I remember a couple of years back perhaps a bit longer I used to attend a lot of these local band nights around Portsmouth now however they are much more few and far between. Last night however I attended the Wedgewood Rooms to see 5 Local bands perform one of which includes a good friend of mine in the band K’junga (my main reason for going) and another Band Dendera who I’ve seen and enjoyed before.
Eden In Vain: –
To be brutally honest its bands like this that are the reason I stopped going to the local band nights, as they are just another screamy beatdown band, and there are so many of them in Portsmouth. Most of them almost identical clones of each other and it became tedious watching the same thing over and over often on the same night. A couple of reasonable harmonious riffs apart not really anything for me as I’ve seen the same thing 100 times before.
If the previous band are the kind of band that reminds me why I stopped attending local gig nights, by contrast Zenthetix are the reason I used to go, there are not many better feelings than seeing a band you know genuinely nothing about and being blown away and impressed by them. This is exactly what Zenthetix achieved last night, self-described on their facebook as a cross between A Perfect Circle and Deftones, Zenthetix put on a genuinely great show had some great songs, and extremely talented bassist and a really good vocalist, definitely a band I’ll be checking out again.
Up next is K’Junga who are a band I’ve seen several times before, this set saw them play almost entirely new material, described by guitarist Tom as being much more ‘GRRR’ than their previous stuff, this was definately the case as the new material was much heavier than previous which also leads to a slight difference in vocal stylings, despite this they still have the K’Junga feel about them. Overall I was impressed by the majority of the new material and the performance was as solid as ever, the only song I wasn’t sure of was the set closer which just didn’t captivate me like the others although this may come with further listens.
Waking Charred: –
I really didn’t get this band and in fact I think I’ve seen them before and said the same then. Waking Charred are an entirely instrumental experimental band, which is fine except none of the songs ever seemed to go anywhere, instead they were often repetitious and offered little to keep me engrossed, the highlight of the set for me was probably the guitarist falling over and that’s all you need to know really.
Up last but certainly not least is Portsmouth’s answer to Iron Maiden, in a set filled with dual harmonies, leads, galloping bass lines and power metal screams Dendera are nothing if not fun, I couldn’t help but be left with a huge grin across my face throughout their entire set. The band consists of some extremely talented individuals the new singer (this has changed since I last saw them) is truly phenomenal, he had a great vocal range, brilliant stage presence and knows how to work the crowd. Amazingly fun though they are my only one criticism would be that perhaps they need to work a bit more on their own identity as the blatant plagiarism of Iron Maiden (everything from the Strat copies to the side by side playing to the run on entrance) could hold them back from reaching their true potential.
Overall it was a good night out where 3 of the 5 bands genuinely impressed me, having once again reacquainted myself with the local music scene there was enough shown to perhaps get me going far more regularly once again.