20th December 2014
Christmas show at The Firebug
by Trevor Locke
I remember very well going to the Firebug in December of 2013 to Resin’s Christmas show. When the band announced, many months ago, that they would be doing another Christmas show at the Firebug, I made sure that the date was in my diary.
As with the 2013 show, tonight’s line-up was extremely good: Temple of Lies, Martyr de Mona and Slam Cartel supporting Resin’s headline slot. I am tempted to say it was better than last year’s line-up (but won’t say that – it would be invidious): Mage, Mordecai, Hell’s Addiction. Let’s just say, both nights were superbly good.
Music in Leicester published a feature article on Resin in June 2013. We can go back a lot further than that. I wrote about the first time I ever saw Resin at a gig:
Hinckley five piece Resin opened their set with an acoustic session, presumably because they wanted to demonstrate the band’s musical versatility. Job done! Finishing that, they picked a fresh set of instruments and broke into an electric set. Playing an extended set of covers and their own songs, the finale to the show capped a night of quality entertainment. Lead vocalist James Botha put on an impressive performance, showing talented interpretations of songs and delivering well-rounded singing. They covered Jackson’s ‘Billy Jean’; it was a convincingly good interpretation, not just a karaoke style performance of it. They brought the song alive, putting in feeling and drama. Not having seen them before, I was impressed by their musical skill, their dedication and their ability to evoke mood and atmosphere, both in their own songs and in their covers. I did like their cover of a System of Down song. [Arts in Leicester Magazine, Sunday 16th January 2011, Go Primitive, Re:session and Resin at The Shed.]
When I saw them again, at year later, I wrote:
Normally a full electric band, Hinckley’s Resin, performed tonight as a four piece acoustic group. The vocals from lead singer James Botha and guitarist Mark Roseby were well blended. This a Group of well experienced and skilled musicians who are every bit as good at their acoustic work as they are when playing with their drummer in a full electric set. The performance was laden with style and character and they delivered a superb set of original songs and covers, including Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean, to which they brought their own inimitable style. A pleasing end to a really good evening of musical talent. [Arts in Leicester Magazine, Tuesday 3rd January 2012. The Musician. ObsUnplugged.]
By this time I was firmly confirmed as a fan of Resin. So was my co-writer Kevin Gaughan who said
I don’t envy a band that have to follow the previous, however Resin were not phased, starting with a solid, rocky drive that immediately showed their musical talent, both in writing and performing. I took to the singer straight away, a powerful vocalist with a pure rock sound. Their own compositions had the pleasing tones of late 90s/early naughties bands such as Staind. Although maybe lacking slightly in stage presence, instrumentally Resin have some real talent; a brilliant drummer and a really good solidly bass player (with a very impressive beard!) created the foundations for the guitarists to let loose. Both players use their guitars very well, especially lead guitarist Mark Roseby … wow! What a guitarist! Resin finished their set with a rendition of Alive by Pearl Jam, and my word they nailed it, totally made by Mark’s incredible solo. [Arts in Leicester Magazine, Saturday 31st March 2012. The Musician. OBS.]
When Resin played a few months later at The Soundhouse, more complimentary comments appeared:
Resin’s music is always listenable, full of engaging melodies as well as head banging beats and strong vocal lines, ingeniously woven together in their striking dynamics of the tunes. Their songs pulsated with richly resonating rhythms and riffs, lead by the characterful voice of lead singer James Botha. With a set of songs that have that appealing nu metal tone, I loved their dramatic colours and fine musicianship. Well written songs with sizzling guitar passages they delivered their music with a taut passion and deft commitment. [Arts in Leicester Magazine, Saturday 2nd June 2012. Soundhouse]
When I saw Resin in August 2012 I wrote:
Resin. That special, unmistakable sound. Two strong lead vocalists. Full-on metal. Earth shattering vocals from lead singer. Played with real passion. Controlled explosion. Third song – Entropy. You can’t help but do head banging. It’s underlying drama and sultry colour in the vocal line. Music that gets you. Taut dynamics. Scorching guitar solos and soaring arpeggios, rising and falling. Song four – Plush. Serious cheering when the song was announced. Lead vocalist seriously good, like the lead singer from Linkin Park. Song five – Instinct. Twangy guitar intro. Luscious vocal lines. Chorus – power rock with shared vocals. Ponderous, brooding sounds in the vocals. Lead with power with infectious shouty vocals. electrifying. Song 6 – Carpe Diem. Another twangy intro. Massive, powerful melodic lines. It’s like listening to one of the world’s great bands. Sensational song writing. Instrumental inventiveness. The real essence of rock. The seventh song had deliciously ear-pleasing vocals keep the spirit of nu-rock alive. A superb band. Their cover of an Audioslave song got the audience moving. [History of Music in Leicester (forthcoming), Wednesday 1st August 2012. The Musician with The DedBeats, Resin and Steve Faulkner.]
