It’s tough playing a midweek gig. Getting people to come out when they’ve got to be up for work the next morning. It’s even harder when that midweek happens to be just a few days from the start of Download Festival when many are saving their pennies. The turnout for tonight’s gig then is understandably underwhelming. Those that did make it are treated to two bands poles apart musically but each showing they have the right stuff to take a big step up in the music world.
Kane’d are unique in that they feature three sisters on lead vocals backed by four guys forming a twin guitar attack and a punchy rhythm section. Their brand of hard rock is solid enough but the way they perform is what makes them special. Somewhere along the path of rock the art of writing a good hook has often been misplaced. Kane’d sound like they’ve been going around picking them up and using them for fun. The music is just infectious. Then we have the vocals which are breath taking. It’s not only the wonderful harmonisation that hits home, it’s the true sharing of lead duties, and the lack of an ego on stage. The real mystery based on tonight’s performance is why Kane’d aren’t playing and headlining academy sized venues at least. One day hopefully their time will come, and when it does they will have earned it.
Hailing from Italy, via a planet called Acheron are alien beings Sick N Beautiful who play alt metal fused with all manner of snippets from other genres. The thing with having a theme and running with it, particularly when what you do on stage is so visual is that you still need to back it all up with the music. These guys do that with aplomb. Slick drumming working with some well sorted bass lines allow the guitar the freedom to add flavour to each song. Even though Herma is ill her vocals are on point. Pure and crisp you can hear a hint of the symphonic in her voice. It’s only really between songs that you notice how hard she’s having to work and for that you have to admire her. The show itself has so much wow factor it’s incredible they’ve packed it all into the Portland Arms. Lazer beams, an angle grinding guitar and fire leaping from a book are all a thing in a Sick N Beautiful gig. Everything is well thought out and works with the songs. This is a show so full of theatrics, drama and escapism that you can’t help but get drawn in. It’s not hard to imagine this band on a big stage with a big budget in a few years time, they really are that good. Come back soon space aliens, we love you.