I recently ran an interview feature with Exeter based multi genred quartet WITTERQUICK, during which I learned that they were playing a 6 date UK tour, culminating in a homecoming show at The Cavern in the heart of Exeter on July 26th, I just had to be at the show to see what all the hype was about….
For the past 30 odd years, The Cavern’s doors have opened at 8pm, as I rolled up and checked in, I was told that band 2 were midway through their set….now EITHER the first band were a thrash metal act akin to Napalm Death with a catalogue of 20 second numbers which they managed to rattle through in 3 minutes or I was late……YEP, I was late!
So I completely missed Taunton alt rock trio LAST ONE HOME but I heard from some people that they played a great set which really set the scene for the rest of the evening, sorry guys, I’ll check the door times next time…. If you want to hear their latest offering ‘You Don’t Have to Hold On’, check them out on SPOTIFY.
As I entered the main room, I managed to catch the final few songs from Devon indie rockers HAYTOR whose sound echoed the likes of Panic! At The Disco, The 1975 & Catfish & The Bottlemen, which is never a bad thing! The lead singer took to the audience for a bit of a dance and come the end of the set, it appeared they had won over the room and certainly acquired a few new fans (me included). Their latest track ‘Sirens’ is available to stream over at SPOTIFY right now.
I hung around the merch table like a proper fan boy, waiting for a member of Witterquick to appear so I could thank them for inviting me and have a chat about how the tour had gone thus far, Sean Davey (rhythm guitar) appeared like Mr Benn from the old 1970’s cartoon and we had a great chat about how life on the road had aged them in the past few days (only kidding) and how Grace Chapman-Duke (photographer and tour manager) had looked after them all whilst on the tour. We also talked about musical genres and how WITTERQUICK don’t like to be pigeon-holed into a category. I explained that as a music blogger and host of my own radio show (The Listening Post on Soundart Radio 102.5FM) it is sometime difficult to introduce bands that don’t fall into a particular genre, it’s always easier to say “oh, they sound a bit like (insert name of band they sound a bit like)….” but I explained that sometimes, this just adds to the appeal and leaves people wanting more as they never really know what they’re going to get next. Take Coldplay for example, if I played one of their recent tracks (which I hope I will never have to do), I could introduce it as sounding as ‘beige’ and ‘vanilla’ as their last 10 years worth of whiny, family-friendly, worldwide pop that have cemented their place in the charts forever (not a bad thing but you know what I’m trying to say!) With Witterquick, they might smash out a summer fuelled pop banger (like Bubblegum) and then come back 3 months later with a hard edged rock track which takes you on a completely different journey.
As the groupies approached the march table and took Sean’s attention from me, I wished him the best of British and wandered off to see the next act.
I was surprised to see THE KAIZENS up next, I love these guys and have promised them a live session on a forthcoming radio show ahead of their MASSIVE show at Plymouth Pavilions on October 4th so watch this space. Their set was immense, full of raunchy guitar licks, solid bass and drums and with a look that makes the ladies swoon from 20 feet, they are destined to go a very long way! Did I mention that they’re playing a MASSIVE show at Plymouth Pavilions on October 4th? Oh I did, well, no harm in mentioning it again is there!
As it drew nearer to the main act taking to the stage, I bumped into Grace (photographer/tour manager) and had a great chat with her about how it had all gone, she gave me a look that said both “I’m knackered” and “what an experience” so I took that she had a great time on the road but was kinda glad to be getting into her own bed after the Exeter show….
I took my usual spot at the back of the room (as I have done for the past few decades) and waited for the fun and frivolity to kick in.
As soon as the band hit the stage, the whole evening shifted gear and it wasn’t long until WITTERQUICK had moulded the audience into exactly what they wanted, they were invited to singalong to choruses, which they did with ease and I noted a particularly tender moment when, after one track, it took Will a good few minutes to get his shit together, admitting that he would never tire of hearing a room full of people singing his own words back to him, I also detected a tear in his eye, maybe it was that damned fly that was also buzzing around the back of the room?! Ahem, anyway, back to the review….
All of the hits were there, ‘Bubblegum’ sounded immense with its catchy summery chorus and hooky guitars, they also dished out a few inflatable guitars and an oversized beach ball which, whilst would have been a great idea in a venue with a slightly taller ceiling, didn’t bode well for the lights that took a bit of a pounding as people smashed the ball around the room for a few minutes. Will followed this track up with a tender acoustic number which would have made such more of an impact had the beachball been removed from the excitable audience who continued to knock ten bales out of it whilst he was up there, singing his heart out!
They introduced a new track that they had showcased on the UK tour, ‘Violence to Riot’, I thought they said ‘Riot to Riot’ but that’s just my hearing! I must get a checkup soon.
Their latest offering ‘Run’ went down really well and they announced that it has clocked up an impressive 13k streams on Spotify, if you’ve not hear it yet, head over there NOW and check it out… I would also like to add that ‘Bubblegum’ is sitting at 106k streams so a bit more work to do in order to beat this!
They closed their set with ‘Soldiers’ which saw one hell of a singalong and as the band stood on the stage, watching the audience shout the words back at them, I can only imagine that it must have felt pretty good to be there, in your home city, being welcomed back after nearly a week away.
Once the smoke had settled, I wandered over to the merch table and bought a copy of their ‘Fire & Ice’ EP on vinyl and once again thanked Sean for inviting me to the show, it had been a memorable night for me and I will know what to let myself in for at future WITTERQUICK shows. If you see them playing a festival that you’re attending, make sure you allow enough time to check them out, they’re an incredible band that deserve your attention and I don’t think it will be long until they become a household name!