I’ll admit it straight away, before this gig I’d heard of The Virginmarys, but hadn’t been to see them live or listened to that much of their music. However, I’m definitely a new fan after this night.
The main reason I went along to this gig was that the three support acts are all people I’ve seen before and like their music, so I wanted to go along and see them with the added bonus of the headline act being a band I’d heard good things about.
I arrived at The Soundhouse not too long before the first act was about to go on stage, so there wasn’t much time to walk around and have a chat with anyone I knew who was there. I grabbed a drink from the bar and as I was walking towards the stage the first act was being introduced.
Opening up the night was Callum Cook, who is better known as being a member of No More Heroes, but I have seen him perform solo sets before this evening. Playing mostly original tracks, with a few covers thrown in now and again, it was a great start to the evenings entertainment from one of the top local musicians.
It wasn’t a very long set by Callum, and it was time for a bit of a break while the next band setup on stage. This gave me a chance to have a walk round and see who else I knew was there. Surprisingly, there weren’t too many other people I knew attending this show, which is odd, as normally I can walk around and see many familiar faces, but this gig wasn’t one of those occasions. Also, being a sold out show, I thought I’d recognise more people.
I quickly got back towards the front of the venue and next to the stage as the crowd was starting to fill up quite a bit. I’d seen before arriving that it was sold out, with no tickets available on the door, and it can then become quite tricky to take photos if you can’t get anywhere near the front. When it gets really busy, I tend to find a place to either side of the stage and mainly take photos from there, unless I see an opportunity to move about, knowing I will be able to get back to where I was originally.
Next band playing this evening were a Nottingham based band called Kynch. I’ve seen these performing once before and that was at last years Glastonbudget where being a festival I was all over the place and couldn’t really see to much of their set and I’ve been wanting to catch them playing again since then. They didn’t disappoint.
Solid tracks from a young band who have the potential to go very far in this business, and they didn’t look at all out of place on this line up filled with so many talented musicians. With a new 4 track EP being recently released, they had cd’s available on the day and it with it also being available on streaming services, I made a note to listen to it at a later date. I’ll certainly be on the lookout for any gigs they play in the future and try to get along when I can.
Following on from Kynch were a band I’ve seen quite a few times, but not for a while, and they were Dig Lazarus.
It was back in 2015 that I had the pleasure of seeing Dig Lazarus perform a lot due to them competing and ultimately winning the Original Bands Showcase, and they then went on to perform at some local festivals afterwards. I must have saw them perform at least six times over the space of a couple months, and they always put on a fantastic show.
Having not seen them for a few years, it was one of the main reasons for me going along to this gig, and they have still got it. I remember being really impressed after my first time seeing them, they way they link their songs together so there’s as little down time as possible, and performing really well put together tracks, I’d urge anyone who hasn’t seen them before to get along to a gig when they next play near you. Hopefully it won’t be another 3 years before I see them again.
Their set came to an end and it was time for The Virginmarys to get setup on stage for the second sold out night of their Northern Sun tour.
The crowd was getting really big now, as I’m guessing that everyone who was going to come along would be there by now, and people were getting to the front of the crowd, eagerly awaiting the bands arrival on stage. I was chatting to a few of their fans at the front who had seen them many times and were even wearing their t-shirts as the front row was filled with with people wearing their merch.
The set lists were brought out onto the stage and I noticed there was something different. Normally I’ll try to have a look at the set list, especially for the headliners, and there will be around 10-15 tracks listed, but this one looked a bit longer. After looking closer I counted 20 tracks on their setlist, so this was certainly going to be an epic headline act.
The lights went down, and one by one they made their way out onto the stage. Kicking things off playing a couple of tracks from their 2013 album ‘King of Conflict’, they opened their set with ‘Portrait of Red’ followed by ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ and started what would be around an 80 minute long set.
Some bands would struggle to perform 20 tracks in total, let alone perform 20 original tracks with them all being well put together and have the crowd singing those songs back at you. They have a great following and you can certainly understand why.
With the crowd so full now, I didn’t manage to be able to move around that much when they were on stage, so I stayed in virtually the same place and after I’d taken some photos I put my camera away for a bit and just enjoyed the show, and it was a fantastic show.
Towards the end of their set, they brought out a gong onto the stage and invited an audience member to help out with one of their final songs. It’s always good when bands have that interaction with their fans, it makes each show that little bit different and for the people who get on stage, it can make their night.
Before too long we were coming to the end of what was another awesome show put on by Casbah MMP, you always know you’re in for a treat when you see their name on a show poster. 4 superb acts, all complimenting each other to make it a cracking night, and I’ll be keeping my eye on any more local gigs where The Virginmarys are playing, as I’m sure this won’t be the last time I go along to see them.