Gloomy weather and slight disappointment clouded over me on the Sunday I was not at Soundwave not seeing my favourite band of my childhood. After a packed couple of days it was nice to get together with a few friends at The Lair and groove along to some equally groovy bands.
Arriving just before Bell Weather Department began I was shocked at the lack of an audience that was huddled around the stage. Since I had never listened to Bell Weather Department I was unsure what to expect from the band. Maybe it was the lack of crowd and atmosphere but the band did not really grab my attention the entire set. They played with little enthusiasm from the crowd which included a very randomly placed and unnecessary instrumental in their set. Although near the end of the set they did play a couple of songs that I did somewhat enjoy.
With a slightly larger crowd Jeremy Neale and Co took the stage for a “hay fever awareness gig”. Despite Jeremy’s hay fever he still grooved through a setlist of songs off his latest EP In Stranger Times”and shared some life lessons including making an old pair of black jeans look brand new again. Even though the set was in full swing when ‘Swing Left’ began in the middle of the set it definitely got the crowd moving. Despite the mishaps of a bleeding finger and a broken guitar string, which then lead to an impromptu Iron Man jam, nothing seemed to phase the band who were enjoying the set just as much as the crowd. Closing their set with ‘In Stranger Times’ saw the entire (although tiny) crowd grooving along dancing and singing the Go Violets parts which lead to the song being stuck in my head for the rest of the night.
After the whirlwind that was Jeremy Neale, the co-headliners John Steel Singers took to the stage. I started to feel terrible they began while a sea of Jeremy Neale fans were meeting the man himself for more life lessons which saw a decrease in audience. Beginning their set with ‘Strawberry Wine’, John Steel Singers brought their a-game despite the audience disappearing as their set continued. They mixed their setlist well playing songs off all three of their albums and were full of energy which managed to capture me even though the crowd were quite disappointing. The band ended on ‘Rainbow Kraut‘, which to me was the perfect way to finish the set which was accompanied by a roaring energy and the lead singer on his knees playing his guitar with a drum stick. Seeing them live has definitely made me more of fan than I was previously.
It was an enjoyable gig, although the lack of crowd meant the atmosphere wasn’t as great as what it could have been which made me leave a little disappointed. I would love to see Jeremy Neale and John Steel Singers again although hopefully next time the crowd will not put a dampener on the sets.