Underground 5 Years | 03 AUGUST 2019 | Live Music Photography | October Drift
ABOVE : October Drift at Underground's 5 year shpw in Plymouth August 03 2019
'Underground' in Plymouth is a special place for me. Over the last 5 years Ben Turner, who knows a thing or two about gig photography and how to put on a blinding show, after being spotted by the NME's own lens man Martyn Goodacr, in 'A Tribute to Nothing', has been nothing but supportive and positive in supporting myself and the live music scene here in Plymouth. I am lucky to have a few shots gracing the walls and it was one of the first places I asked to exhibit at for 'Blinded by the Sound' in 2016...
ABOVE : Underground in Plymouth
Saturday 3rd August saw the venue hosting a diverse line up of bands that Ben had chosen from a massive list of acts who had performed there whilst Ben manned the desk, ran and managed the place. I had to travel back down after making a short film earlier in the day and so only managed to catch a couple acts and give the big red bear a hug before having to shoot off again. So happy that I did though.
ABOVE : Billy Suter of Piss Midget live at Underground in Plymouth's 5 year celebration
Piss Midget, Plymouth's two piece agit-math-rockesque noisy bastards played a blinder. I would like to say they were formed from the ashes of some vastly over populated pretentious super group, whittled down from ten musicians and a troop of dancers, but alas I think they were only ever two. Billy and Jony, the Karen and Richard Carpenter of uneasy listening, repeatedly dragged the crowd up to the top of kickers, half pipes and verts before urging us on and then pushing us down, only to pause the video halfway, their staccato soundboard chopped brutally, like Satan's fruit, the tomato, slammed between one of those meshy wire things that would give any soft fruit bad dreams.
ABOVE : Piss Midget at Underground Plymouth
I will not mention the fact Jony is not at all short or that Billy has exactly the right kind of hair, even though like a pizza wheel rolling over soft dough the pair of them rocking and tilting back and forward with musical menace is a big part of the experience of watching them play. It was bloody hot, but it did not drain any of the enthusiasm from a hungry crowd, happy to be fed a menu selected by Mr Turner on a night on which everyone was determined to celebrate and stuff their faces.
ABOVE : Kiran Roy of Somerset Indie band October Drift. No half measures. Epic.
October Drift are magnificent. Really fucking rather special. Part Echo and the Bunny men, a healthy dose of The Charlatans, echoes of The Doves, doesn't really do them justice, but they stir the same feelings those songwriters can with an unashamedly open hearted approach to stripping back all that macho bullshit, and wearing not only their heart, but also their souls on their sleeves. They know exactly how to build a song for maximum impact and as a live force they are a photographers joy. There is nothing restrained or static in their live show. A non stop frenetic roller-coaster of jumping missing frame animations, the lads throw everything out there, their jerky passionate performance is like a shaken bottle of something dark and bubbly waiting to explode.
ABOVE : October Drift fans pass a human towel around at Underground in Plymouth
Singer Kiran Roy can transfix you with those piercing eyes and high cheek bones, but it is his voice and the commitment with which he delivers the lyrical content that keeps you ears open and your mind tuned in to the soaring wall of guitars this Somerset four piece manage to build around you. Daniel Young throws a myriad rapid shapes whilst coaxing those tones from his guitar and while Alex Bipsham, hair swirling ,nails the whole thing down with his laconic bass lines , Chris Holmes does more than drive along and punctuate the dynamics with his drumming , he adds harmony vocals that contribute beautifully to the October Drift sound.
ABOVE : October Drift are an intense visaul and audio experience. Check them out live.
And it is a sound. You forget how emotionally charged simplicity like this, is often deceptive. To create the layers of interwoven nuance, meshing that tightly, requires a real dedication and belief in the material you are presenting. It demands a dedication to whittling away weak sections and a conviction that propels often repeated, but quality songs, in a a way that every night feels fresh to new ears and never dead to you the band playing them again. October Drift have been riding a groundswell of support on which they can now provoke an earthquake. Due to that discipline to the craft and the many hours spent on the road, on stages and in studios, the finesse shows. To be this enigmatic you have to build the experience over time. They were such an epic choice to play on this night celebrating the many strata that make up the geology of underground music, and I feel priveleged to have witnessed them.
ABOVE : Outside 'Underground' in Pymouth on 03 AUGUST 2019 for the 5 years gig
I had to go before Steve Strong took to the stage, another guy just back from playing Brazil who wears his uncynical musical heart on his sleeve. For all the acts here tonight and over the last five years under the guiding hand of Ben, Underground has become about being real. That hardcore mentality of whatever style of music you play leaving your artifice and pretensions at the door and giving it 100% to an audience that will give you every opportunity to be as honest as you like in exposing your musical soul there up on stage.
Here is to another 5, 10 , 15yrs.
ABOVE : October Drift throwing themselves feet first into their performance in 2019
ABOVE : Kiran Roy frontman for the epic soul shattering Somerset rockers October Drift
ABOVE :October Drift smash it at Underground in Plymouth 03 August 2019
ABOVE :Singer Kiran Roy carried by fan around Underground in Plymouth
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