The Strypes, what an amazing atmosphere to walk in to, the excitement of the crowd being contained with anticipation, the many held breaths in the audience standing ready to listen to what these young men had to offer musically.
The quirkiness of the band really fits in well with the venue. The LiVE venue has a very modern twist and has recently transformed from what used to be a dull corridor in a large building to an exciting new music venue, it’s different because it exists bang smack in the middle of a large building that almost feels like a shopping centre.
I captured the moment Ross got out his tambourine, and with some strong vocals the sounds reached my ears and the gig began. Josh stood a wide stance in guitar whilst he played to the drummer towards the back of the stage. Behind Closed Doors was the first song on the set list.
Pete’s bass playing was intense, he just looked like he was having so much fun, bobbing around the stage, weaving in and out of the other band members. The music the Strypes create is a mixture of Rock and Roll and raw emotion. You can tell these people want to make music. One thing that really stood out to me about the music was the collaboration of voices, the harmonies really showed how each of the voices complimented each other, with Josh the guitarist and Ross singing together it brought a new depth to the song.
I have never heard anybody except one local band I know called “Dirty Bare Feet” and two particular guys called Elliot and Tommy play a harmonica with such skill, I need to credit Ross for his ability to change between harmonica and vocals, it gave such a country Americanised feel to the songs.
The sound filled the room up very well and the drummer Evan really set the pace well and showed off his talent intensely throughout the set. With his funky eye protection on he looked concentrated on his logo’d kit, whilst Josh concentrated on his signature stare in to the audience.
I found that they had great crowd talking techniques where they advertised their new album Spitting Image during the set. It seemed so natural in conversation I barely noticed it was a selling technique.
I found that the music progressed more to sound like country rock after that, which I found interesting as it made them differentiate from other gigs I’ve seen. The guitarist Josh moved from the front and the back of the stage quite often which just showed how well they used the space around them, they didn’t just stand next to each other as a band and let the music play, they let the music take them on a journey.
They were all very theatrical in the ways they chose to do that, with Pete literally dancing with his instrument even clapping his hands in enthusiasm at one point!
I got to go backstage which is where I took this picture of Evan during an intense drumming solo which I thought was incredible. It sounded well practiced and to have that much capability of rhythm in your body takes pure skill. The drummer’s good transition between songs really encouraged the audience to move.
Ross did a great job of fooling me in to thinking that the song was over, only to surprise me and bring it back. Those series of silences during the middle of the songs really added to the climax. When the song was brought back it was much stronger and the crowd loved it even more each time. The way they worked the audience by doing that was incredible, I also liked the fact by stopping the songs and bringing it back gave it a reggae feel. I have to say I was very pleased to hear the song Garden Of Eden and I heard one of the crowd say “they’re killing it” about Pete and Josh but it was definitely said in a positive way.
“Get in it” was executed superbly with an incredible performance, with great vocals.
I would have to say Josh performed one of the best guitar solos I’ve seen, it was so unusual like when you change settings on an electric piano. It literally sounded out of this world.
The way they ended the gig was amusing one of them said “This is the last of our set, this next one’s a fat one it’s mystery man”
The transition between this song and the last one they played sounded crisp and polished. There was not any room for error.
They continued playing some more songs, the few that stood out to me towards the end had to be “Scumbag City Blues” Josh got all the crowd to kneel down and jump up when the song intensified, and the Bassist Pete hung off the Ceiling rather like a monkey. I remember thinking it must take a lot of upper body strength to do that plus I bet Health and Safety weren’t pleased. I managed to catch up with the band shortly after the gig and I met Evan’s dad who was running the stall. They were all lovely kind people that had a lot of time for their audience signing books, T shirts, even my phone case.
Pete stated” Absolutely brilliant crowd couldn’t have wished for a better night.”
The drummer Evan said” amazing night, amazing crowd, couldn’t have been better really, cool venue and I had a nice time.”