Resin’s set at the 2013 Riverside festival, on the main stage, was superbly good:
Resin, from Hinckley, put on a superb set of their own songs and captured and held the attention of a large crowd of music fans. A resoundingly good set saw lead singer James Botha doing one huge leap on the stage. A real festival-style performance. You could see heads nodding in the crowd and by the end of the set the whole of the stage area had filled with people. [Arts in Leicester Magazine, The Riverside Festival, 9th and 10th June.]
Which brings us full circle back to more recent times:
The headline event arrived. With a back of stage projection and a pre-recorded track forming the intro, the musicians came on the stage to cheers and whistles from the audience. This was the night on which Resin launched their album Embrace The Fall. As the band performed, photos of them were projected on to the back of the stage. After the cheering had subsided, Resin’s first song got under way. The richly mixed sounds and well blended instrumentals delivered a captivating listening experience to the packed house. On the sound desk, Resin’s own sound engineer, Dean Sharman, was in control of the mixing. As breath-taking guitar solos soared across the hall, the Album Launch took the audience through the songs that appear in the album. Like many of the fans, we had got to know several of these songs really well. We have always liked Resin’s music, ever since they first formed as a band. The band has exceptional abilities across the board, not just in making incredibly good music but in their professional approach to organising themselves and in their mature professionalism as a well organised team of hard working musicians. Resin’s songs have an iconic, world-class feel to them. The audience seemed to agree, judging from the enthusiastic applaud at the end of each song. A feature of the distinctive Resin music is the chromatic sound of lead guitarist Mark Roseby, producing a highly recognisable twang, not found in many other bands. The voice of James Botha is also a feature that makes Resin’s songs so immediately recognisable. [Wednesday 19th December 2012. The Firebug. Resin debut album, ‘Embrace the Fall’, launch gig]
A band with a history; a band written into the history books. Sadly, tonight’s performance was billed as being Resin’s last ever show. Various members of the band have decided to move on. But they went out with a bang. The band’s performance tonight was once of those iconic moments in one’s gig-going experience. I am so pleased that I was there to see it. Over the years I have seen a few bands take their last bow before disappearing forever and even one or two have made a come-back. Resin is one band whose passing is lamentable. Since they started, they have added many nights of real musical quality to the musical life of Leicester (and beyond.) And when the history of music in Leicester is written (hopefully next year) the name Resin will stand alongside many other great bands that have enriched the life of our city.
Tonight Resin played some of their best-loved tunes; whether their own distinctly original songs or their takes on well-known covers (like the Alice in Chains cover they did when Louis joined them on-stage) it was all top-notch and marvellously enjoyable.
We should not forget that Resin played at Bloodstock Festival this year (August 9th.) They were at The Hinckley Music festival this year. Watch Resin, play Alive (Pearl Jam cover) at Hinckley Music Festival 2014 12/07/14. Hopefully a lot of the videos will be around for some time to come and the band’s tracks which they uploaded. Tonight they played their song Clouds – one of their first – which can be heard on YouTube. Probably the one Resin track I most remember as being their defining sound.
The support bands for tonight were thrilling. Leicester’s Temple of Lies provided a powerful start to the night. From their origins in 2006, they have gone on to establish themselves as major band. Read about them on the Temple of Lies website.
