Gig Review: COV · ROCKS, Square One 27/04/19

All photos in this review are by the brilliant Freya Baker. Thank you for letting me use your material!

With April drawing to a close it was great to fit in one last gig before the month was up. Live Loud Cov are working on building the music scene in Coventry by putting on some awesome events at Coventry University’s SU, Square One, for a bargain price. On Saturday night, six brilliant local acts took to the stage for only a fiver. It is one of the best nights I have had in ages.

First up was rock band New Karma. The quartet got things going nicely with some ace rock n roll tunes. I think the biggest pull of this band are the incredible guitar riffs by Conrad Lummus such as in tunes “Soul Drifter” and intermixed with crashing drums in tracks like “Do It Again”. They are due to release their debut album at some point this year.

© Freya Baker

Next up was the brilliant rock force that is Operation Guillotine. The five-pice female fronted band have had a mention on this blog previously as their single, “No Victory” is a favourite of mine but it was the first time that I’ve seen them live and they were a force to be reckoned with.

They played a pile of originals whilst singer, Alice Clarke, tried to get the crowd dancing. It was passionate, full of energy and simply good fun. I thoroughly enjoyed them! Between songs there was a great balance of good humour and they packed a punch when playing Pat Benatar‘s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”. I certainly was dancing.

© Freya Baker

Bluesy rock trio Brass Hip Flask got a great reception at Square One with the crowd shouting for more. Not only did they play some brilliant originals but also put an unique twist on a couple of covers. They’re a talented bunch.

Fronted by two brothers, Stuart and Callum Mckissock, they carry the songs with their first-rate vocals. Accompanied well with the drum skills of Anna Harris it is a match made in heaven. Their newest single, “The Mountain” was out last Tuesday and really showcases their strengths as a group; classic rock with some blues bars and sweet vocals. Yes please.

© Freya Baker

The fantastic music kept on coming when alt-rock everything aside took to the stage. The trio played a good mix of originals and covers whilst exuding a pure energy. They sounded amazing.

They played ace covers from Fickle Friends to Ellie Goulding but their best had to be “Hard Times” by Paramore – a band I think they share some similarities with. My favourite original of theirs is definitely “No Mistakes”, with haunting vocals from singer Kate Thompson before the drums and heavy guitar kicks in. Their new track “Another You”, which they finished writing on Monday, carries similar vibes. I dig it.

© Freya Baker

Forgetting about the frontman’s bare foot antics from when I’ve previously seen them, I chuckled when alt-rock band The Ellipsis took to the stage. Their whole performance carried so much enthusiasm as if they are fresh onto the scene when actually they’ve been putting out music since 2014.

My favourite track from the award-winning band is “Wasted Potential Me” which I have been listening to for quite some time so hearing it on Saturday night had me banging my head and chanting the lyrics. I cannot wait for the release of their new song “Grow” which is full of catchy drums and killer riffs. A seamless set with top banter in between songs – it was a perfect balance.

© Freya Baker

Last – but by no means least – was headliner FREE GALAXY. I have seen this alt-rock band a few times now but their best performance, for me, was on Saturday night. Kicking things off with single “Evolution” they showed that they weren’t there to mess around.

I may be biased but I love this band. I think they are incredibly talented and pack great passion for what they are doing. Hearing “Leave Me”, which was out on Friday, post release was brilliant and had a different effect from having heard it at their other gigs. It is still my favourite although I think they should release “A Thing Or Two” – it is another good one.

© Freya Baker

Awesome vocals, riffs and stage presence I wasn’t surprised when the crowd shouted for one more song once they departed the stage. However, I wasn’t expecting the band to actually walk back out and get into their previous positions. After telling the audience they may need help with the words the opening bars of Arctic Monkeys‘ “I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor” started to play and the crowd went nuts.

What a brilliant way to round off a successful night at Square One.

© Freya Baker

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