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Saturday, 5 October 2019

A View From The Back Of The Room: King Kraken (A Live Review By Matt Bladen)

King Kraken, Suns Of Thunder & Fallen Temples, Liquid Lounge, Maesteg

Once again organised by King Kraken it was another trip to sleepy Valleys town of Maesteg for a night of heavy rock at the Liquid Lounge. Having a 45 minute journey for a 9pm start on a Friday may seem nuts but when there are three great bands on one bill for the sum total of £0.00 was a no-brainer.

So with food in our bellies and the 'culture' of Maesteg on a Friday soaked up we head into the venue just as Fallen Temples (8) were setting up. They opened up proceeding with a hard hitting set of groove driven rock music. We've written about this trio numerous times as each time they play they impress. As per normal Phoenix was groovy as hell and Lost In Euphoria is faster especially when it breaks into Supernaut by Sabbath. They were warmly received by the small room, which KK singer Mark said was "like playing a gig in your garage". Next up was Cut The Wire the first cut from their EP and still a massive anthem, in fact it was so anthemic that frontman/guitarist Adam blew out his voice during it leaving drummer Joe Stirland to sing the choruses. So with Adam struggling on stage, he did seem very unhappy about his voice but they carried on with As Long As We Can Stand which still had Adam struggling. He wasn't happy on stage but the crowd heard just gold as bass monster Joe Lewis led the fat riffs for 'New' single Broken with both Joe's on backing vocals ready for Blood From Stone which stills sits pretty as their now go to set ender with it's sing along chorus. A tough gig for the Cardiff power trio but with a support of Skindred coming up this month they are a band still on the up (just rest that voice Adam)

Next it was a band who I haven't seen in a while, Swansea groove/stoner/riffers Suns Of Thunder (7) who brought Clutch-like grooves to the Liquid Lounge. The four piece boast two vocalist/guitarists one of which is Matt who saw supporting Clutch as the vocalist of Sigiriya. Suns Of Thunder would have been a better fit for that gig as their heavy rock n roll, clever song titles and lyrics were very much in the Clutch ball park. It was hard to believe that this band have been going for 20 years but when they play the slickness of this experiences shines through able to crank out the volume while dealing with some of the more excitable locals air guitaring in the middle of the band. Unfortunately for them they had a smaller crowd than the openers but they have had quite a sporadic exisitence . Still those watcheing were enjoying their heavy riffs, hopefully it means they will be playing more gigs soon.

Finally it was the headliners in the bar that claim to be the 'home' of King Kraken (7) and I think on the night one too many Kraken ales affected their performance a little. As they opened with War Machine there was something a little off, the vocals were muffled leaving only the drums audible. As the set progressed it was clear that the problem caused by Rich drumming too hard essentially, and by that I mean beating the holy shit out of his kit, which was being amplified by the mics on the drums, elsewhere guitarist Pete was experiencing some technical gremlins of his own, however they carried on regardless commiting the 'cardinal sin' of playing a cover, as they put a Kraken spin on Mississippi Queen adding some guts, but the sound was still all over the place. The hometown crowd were all nodding their heads in unison, however it wasn't as well subscribed as their previous gig it was still pretty busy with the locals getting their fill of the heavy rockers. Unders The Sun came and it was business as usual with the sound issues fixed they rocked out like the band I know and love. Unfortunately with the time approaching midnight, we opted to head back as the body was failing due to a busy week of work. However no matter the tech issues, it was a great showcase of South Wales rock music in a town deprived of it.

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