Stourbridge band Martyr de Mona is one that I have followed for a long time. I have been a huge fan of this band and in my own opinion they have produced some of the best hard rock songs I have ever heard. Tonight they were no less thrilling and their music was technically brilliant. If you want to see why I find them so exceptionally good you can watch and hear them on the Martyr de Mona website. They have played in Leicester before, at The Shed and The Musician. Seeing them back here tonight was pure bliss. Listen to more Martyr de Mona tracks on Soundcloud. Martyr de Mona played at the Shed, on Saturday 19th January 2008. I wrote:
Have you ever been to one of those tedious gigs where bands seem to have been selected at random to play in a line up? You know the ones I mean: a punk band followed by an emo band followed by a death metal band followed by some ska, followed by a dreadful headache … a senseless jumble of musical idioms and large variations in quality of musicianship. The hard rock line up at the Shed, headlined by Dudley band Martyr De Mona demonstrated what a good show is all about – five well-chosen, musically balanced bands all of whom were excellent at what they were doing – playing great rock music. With hardly one cover all night, we were treated to some amazingly good songwriting. Martyr De Mona made their debut in Leicester last year, drawing an enthusiastic response from the audience. They came back last night and showed everyone just what a superb set of artists they are. MDM have some songs which are clearly hits, just waiting for a chart. They have a strong stage presence and their music is well-rounded and professional quality stuff. But setting aside all the well-earned plaudits about their technical finesse, we can just say this is one hugely enjoyable band. If you go to a show to hear good rock music, well-played and well performed, this is a band to look out for. [Arts in Leicester Magazine.]
The lineup for that gig included Deceptikon , Negative Brody, Set in Stone and Aikon. All great bands.
In an interview with Arts in Leicester Magazine, Resin’s Sime said:
Sime: We have played with loads of local bands and artists. It’s difficult to say who’s best, as they’re all good, in their own right. Our personal favourites are Leicester band Black Page Turns, Go Primitive from Rugby and Martyr de Mona from Stourbridge. We’ve kept in touch with both of these and went to support Martyr de Mona in an acoustic show after they supported us at the Soundhouse. [Arts in Leicester Magazine, March 2012]
When I saw Martyr de Mona at the Shed in 2009 I said:
Martyr de Mona is one of my favourite bands and I have seen them play live in both Leicester and Birmingham and in my view they are one of the best rock bands in the Midlands. As soon as they began to play the opening riffs of their first song, a tingle went down my spine and a hair bristling shiver made me ready for the thrill of seeing this band again. MDM play hard rock, a bit metalish in some respects, somewhat classic in others but a massive sound that pours off the stage in great waves, sparkling with complex guitar arpeggios and driven by the vibrant voice of front man Louis Hale, tightly supported by the backing vocals of guitarist Simon Blewitt, with Stephen Williams (bass) and Jay Miles on drums, pumping out the backing. This is rock music at its best. MDM know how to write crisp and compelling songs that throb with big irresistible beats. Their songs have remarkable dynamics; one song began with an eery, evocative intro, the lead guitarist producing a strange, ethereal sound by picking the strings of the headstock. The song then exploded into a rolling burst of thunder and lightning. This band produces grand music that glitters with presence and huge majestic swathes of sound, ranging from irresistible primeval beats through to great mountains of music. Taut razor-edged playing, strong vocals and powerful high-octane songs, this is rock music at its best. [Arts in Leicester Magazine, Saturday 5th December, 2009, The Shed]
When MDM was at The Soundhouse, I saw them and wrote:
The band I had gone down to see, however, was Martyr De Mona. Playing in Leicester for the first time in two years, it was a rare chance to see this awe-inspiring band again. When the Dudley band were in Leicester before [January 2008], I wrote: ‘ Martyr De Mona made their debut in Leicester last year, drawing an enthusiastic response from the audience. They came back last night and showed everyone just what a superb set of artists they are. MDM have some songs which are clearly hits, just waiting for a chart. They have a strong stage presence and their music is well-rounded and professional quality stuff. But setting aside all the well-earned plaudits about their technical finesse, we can just say this is one hugely enjoyable band. If you go to a show to hear good rock music, well played and well performed, this is a band to look out for.’ Louis Hale manages to carry over it. His strong voice is excellent at keeps the melodic line sweeping over the thrashing and pounding sounds of the guitars and drums. Guitarist Simon Blewitt comes in with underscoring vocals to highlight certain words and phrases and in one of the songs lets out an impressive blood curdling scream. [Arts in Leicester Magazine, June 2011.]
So, you see tonight’s show brought back a lot of memories for me; treasured ones, ones that are unforgettable.
Discovering new bands is equally as important and tonight I saw Slam Cartel for the first time. This London five-piece hard rock band put on a really good show with powerfully charged vocals from lead singer Gary Moffat. The band’s debut album Handful of Dreams received enthusiastic reviews. One band who, I think, many of us would like to see again in Leicester.
A great night; a line-up of excellent bands; a musical experience I was so glad I did not miss.