Groove Merchants at The Jailhouse, Hereford - 25.02.12

There's no shortage of quality venues in the 'Ford for sure - but what's really lacking at the moment is promoters willing to take a punt and put on a night of 'proper' live music - like for example last weekend at the Jailhouse - where Groove Merchants hosted a totally metal evening. Now, it's fair to say that there'd been some last-minute change of plans - with absolutely none of the billed acts showing up. But as I'd never heard of any of them - that didn't bother me much!

A hasty last-minute phone-around resulted in a thoroughly pleasing threesome of sets - kicking off with my first taste of Hereford metallers Ripper, who've got a very similar act to Fights And Fires spin-off outfit This Is Our Youth. Their numbers are all about 30-60 seconds long and are manic thrashes with titles like Lowest Of The Low, Snake Wrangler and Mind Searcher - with plenty of banter in between. I totally recommend that you catch either of these acts over the summer - because they are both tremendous fun.

A couple of Brummy-metal acts to follow Ripper. First up were Carving A Giant from Wolverhampton - and I was quietly impressed with their driving rhythms combined with both guitars howling over the top - a totally unique sound. Also, well worthy of a listen were the Birmingham four-piece Cold March with their stone-cold grungy stoner sound.

But there were a few problems on the night - for an event like this the Jailhouse stage is simply too high - so two or three members of every act jumped off stage just to get closer to the audience. The sound was not best quality and i have to say Carving A Giant sounded the best when I popped out 'for a breath of fresh air' - yes I know what you're thinking - but that's what was definitely lacking inside doors on the night.

Andy O'Hare

Local gigs and music CD reviews

  • Published
  • Section
    BBC News