It felt strange to step back into the pub/venue that used to be my watering hole when I was young. If I wasn’t there for a gig, I was there just to go play some pool or meet up with friends before going out. Ill be honest with you, I never minded the sticky floors because the shows and the atmosphere was actually acceptable. Now the sticky floors have gone but so have the gigs. I remember always wanting to play Tap n Tin because of all the amazing acts, and yes even Chas n Dave are amazing I did end up playing at the venue but it was only as the embers were dying out and the £1 happy club had taken over. For a place that doesn’t like people taking drugs it’s ironic that all (I should probably say most) of the cliental are smashed out of their nut before entering and even worse when leaving (nothing to do with drink) I’d say ‘gurning central’ is more appropriate. This from a club that used to host names including The Libertines, The Charlatans, Chas and Dave and Mystery Jets, not to mention impromptu DJ sets from members of Primal Scream and Razorlight. I remember seeing, years ago, that Bring me the horizon were playing in Tap, a band who at the time had a quite a following and now have a much bigger one. There are bound to be so many simiilar acts that graced the venues that I haven’t mentioned. I have particularly fond memories of going to see Pay No Respect & Feed the Rhino – watching great live shows in a local venue and having a fucking awesome night out.
And so, with all this said, I was pretty tentative on going back for another gig. But with Bear Vs Manero, God Damn & Feed The Rhino all on one stage I really couldn’t say no.
I entered after a long wait at the front door from the security checking us. We do look dodgy, I don’t blame them! I walked through the green doors, got my stamp and entered the main bar. For 8pm on a Wednesday it was actually quite busy, we grabbed some drinks and made our way outside for a smoke before heading upstairs just in time to grab the opening act’s set.
From Bear vs Manero’s first note the whole room was in awe, even if some of the people listening/watching couldn’t really understand what was going on. Dan Tom’s Frontman show is something to be witnessed while Peter Bevan & Luke Belly both bring an energetic and doom-fuelled fucking awesomeness. Darren Wooley is without doubt an actual fucking wizard behind the kit. The set was full of filthy screams, megaphone screaming, dirty riffs & wandering into the crowd. The set was atmospheric, at times manic and very wondrous
After the first set we ventured downstairs to the smoking area, an old friend if you will. It was nice to see so many familiar faces and some new ones out supporting the local scene.
Next up God Damn. I had no clue what this band sound like/look like nor did I know how many members. The answer was very quickly answered. Two. Now I have to be honest I’ve never ever been a fan of two piece bands I’ve always looked at them and just thought ‘why cant you get another member?’ For the first time I really ate my words. The band were ruthless from start to finish. The set started with a minute or two of feedback before the two members got onto stage. I couldn’t help but note that the drummer, dressed in dungarees, looked like Chucky – an epically talented drumming Chucky but Chucky non the less. The lead singer/guitarist wasn’t so Chucky-like but had a realy great stage presence of his own. Sadly the crowd didn’t seem to be as receptive and a song or two into the set everyone was asked to move forward. We loved every minute of our front position and with a more receptive crowd it seemed as if this band would have feasted on the energy and put on an even stronger show.
Another break, another cigarette and another few drinks before heading back upstairs for the Headline act for the day. Local band Feed The Rhino who put on this gig as a warm up show for their Reading/Leeds festival slot. A band who came from the Medway towns going to play on the main stage – all of the fucking yes. It certainly seems that these small unknown towns have musical talent in abundance, not that we’ve been saying that for quite a while now…
The set was unbelievably brutal and really fucking tight, The crowd lapped up every second of the show, it was obvious they had a lot of fans, compared to the last two acts the whole room was packed out. Lee Tobin (vocals) really knew how to interact with a crowd, how to make everyone want to fuck each other up but to quote Lee “When this kicks in you fuck shit up, if someone falls down you pick them up and start again.” Epitomising the kind of commodarie that you really don’t get in many scenes. Everything was really spot on. The screams and growls were complete filth, the clean melodic sections of songs really fit well and brought a variety to the that is sometimes very needed, although Im a massive fan of a scream, the tones of guitars were spot on and felt like a really good balance. The rhythm section of the band was beefy, powerful and quite simply brilliant. Tobin moved from the stage to screaming whilst standing up in the rafters – a particularly effective performance tactic. For the last song Feed The Rhino asked everyone to get on to their neighbours’ shoulders and go fucking mad. They did, we did, It was fucking awesome.
The night ended and I was happy to leave after having a fucking sweet time and from the looks of it the crowd were the same. It felt good to actually see a stellar line up in my local area. We do have really great gigs round here, don’t get me wrong, but with shows like that it brings a lot of people out to actually see that Medway/Kent and other surrounding areas have a unique, historical and ever-growing scene. If we had a venue that pumped a bit of money into bringing in big acts and making sure that local acts support them, people would be forced to begin to see what these places have to offer. I feel like I could ramble on for far too long about how the owner of tap did no-one a favour by stating that he thinks this scene is dead, unfortunately he is just a little out of touch and what I would say has already been said a thousand times.
Go out and support your scene in anyway you can, play shows at local venues, even if they do need a little work…if you don’t then soon we will have nowhere left to play and hear new music.