Riffs 6th Anniversary
Last weekend marked the 6th anniversary celebrations of Swindon live music venue Riffs Bar.
Voted "Music Pub of the Year" by The Publican in both 2005 and 2006, the popular rock 'n roll hot-spot was packed out with local punters, lots of beerů and some seriously good live music.
Opening up were Rapport, who have been heavily gigging around Swindon for months, and gaining somewhat of a name for themselves.
They set the marker for the following acts with they're highly energised, soul injected "Kooksish" approach. They were fantastic, and people would be simply foolish to put them into a box. They do not only have a arsenal of tunes ready for attack, but a tightly knit stage performance to help unleash the potential of they're music.
The vocals are what really stand out. With lead vocalist Jasmine's delicate and smoothly nurtured voice fitting perfectly with the jazzed up guitar licks that she also creates.
Rapport are a band with potential flowing from their instruments, and this Riffs' performance justified that statement.
After a brief rest, The Shudders took to the stage and jumped straight into the swing of things - literally diving into their opening track.
From start to finish, their set produced pleasure after pleasure; you cannot help but smile when they play. They looked to be loving it, which immediately rubbed of on the crowd.
Their music is beautifully constructed and very catchy. They describe themselves as Post Modern Pirate Folk, however, with bits of classic and modern greats in their tunes. I could also sense the definite homage being paid to the likes of Elvis Costello, which is by no means a fault. It was a fantastic set, which was received well by the large numbers inside Riffs.
Finally, The Julia Set took to the stage to close the evening's musical exploits.
They were not as spiky as the preceding acts, but no less intriguing. Their melodies are there to be heard, and yet again another female lead vocalist giving a lovely performance. There was a definite laid-back feeling to the songs, which still manage to be diverse, playing with the dynamics of Loud and Quiet.
This kept the audience interested, and yet again was well received by the crowd.
So far highly satisfying!... with more to come...
... and after a weekend of booze, music and pork, Riffs Bars 6th anniversary celebrations came to a typically enigmatic end on Sunday night, displaying its ability to attract acts from halfway across the Globe.
Opening the evening was Onze, once of promising local band The Hour.
Playing a short acoustic set from the off, he delivered a competent performance which was helped along by his charmingly distinctive voice. The songs themselves were melodically impressive, with Onze himself admitting it had been a long time since he played the Riffs.
A very enjoyable opener!
Next on were The Heys, who unleashed an acoustic set of their own material that struck a chord with the Riffs Bar crowd.
With only 3 of the bands members on-stage, they ploughed through a set that included the songs "Pressure" and "Breakdown".
"Breakdown", a wonderfully gentle song with well-placed harmonies, and an explosive ending that stood out from the bands set. The lead vocals were a perfect fit to the music, which I dare say sounds as good acoustic as it does electric.
The Heys are clearly a band on the up and this set was a clear indication of the bands potential.
Big Baby Ernie brought the celebrations to a climax with their uniquely bombastic sound.
Big B himself blessed with one hell of a voice that seemed to resonate through the very foundations of the building itself.
Backed by a clearly very tight and talented group of musicians, Big Baby Ernie is a character that was born to be at the front of this band. Not only does his voice bode well but his stage presence is phenomenal, as though the band themselves are playing through him.
The set is packed full of funked up, soul infused Jazz that once again was received to rapturous applause by the Riffs Bar clan.
The Stevie Wonder influence was there for all to be seen and heard, and this works greatly in their favour. "Dirty Hands" is a belter, which gives the perfect insight into what this band is all about. Big Baby Ernie and his band closed this year's hugely successful celebration with a crash, a bang and a bass slap.
Thanks Riffs for a great weekend!