Black Palms kick things off in the compact and bijou Underground with a highly entertaining blend of rock, grunge and art house pop. It’s the grunge that comes through the strongest which gives the band a slightly laid back vibe. As an opening act they’re almost too good. Bigger and better things will surely follow.
It’s not often you get a real showman these days capable of lighting up almost any situation. In Sean Kildunne Velvela have the real deal and he impresses so much that you almost feel like you’re watching a headline act at times. The music is well played solid rock and roll which has the audience happily dancing around. The star here though is the showman up front.
A band seriously on the express elevator to stardom right now are Tokyo Taboo. This set shows why that is with a rock/grunge hybrid sound that has upbeat pop overtones it’s impossible not to want to jump around to the sound. And once again there’s someone very special at the mic. Dolly Daggerz does it all. She has a great vocal ranging from clear sonic heaven to angry buzzsaw angst. She appears on stage in the tallest set of heels you’ve ever seen and amazes everyone by dancing around like she’s wearing trainers. Then there’s the party piece, combining singing while pole dancing, and properly good pole dancing too. Tokyo Taboo don’t do things by half, and what they do is quite brilliant. Watch this space and remember the name.
For years Kenwyn House plied his trade with rockers Reef and it was a bit of a shock when he left. New project Goldray are fully deserving of some serious attention though. There’s no careful blending going on here, it’s a full on psychedelia experience. Cleverly House and the rest of the band have not tried to simply recreate the 60s though, the music is paced and arranged for modern ears which is a smart move. The crowd reaction, or at least the younger elements are quizzical at first before deciding this really is very cool indeed. And they’re right. One of the things that strikes home is how well balanced Goldray are, Leah Rasmussen is very much the centre of attention as she whirls and swirls around the stage. The former Reef guitarist is happy to drop in and out of prominence which shows true professionalism and the lack of a destructive ego. Anyone who likes a bit of hippy trippy rock will love Goldray and maybe the market is just right for them right now too.