Last Saturday night at The Horn (7th January), Juicebox hosted a killer lineup of local indie rock bands, featuring Rah!, Pages, The Co-Pilots, and The Visitors. The night really was a showcase of how strong the local music scene is, with raucous indie rock and alternative rock tracks blaring throughout the venue all night. The gig opened with three piece Rah!, made up of Lucy (from Moon Blue) on bass, Jake (from Echo Infirmary) on drums, and Angus (also from Echo Infirmary) on vocals and lead guitar. I saw Rah! a few month ago at The Horn, and loved their set this time round just as much as I did back in September. The group were clearly just having fun on stage and having a laugh with the music and the crowd, which gave their set a really personal and intimate feel. Angus is a brilliant vocalist, with his higher cutting vocals paired brilliantly by the grit of Lucy’s bass. The band are really effortlessly cool too and produce this fantastically intense rock sound, with their set featuring a brilliant fun cover of The Clash’s Should I Stay Or Should I Go, with the band mimicking those little attributes of The Clash’s sound perfectly.
The next band to play were indie three piece Pages, a really exciting new band onto the local music scene. Made up of lead singer and guitarist Matt, bassist Danny and drummer James, Pages came to the gig full of hyped up energy and a roaring, lively fun stage presence. The group have been together since last May, and have been gradually building up a local reputation as a really fun and exciting rock band, with a solid fan base (if the crowd’s reaction to their set was anything to go by). Danny and Matt played the guitar together brilliantly, with their chords and riffs perfectly in sync with James’ skilled, meticulous drumming riffs. Performing a variety of tracks off their new Keep Your Love EP, the band performed a host of original tracks including The Road, Summer Rain, Amber and All Gone, as well as a quirky cover of Use Somebody by Kings of Leon. What I especially loved about their set was how much fun they had performing, with the band clearly enjoying every minute they had on stage; despite the casual fun aura they had though, the riffs and vocals had a really professional well rehearsed sound to them. The light-heartedness of their set reminded me of those fun rock bands who can really rally and energise crowds, like The 1975, Foals, or The Wombats; they also seemed a lot heavier and edgier live than on record, and are definitely a band to catch in person. For more on Pages, you can read my interview with them or check out their music on SoundCloud.
The Co-Pilots were next to play, a raucous alternative rock band made up of Chris, Josh, Kell and Sam. Their music was really edgy and intense, with blaring riffs and a loud aggression to their unique sound, tying in alt-rock and indie unbelievably well. Their riffs had a blurred bite to them, paired by bold powerful vocals and steady drumming throughout. My favourite track they did was of debut single Rather Lay Down With Lions, which showcases a more soft breezy side to The Co-Pilots. What I loved about the band was the loud blaring sound they had, and how well they all played together- there was a really vivid meticulous sound to the band, who were clearly well rehearsed and love what they do. They were clearly having a great time too on stage, and this infectious energy was translated perfectly to the audience through the energy and vibrant aura the group channelled. Their seven track long setlist also featured tracks such as The Riddler and Friend or Lover which all packed a heavy, punchy indie rock bite. For updates on the band, and to follow their live dates, you can check them out on Facebook.
And then for the final band, The Visitors, who were playing their first headline gig at The Horn. I’ve been a huge fan of the band since last summer, and was lucky enough to see them back in September supporting Echo Infirmary. Since then, the band seem to have grown a lot not just in terms of confidence on stage, but also in terms of how they perform as a band. Each riff was brilliantly played, with Matt and Alex playing perfectly in sync with Tom’s heavy, roaring bass lines. Cameron is a fantastic drummer too, with the heaviness and aggression of his drumming tying the band’s sound together perfectly. Like all good indie rock bands, Alex has the perfect qualities of a frontman; there’s a cheeky humour he has, which makes the band really charismatic and fun to watch live. They did a few covers too, performing renditions of Oasis’ Cigarettes & Alcohol, David Bowie’s Moonage Daydream, and of course an Arctic Moneys cover of I Bet You look Good On The Dancefloor. To cover three such unreal tracks is hard to do, but The Visitors did it with ease; they’re ridiculously powerful and raucous on stage, and the loud energy and power of their riffs ripped though the venue. They also performed a host of original tracks including my absolute favourite Partying All Night. The track is probably their edgiest one, with a really gritty indie rock bite to it. Their sound reminds me a lot of bands like Arctic Monkeys, and they really remind me of how Arctic Monkeys would have been a decade or so ago gigging locally in Sheffield. A brilliant way to start the new year, I really hope that this gig is the start of bigger things to come for The Visitors (who feature on my Bands to Watch in 2017 post). The brilliant thing about them too is how much fun they had on stage; there was no seriousness to their set, instead it was just the four of them having great fun. They also performed a new track, entitled Walking and Talking Away which sounded unreal live. For more on The Visitors, you can follow them on Facebook and check them out on SoundCloud.
Once again, Saturday evening was another brilliant night at The Horn, all thanks to Juicebox promoters. Highlight events coming up include Asylums, BlackWaters and Strange Bones co-headline tour with Fiende Fatale and Concrete Caverns support, and Neon Waltz. For tickets, you can purchase them here, or browse upcoming dates here.
Gig rating: ★★★★☆
©All photos to Sahera Walker