limit.

It’s been some time since I crossed paths with The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell (10) and how I’ve missed their powerful greasy biker rock. Having endured the M25 and the M4 to get to Bristol from Hastings, the dirty fuzzy trio wasted little time in levelling the room with their own brand of hard-hitting rock. With plenty of material from their three albums to choose from, it was only a question of what they would pick to play, and they duly obliged with a selection from Keep It Greasy, Don’t Hear It! … Fear It and Check ‘Em Before You Wreck ‘Em. With the promise of a new album in the autumn, we were also treated to a new track which sounded brilliant. Clad in their blue vests with yellow piping, the band were in unstoppable form. Guitarist Johnny Gorilla throws riffs out for fun, and his Flying V takes no prisoners. Wearing her “Pommy Bastards” tee, drummer Serra Petale battered seven shades of shit out of her kit, whilst wearing a beaming smile throughout.

And then we had bassist Louis Comfort-Wiggett, whose London demeanour in the magnificent on-stage banter almost overshadowed what a good player he is. In fact, despite their apparent anarchic chaos, the band are astonishingly good musicians and their 15-minute jam towards the end of their set was intoxicating. Having driven for 8 hours, there was no way they would finish on curfew and sure enough, they crammed in a final song which took them way past the 10:30 finish. No-one in the sparse but enthusiastic crowd was complaining mind and it was to well-earned applause that the set ended with cries of “more” echoing round the room. This is a band that must be seen in the live environment. The Admiral rules.

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