Review – Gazelle at The Cookie, Saturday 30th March 2019

Luna Rosa


AVNT GARDS, Luna Rosa and Sugarthief

Reviewed by Aleksandra Brzezicka.

This event was organised by This Feeling.

Within hours, psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll and laid-back ambience transformed into the crowd surfing mosh pit shouting football chants.

The four-piece band from Leicester, AVNT GARDS got the ball rolling with Get To Know and it’s psychedelic indie vibe. An aerial alt-rock sound created by Cairen Dheensa (guitar/vocals), Rashik Aryal-(lead guitar), Aran Tattar (bass), Tom O’Callaghan (drums/vocals) was so cheerfully flirtatious that I got butterflies in my stomach in the very first minutes of the show. Kunt Shower got the crowd even more excited and jumpy with the lively tempo changes, lovely intro and outro. Though the ultimate favourite was Daydream, from debut EP, I Didn’t Branch Out Into Horror Until Later On, walk in the woods like, with occasional high-pitched guitars, funky effects in the soulful groovy aura. AVNT GARDS have a charm of The Beatles with a rock ‘n’ indie twist.

AVNT GARDS Photo: NKM Photography

‘We got nothing to lose’ go the lyrics to Luna Rosa’s The Fire Inside. And the way that Rory McDade sang it, made it painfully authentic. Guys from Luna Rosa are the post-rebels in our world of non-stop apocalypse, translating the profound disappointment and anger into the dirty poetry full of raw riffs, mad breakdowns and soul-wrecking vocals. Mercurial Man was a powerful confession of a confused cynic to the prog grungy instrumental, Fever, a punk ballad, balanced well between distorted noise and subtle buzzing melody. And Spread My Ashes Anywhere But Here, a trigger that moves something deep inside you, something you forgot about and wanted to keep buried. Performed live, it breaks people into pieces. After getting it back together, Luna Rosa left us with a new single, reminding of Nirvana with an extra energy kick, MK Ultra and the desire for more.

Luna Rosa Photo: NKM Photography

Sugarthief from Birmingham played the gig like they didn’t care at all. Distant cool-headed crew, surrounded by the aura of cold ambient and their instruments. And they couldn’t be cooler. The Cookie was the last stop on their i before e EP release tour so the set naturally featured tracks from their newest launch. Jordi James (vocals/guitar), Jack James (guitar), Reece Downton (drums) and Luke Owen (bass) chaotically dreamy sound went beyond indie rock category. Melancholically nonchalant vocals fit perfectly into the disturbingly beautifully composed instrumental. The keyboards were a nice touch.

Sugarthief even managed to play, better than fine, Talk In Moderation without Spilt Milk Society (they co-wrote the song), keeping it as pleasantly tranquil and seductive as the original. I’m waiting for more to come.

Sugarthief Photo: NKM Photography

The crowd was already buzzing before Gazelle took over the stage. After it was only madder, louder and dirtier. Starting with rock ‘n’ roll loaded Going Nowhere, they set the mood for the rest of the night. Ryan Dunn (vocals/guitar), Ben Gooch (guitar), Richard Sorbi (bass) and Danny Wright (drums) describe themselves as ‘four working-class lads uninspired by today’s music charts writing real music.’ And there’s only some truth to that. Outside with Smokers got the cheeky energy to it, Guilt Trip Gun (new single) brought us military commentary and Finger on The Trigger was their best composition. Yet there’s been a kind of flatness to all of it, the lack of surprises and originality that would make them stand out.

Though, in the end, everyone seemed to have the night of their life. Chanting, moshing and dancing. Everyone but me. Maybe I wasn’t drunk enough.

Gazelle Photo: NKM Photography

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