|The Guns/Canterbury/Revoker – Ebbw Vale, Institute - 16th April 2010|
|Written by Rob Watkins|
|Wednesday, 28 April 2010 06:00|
Over the years, Ebbw Vale has had the occasional musical bandwagon roll into town, the Leisure Centre once hosted Gillan at the height of their popularity during the 'Magic' tour of 1982, bringing Spider along for the ride. Blackie Lawless and W.A.S.P. brought their wares here in the winter of 2006. Whilst in 2008 it was Asia who proved their super group status with a stunning performance.
Fast forward to 2010, and the hometown of Jeff Banks and Brian Hibbard has had the fantastic, almost gothic Institute building renovated as an arts and culture centre. Put simply, the evi (Ebbw Vale Institute) is the best venue for miles and a welcome shot in the arm for the town. Tonight it offers us the 'Four Nights In Wales' tour, consisting of The Guns and Canterbury plus local support.
Opening band Revoker are definitely not here to make the numbers up, the Rhymney valley boys having just confirmed an appearance at this year's 30th Anniversary Download Festival. Formerly known as A470 (a well know road that runs through the valley), the guys rip through some stylish head banging, with a sound drawing from a wide Eighties and Nineties mix of influences, but with their own identity stamp engraved into it. Vocalist Jamie Mathias has a style well ahead of his years on tracks like 'Stay Down', 'Psychoville', 'Cold Embrace', 'Let It Burn' and 'Outlaw' and even has the balls to shout "Scream For Me Ebbw Vale" not once, but twice.
Hailing from Hampshire, Canterbury are a Noughties pop tinted quintet with musical nods dating back to Eighties electro-pop all scrambled together with a modern up to date sound. They have some decent harmonies on tunes like 'Peace & Quiet', 'Set You Right' and the charmingly titled 'Friends? We're More Like A Gang'. These animated young gentlemen put the evi stage to full use, and new single 'Gloria' stands out as a particular highlight, but check these guys out for yourselves on their Myspace where you can download the debut album 'Thank You' for free. Yes that's right, free.
Tonight's headliners are The Guns, and if you haven't heard or seen them live already, you've definitely heard a whisper about them.
What exactly is it about South Wales producing band after band of such high quality, it seems that the kids no longer want to play rugby or football, and every young scruff wants to be a rock star. Guns vocalist/guitarist/frontman, Alex Wiltshire seems to have that essential larger than life persona required for the role, with some cutting comments and 'don't give a fuck' attitude shining through brightly. And there are some cool musical interludes on tracks like 'On Like Donkey Kong', 'Treacle & Pie' and 'Eff Right Off' to name but a few of their set.
Tonight we were also treated to some new additions to The Guns camp in the shape of a new female drummer along with a female backing singer, both fitting in perfectly alongside the fellas.
Check out 'The Muthafucking Guns' when they come to your town or city sometime in 2010. They are certainly worth a listen. Tonight was great value for money bill of music from a great new venue. A venue that is about to set the Welsh valleys alight with the sound of new music.