Live Review: Parallel States/Hex Poseur/The Addiction/Alice’s Ants

Parallel States/Hex Poseur/The Addiction/Alice’s Ants

The Golden Fleece, Nottingham – 5/3/2022

The music industry is built on places like The Golden Fleece. It’s where artists start out, and it’s where, if you’re lucky, you can see the very beginnings of superstardom. Without those wanting to perform at these little venues, without the people wanting to be involved booking, doing sound and light etc, the music would stop. So it’s a warm welcome to Alice’s Ants who are performing an acoustic set minus a drummer, for now. It’s an intimate feeling set that has a Green Day cover nestling in between some well penned originals. We’ll be seeing both Sam and Emily later in the evening too such is the family atmosphere within the acts.

The Addiction don’t mess about. They hit the stage at 100mph and don’t take their foot off the loud pedal until the last note sounds. It’s clear they’re all accomplished musicians. The guitar work is frenetic, the bass laid back and solid and the drums – well now! The drums are played with a kind of arena vibe, but in a very good way. Then there’s Effie up front on the mic making sure the good time she’s clearly having rubs off on everyone present. She has a hard rock vocal to rival some of the big names that compliments her infectious enthusiasm perfectly. You get the feeling The Addiction would be able to step up any time the call came, they have that air of being the band you call when you want dependability and consistency. Above all they’re the band you call when you want to party.

You don’t need to wait long to know that you’re in the presence of potential greatness when Hex Poseur hit the stage. They play with a confidence that borders swagger but is humble at the same time. Sounding like a heady mix of Bikini Kill, Jack Off Jill and The Distillers. The trio are three very different cogs in what is a bit of a beast of a machine. Jacob Wakeling drums with real assurance which provides an anchor for the sheer rawness of what’s happening in front of him. Emily Alice plays a silky smooth bass that reminds you of Melissa Auf der Maur. And Hex herself? Well she’s just a whole bundle of angst, passion, light and dark. In full flow Hex Poseur are a quite magnificent. They have groove and melody in abundance, but they also have real grit too. In this little venue this amazing band illuminate the world for half an hour or so and is a much better place with them in it.

Not many bands could follow a performance like that but Parallel States aren’t just any ordinary band. They’ve taken pop punk and given it focus and meaning. They’ve taken the 90s model and ungraded it for the digital age and much scarier place we find ourselves in right now. There’s a balance between being serious and still being able to smile though and this act have hit the nail on the head. What they do isn’t revolutionary, it has a familiarity which makes each song feel warm. Jack hits the drums with precision. Kieran is a whizz on guitar and has a voice that just sounds perfect for these songs. And then we have Sam adding a series of stellar bass lines. Emily hops back up on stage to sing a Green Day cover, the second of the evening. Has anyone ever performed in three acts in one night before?  The evening ends all too soon. It’s been a blast. This is living proof you don’t need to spend squillions on a ticket to have a great time. All you need is a place like The Golden Fleece and acts like we’ve seen tonight.

Review and photos by Gary Trueman