It’s cold. Cold outside, raining and I’m stood waiting for Rock city to open the doors to see two of the UK’s best instrumental bands play at one of my favourite venues. The doors finally open, and the few people there trundle into an equally cold Rock City Basement. There’s an atmosphere of anticipation around though, from the few that have turned up early for opening band Gallops.
Gallops are from Wrexham. They play interesting, intelligent instrumental rock music. It’s got hints of post rock, dance and often evokes imagery of playing video games. The set is short, about 6 songs, however, the band manages to fully captivate the audience which is slowly growing. The tracks build and swell, into cacophonous sections that just reminded me of boss fights in games like Metroid. The closing track, which I meant to ask the band its title, was a fantastic blend of the previously mentioned video game influenced instrumentals with liberal helpings of electronic and dance music added in. It worked fantastically and everyone i could see was nodding along, many in awe of the absolutely amazing drumming throughout the set. The bands last hurrah goes out with a cheer and claps from the crowd, Gallops have certainly impressed tonight, and it’s always nice to see a UK band doing well. (3.5/5)
Tonights headliners are Maybeshewill from Leicester, another veteran of the British post rock scene. They know what they do and they do it exceptionally well, going to Nottingham for University meant I’ve seen them a fair few times and they never disappointed. Tonight is no exception. They’ve been going since 2005 and in my opinion, deserve to be absolutely huge. They create soundscapes that build upon themselves peppered with keys that help create this atmospheric, heavy but beautiful sound. The transitions between loud, chaotic apocalyptic walls of noise to beautiful melodic parts are flawless and flow seamlessly. The band play some new tracks, some old which all garner a fantastic reception from the audience, who thankfully have grown in number creating some warmth in the room.
Overall Maybshewill deserve all the success they get, and more, they always manage to put on an absolutely great show, energetic and fun to watch as well as hear. For me, they were the band of the night. (4/5)
The night on the whole was good, it was a nice change to have just two bands playing, Gallops and Maybeshewill complimented each other, their sounds working well next to each other and two of the UK’s best instrumental bands put on a great night at Rock City. Its just a shame more people didn’t turn out.
Words by Ryan Clayton (@clayton_ryan)