This review was written by Jordan Moores for Indie Midlands.
Sunday night at the Sunflower Lounge was a gig to not have missed
lightly, with music from Souki, 11 57, Flares and Riscas. Now I had only seen one of these bands before unfortunately, but now I want to see them all again! If not to see the great acts again, so I can get the song names right next time (apologies if I got them wrong).
Souki started off this event with a song called “Peach”. In general, I am not sure of the track names throughout their set due to a quiet microphone so I struggled to hear them but this song had a good bass line in it and a good guitar solo. The next song kicked off with a funky bass line, and towards the middle had a guitar solo that lasted the rest of the song. “6/8” was next on the set which had this chilled out indie rock sound with both a strong guitar and bass line keeping it interesting. “C3P0” had a captivating bass line.
Their last song didn’t have a name yet, not that I missed it this time! It had a long building up tense sounding drum, guitar and bass line, which then led into this calmer break down. Unfortunately this song and set ended on a sour note as they didn’t seem fully coordinated in the finishing of the song.
I’ve seen Souki play once before, and this was a definite improvement since then,
they had a better stage presence and more energy than before. Despite the
microphone issues they had they were all very talented musicians. Despite being the
first act and people still arriving they had the crowd getting ready for the rest of the
Next up was 11 57 who started their set with a song called “Talk”; a perfect song to start with. They jumped straight into it with lots of energy which had the crowd moving already. They then moved onto “Wrong” which had a good vocal line in it also a soloing section where all three members were playing off each others part. “Beware The Bear” started with a good bass line walking up and down with a backing of an ambient guitar which had some nice licks in it. This lead up to a heavy break down with a solo that passed between the three.
Their next song is currently unnamed as it’s new. It had a rhythmic bass line that got the crowd moving and had a chorus they could chant back. “Would I Lose” starts off with a bass line that the guitar links back into with catchy riffs. Their last song I missed the name of completely, but it followed straight in with some good riffs off the guitar and the drums. A heavy drum solo leading into a fade out ending was a strong way to end their set.
11 57 have only been around since August and are very talented, doing coordinated
stops, solos, and have a great stage presence. This three piece all seemed like great friends, which made their set full of chemistry. They looked like they were there
having fun which passed onto the audience for sure.
Flares started off great for me, I missed the song name, but it was a great listen for sure, good riffs and vocals. “Tunnel Vision” next; it had a guitar riff lead straight in from the last song. There was a break down which set the crowd off, moshing and even a crowd surfer. The intro to their next song, “Stuck”, had these coordinated stops with a controlled solo. Ending with a fake out and one last chorus was a good way to keep the crowd enthralled.
“Parma Violet” had this funky riff going which incorporated these stops which were all in-sync, the drumming stood out in this song. Not stopping, “Keep It” started off with a strong guitar riff with these back and forth vocals the two singers were doing. There were these good build ups which lead to a climatic finish, but the guitar and drums started leading into the next song – a cover of “Never Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift. The bass player swapped with the singer. This version was much more rockier and heavier than the original but the crowd were still singing it straight back at them.
They then went into “Over There” which seemed to have some guitar loops going through building up this riff during the verses. “Lightning” was their last song of their set which kicked off with some strong drum and guitar riffs, with harmonies from the singers. During the build up to the chorus they had a clapping section for the crowd. Then to finish it off there was a drum and guitar solo which was incredible, and topping it all off was a comedic lick tight at the end Flares had a great feel on the stage, they seemed to control the crowd from there as they didn’t stop once.
The venue was alive from this four piece due to great music and the crowd. Very talented members all round, however the drummer and guitarist stood out as they never seemed to stop, they were always linking one song to the next. Another band on the list to see again.
Riscas was headlining this fantastic event for Discover Birmingham. Another song another name missed… This song had a great riff going through it with good vocals on top. The drums lead well to the chorus. “Calypso” was up next with a strong drum beat leading into the two guitarists riffing off each other. Up next is “Panic Like Tom” which had a fast guitar riff to start things off, with the guitarist jumping off his amp! That definitely got the crowd raring to go.
They then played “Dance” which had another good start from the drums but also having both guitarists doing different riffs working off each other. There was this funky beat going throughout which made people, me at least, want to ‘dance’. “Complex” was next, which straight away started with a guitar and drum solo. Then towards the end both guitarists started soloing which lasted through the last chorus and to the end.
Following that they played “Talk Your Mind” which had a good bass line that was
getting people moving. There was a big build up that lead into a guitar solo which
then went into the chorus. With a break down afterwards, they laid their instruments
down signalling the end of their set… Of course, they had an encore prepared and ready.
“Hide Away” started off initially well, with a good guitar riff and a leading drum line, but something must have happened to the other guitar as it didn’t work. The rest of the band had a little jam whilst the guitar problems got fixed. The song then went great, two competing guitar riffs, good drum beat, and an upbeat chorus left a good feeling after an unfortunate start to the song.
Riscas had the crowd going from the moment they started playing. Every member was excellent and no-one held anyone back. When they were in full swing the energy on the stage was great, you could tell they were all there having fun. The singer was joking around between songs which is always a crowd pleaser. It’s always impressive seeing two guitarists doing different things but linking up and sounding great.
All in all, a great set and an amazing way to finish a class night.
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