PHOTOGRAPHY Ben McQuaide
WORDS Lauren McDermott
Where do I even begin describing This Feeling? It’s a glorious place where new music and great nights are found. Their gigs are spread across the UK, showcasing new and upcoming bands you probably hadn't heard of before. On this cold Saturday evening, the small alternative music bar Nambucca was filled to the brim with sweaty bodies. Even from the first act, the number of people in the audience seemed endless. First to take the stage were The Cosmics. This Birmingham based, female fronted 3-piece certainly brought a warming presence to the London audience. Infusing elements of 60s pop music and garage rock, The Cosmics have most certainly given London a taste on what they are missing out on.
Shortly following was Gutzi Bibang. First things first, the name of this intriguing group caught my eye immediately, and as soon as I caught a glimpse of their appearance, you could definitely identify the influence from Hendrix. My eyes did not deceive me. The 70s blues hit the crowd hard with a jaw-droping sound. Emily Capell brought us back to the modern day with her charming charisma and relatable lyrics and was then followed by Willow Robinson - another supremely talented singer/songwriter.
Catastrophic change was made when BlackWaters started their breathtaking set. Punk rockers from South London seemed comfortable to smash that lighthearted tension. Taking influences from older British punk music and rebooting it for a new generation, these guys were capturing the essence of disaffected youth. Then The Blinders made their grand entrance. They were quite literally an explosion of energy and jubilance. With confidence, frontman Thomas owns the stage, appearing with bold black face paint smeared across his face. He soon parts from his long camel coat, stripping down to the waist. His small skinny frame throws itself around the stage as his guitar snarls the rhythmic patterns. The voice of this stumbling figure delivers a politically driven melody of lyrics with a shriek. Their adrenaline was unstoppable with tracks filled with passion and angst, “I need, I need, I need not be/ I need not to be the man on the street..”. Everyone was buzzing on the rush of their spellbinding punkadelic sound. Members Thomas, Charlie and Matt could arguably be seen for standing as the voice of the younger generation, with their clever songs full of quirks and intelligent undertones. Cabbage are saying The Blinders are the best new band in the land, which is seemingly hard to disagree with.
Only to tease the audience more, Strange Bones stormed in aggressively. This Northwest 3 piece give a colossal sound live and engages with the crowd constantly. Throughout their fanatical set were mosh pits and crowd surfing galore, leading nicely into the last act, The Shimmer Band. It was about 12:30AM and the room was still vibrant and alive. As soon as the explosive, anthemic psycho-rock group made their appearance, the excitement yet again shattered around the hyped room. Frontman Tom bounced in wearing some snazzy sunglasses and a striking outfit. For me the swagger of this band is incredibly eye catching and adds to their uplifting tone. The quality of their musical material is not hard to find, with the ease to run around the stage and get the crowd going. The energy and power was shared between both the act and audience, with songs ‘Sunkick’ and ‘Freedom’ proving to be a blast. The mixture of blues, indie and rock music all seem to come together to create a diverse genre of its own.
It truly was a night of very loud music, enjoyment and beaming brightness of joy and happiness, brought on by seeing bands who made you feel elevated and overwhelmed. This Feeling is undoubtedly wallowing in a Rock 'n' Roll playground and checking both them and the bands out would be the first life changing step you make.