Tonight was the night I could finally tick off The Crofter’s Rights as the only venue I hadn’t been to in Bristol. To say I was a little excited to be doing this seeing RavenEye would be an understatement. Tucked away in Stokes Croft, Bristol, The Crofter’s Rights is certainly a venue with style. The entrance to this almost closet sized venue has the most wonderful, with edgy collages adorning the entrance. A small crowd built up at the bar shortly before doors, including a small group of regulars at RavenEye shows which, as a tour addict myself, was a pleasure to see. They, and I, knew that to see the guys in a venue this small would be a real treat!
Flowerpot, the first band to take the stage, certainly took me by surprise! They are something I have been longing to see, and write about, for an exceptionally long time, a young, all-female band; a very pleasant surprise indeed then! I patently wasn’t alone in my surprise or excitement either, as they won over a lot of people by the end of their short 30 minute set. The vocalist, with hair in almost every colour of the rainbow, had the same beautiful craziness in her voice; unquestionably powerful, and at times, almost dirty undertones, which really gave the band a unique sound. A new, but unreleased song, ‘Quinn Condition’, was also featured in the set. It was thunderous. The overall sound of the song was wonderfully heavy, without being gratuitously so; an increasingly difficult line to walk in the scene today. I must confess that, throughout the set, the perhaps unsung hero seemed to be the mild-mannered guitarist who, quietly and humbly, nailed solo after solo, to the delight of everyone in the room! This, coupled with the heavy-hitting bass riffs and tom solos, encouraged a large crowd to loosen up and get going, which is thoroughly enthusing for such a young band. If this is what the next generation has to offer rock, it certainly isn’t dead!
Following a short changeover, RavenEye jumped on stage, and I found myself facing a real struggle in terms of formulating the words to describe their phenomenal set. They started what was to be a hit-packed night with the punchy ‘Come With Me’, from their latest release ‘Nova’. This started the set with an infectious punk beat, and it’s infectiousness was indicative of the night that was to come. Before I continue, I must offer some brief description on the highlight of the evening. It is one thing to stage dive, or to jump in amongst the crowd and perform a solo, but it is another entirely to have a bassist/guitarist totem pole weave its way through the crowd, whilst simultaneously bestowing an irresistible breakdown upon us! This was not an anomaly in terms of the antics that took place tonight… Brown also jumped on the bass drum at regular intervals to melt our faces with insane solo work, and they may or may not have broken some of their equipment in the process; it must have been a relief that tonight was the last night of tour. This very nicely brings me on to the most endearing aspect of RavenEye live. As well as being technically and lyrically excellent, they are amongst the most passionate groups I have ever had the privilege of seeing. The delight evident on their faces when people sang their lyrics back to them was a joy. The drummer, for example, was simply crazy, and had that wild look in his eye (you know the one?), for the entirety of their set.
I have never seen a band look so happy on stage. And by the time RavenEye had finished their set, and indeed their tour, I left the venue feeling very much the same way.
Review: Amy Jefferies.