Recent gigs have us asking “How influential are students to Bath’s music scene?”

As long as I’ve been going to gigs in this city, June through to September has always been a low point. It’s a pity, because this is the one time when you can watch bands without freezing to death on the way to the venue.

The two gigs we visited were both less than packed. It’s been quite hot recently and the alfresco drinking establishments were thronged, so maybe these venues suffered because of that or maybe it’s because it’s mid-July and all the students have left the city and everyone else is at festivals? Maybe, it was just an ‘off’ night.

I don’t want the lack of students to be the reason venues are half full. If it’s because Bathonians just want to be outdoors in summer, that’s fine, but annually having the bottom fall out shows Bath’s music scene could be a falsehood, held up only by outsiders and not actually a testament to our city’s appreciation of music and performances.

However, this could be the start of a much bigger article, so I’ll leave it for the moment.

Want to give your thoughts? Please send them in.

On to the bands instead…

First, the Royal Oak on Lower Bristol Road, but not before putting in my earplugs, a full ten feet from the entrance. Crikey was it loud!

Though late, we caught a good portion of Ye Olde Avalon’s set. I’d be lying if I said: “I didn’t enjoy it”, though I felt the songs were a bit lengthy for what they were. They started with a nice idea, but didn’t develop enough to fully engage my attention throughout. Were they underdeveloped or just in need of shortening, I’m not sure.

I had a brief chat with the pianist, who was a nice fellow named Lewis. Apparently, they are mostly roofers. The band recently played The Big Gig 2016 and released an EP.

They’re all talented musicians, but it feels like they’re yet to unlocked their true creative potential. True, I didn’t hear all of the set, but I do look forward to hearing more from them in the future.

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The Edsel Furys at Flan O’Briens

It seemed volume was the theme for the night. At this point I was starting to think the lack of punters might have nothing to do with students and more to do with amps.

Flan O’Briens had a few more people, but still wasn’t crammed; a pity, because The Edsel Fury’s are a fun bunch. I’d seen them a few years ago and it’s great to see one of the staples of Bath’s music core still going strong and some exuberant surfer-rock kicked-off our weekend perfectly.

It’s true the songs aren’t overly complex in structure, but it didn’t seem like the music was about that for them or the audience, which grew slightly towards the end. It seemed more about enjoying the experience, which is one of the main aims of performances.

If you were to judge The Edsel Fury’s purely on audience appreciation then you’d be on to a winner as there were a fair few people “dancing”, stomping, shouting and generally doing what people do on a Friday night, but with the underlying focus being one of gratitude towards the band.

The simplicity of what the band produces appears to be its key, leaving them free to have a laugh, taking selfies mid-song and in one instance holding up the performance while myself and Owen the guitarist had a brief confab. No one seemed to mind as far as I’m aware. [Nice bloke is Owen]

They also inserted some good vocal harmonies and finer details through occasional trumpet trills, a kazoo blast and a percussive instrument that I’d never seen before.

If you’re looking for some enjoyable, slightly different, but not self-indulgent rock, then I recommend you see them. They’re playing their next gig at The 3 Horseshoes in Brandford on Avon.

It was an enjoyable evening and nice to be out again after a month or so of being swamped with work.

Want a gig/venue reviewed? Let us know. Otherwise if just want to vent your spleen about something (music related) or give praise for a band or venue, do it here or on our Twitter or Facebook pages.

 

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