Skirmish Presents and Matt Hurley come together to put on a show both championing the local scene and showcasing emerging talent. Two back to back gigs the first at the infamous Chaplins and Cellar Bar the second at The Winchester. Whilst we would have loved to be at both it was the cozy second home we call The Winchester where we caught the heavy dose of this musical madness.
Matt JR Hurley starts things off with a soulful serene set of songs. Labelling himself as the quietest act of the evening he doesn’t fail to strike a chord. Dexterous guitar with mindful and heartfelt lyricism it’s a set that says a lot. The honest ode to Badbury Rings was a particular highlight. What he lacks in decibel he more than makes up for with questions, it’s a set that gets you thinking and it was a great way to relax into the night ahead, we’d love to see him again in a setting more suited, maybe a field in Badbury Rings
Sirpico as always take to the stage like they were born to be there. Effortless, powerful, charismatic and engaging. New track ‘Jenny Lee’ tries out its legs on the Winchester crowd for the first time and possibly steals the show, it takes the sum of everything that is truly great about this band, all their influences, passions and skillsets and melds them together in almost the perfect fit, definitely looking forward to hearing it again, a beautiful culmination of the talent displayed trough out the rest of the set. This is a band that draws from a rough and ready roster of inspiration and merges it into something entirely unique. Whilst the vocals reach out and grab you by the balls, the honky tonk piano smoothes your hair down and tells you not to worry before the drums start slapping you repeatedly around the chops as the guitar tickles you from behind. It can be a confusing experience, the influence base is definitely wide and varied but they merge it together into a sound that is their own and somehow totally engaging. On certain tracks the bass struts in others it languishes in the background a little, call us heathen but ‘Jenny Lee’ is a prime example of how well the bass can work for this band and it’s a little hidden under the keys at times but completely sells the sound when it comes through. This is a fantastic local band going from strength to strength and they never disappoint live, if you haven’t already check them out, we’ll definitely be at the next show.
Tenth Electric come onto the stage with the voltage deserving of their name. The crowd quickly absorbs what is being fed to them in the form of an almost frantic energy, the band feed of the reverb giving it back doubled. We came in completely unaware of who the lads were and left with one hell of an impression, what they do live has a fury to it that is unfortunately missing from what we’ve since listened to recorded. They sound a little tamed by the studio, whilst the production should be applauded they hardly even sound like the same band we saw the other day. Because what we saw was a set that stormed through the crowd, tracks like ‘Grenade’ and ‘Hell Or High Water’ are fuelled by electronica but turbo charged by a good ol’ diesel rock’n’roll motor. The set lost verve a little in the middle with a mic dropping out during a Muse cover, but it was quickly fixed. We’d love to hear some more of that fire in their published releases, for now we can definitely recommend you catch them whilst they’re touring because it’s a ride you don’t want to miss. Winning the Exposure Music Awards is just the start of what is no doubt going to be an interstellar journey for them.
As always a lot of love goes to The Winchester for hosting what continue to be some of the best music nights in the area and to Matt Hurley and Skirmish Presents for inviting us down and putting this all together. Follow all the bands they are all completely worth checking out and forming your own opinion on.
Words by Matt Miles