Wednesday, 28 May 2008



One of the reasons I want other people to write gig reviews on Whitby Popwatch is because I miss a lot of gigs due to work, and I always get there late due to helping to put the kids to bed. A strategically planned and synchronised manoeuvre that takes place at exactly the same time every night regardless of what is happening in the outside world. I think we read somewhere once that kids like a routine. It makes them feel secure, so we went with that!

True to form I arrived at what I thought was a reasonable 'rock 'n' roll' time to be greeted with a cheery "Where've you been?" from Pug. He informed me that all the bands had been on. Luckily they were all going to do second sets, so all was not lost!

It was good to see so many there. Heath had his 'Who's The Daddy?" t-shirt on for what Mark Liddell refered to as a celebration of the fruits of his sperm. Waterfields were in three of the four bands. That's not bad going, that for one family.


A Waterfield free zone! Liam and Jack, sedately seated, adopted a much less in your face approach than the other bands, concentrating on acoustic renditions of well known songs. Big Beatles fans, a few of Lennon and Macca's works trickled out over the appreciative audience like syrup for the ears.

I know they write mint songs. Gothenburg is on their MySpace site, together with the promise of more to be loaded in the near future. It's a gem, with a Kings of Convenience lilt. They'd be the first to admit that their tactic of sitting down is never going to be visually rivetting, but personally I'd like to hear original stuff, particularly if its as well crafted as Gothenburg. Never apologise for doing your own songs! If you wrote it, and you're playing it, its way more valid than something written in Liverpool in the 60s.


Full of energy and punch, a twin guitar eardrum assault with some brilliant blasted vocals from bass player Jonny Billington. I saw them at The Rifle Club, but tonight they were far better.

Very tight and with some fast guitar licks courtesy of Kyle, camera flashes were going off all the time. There must be some photos out there in webland to use to illustrate this article and to show Five X Nine in all their glory. I'll have to nick 'em off somebody, because I took some myself, but I'm useless. I was only stood behind the first set of tables, really near the stage, but my pictures make it look like I was at the other end of The Albert Hall about 200 yards away. You can just see the band above a sea of people's heads. Extraordinary.

I'd advise anyone to check them out the next time they're playing because disappointment is not an option. You will go home with your ears ringing, and you will have rocked! Of course, gig details will always be available on this site, as long as people send them to me. Use the Chris The Poet link in the top right hand corner of the blog page and send stuff to my MySpace site.


This band have improved so much over a brief period of time that if they keep improving they're in danger of exploding. A wired guitar sound with lyrics coming like machine gun fire and ricocheting off the Resolution's chandeliers. Favouring covers of Arctic Monkeys and Pidgeon Detectives songs, they stuck in some of their own too. Gabriella was the title of one I particularly liked. It would be interesting to see a lyric sheet of that song. It would be interesting if Mark Liddell could remember the band''s name when he was introducing them. Write it on a beer mat!

Driven by Kane's magnificent drumming amidst a flying mop of hair, they stormed it. An edgy look and an acoustic guitar for some songs. Nice to see some different instrumentation at a rock gig. Loved it!

Its not surprising they're getting lots of pub gigs, but I'd like to hear more original material. To top it all Kane had a marvellous t-shirt with a graphic equaliser on that actually lit up to the tunes! Needless to say it was in the red for the whole of their set. I have it on good authority that Kyle had lent it to him. Those crazy Waterfields, eh?


Magnificent as always, The Merkins sent a sonic wave down the length of the long room at The Res that rattled the balls in the pool table at the far end. Heath looked menacing and was indeed The Daddy! Mr De'ath had his killer hat on and looked like an Arizona whiskey salesman, Dave looked intense as a rattlesnake with a guitar and Pug held onto his mic stand as if it was a metal stake driven right through the floor, down into the very vault of Hell itself, providing a direct link to the dark powers that dwell in darkness and fire at the centre of The Earth.

OK. I've gone a bit over the top there, but you get the gist. They were good! How would a rattlesnake hold a guitar anyway?

It was Pete the drummer's last gig too. Sob! More about Pete and hopefully some info on his replacement in a special 'Meet The New Merkin' article later. Missing you already.

The Merkins left us hungry for more, and a bit deaf too. Whitby Now put on a stonking gig that showcased the raw energy and vitality here in Whitby. Whitby Now Fundraisers are a bit like buses aren't they? Once one's gone you don't have to wait too long before another comes along.

June 17th to be precise! Keep logging on!



groke said...

Great night, all the bands got right into the rock and roll spirit and played really well. The appreciative, all age group audience, gave it the feeling of a proper event in the spirit of the early Whitby Now's. If the main gig in November is anything like this we'll be in for a treat.

WhitbyNowSec said...

It is all true - what groke and Chris said! Even me and Mark the old timers commented on how we had felt that old Whitby Now tingle - and it doesn't happen very often at our age I can tell you.
Highlights for me were the new song that The Merkins aired with Pete helping on vocals. I don't think they intended it to be hilarious but happily it was and Pete's constantly smiling mush just radiated into the room.
Secondly, Kane's hair/t-shirt/drumming - stunning performance all round!
Thirdly, Heath and his loins. (well fruit of)We couldn't have pulled off Tuesday night without him.
x jean

WhitbyNowSec said...
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The Invisible Mice said...

It did indeed seem to be an evening with some of the old Whitby Now spirit and it was lovely to see such a mixed audience there.

I arrived even later than Chris for reasons less rock'n'roll than putting the kids to bed, so sadly missed most of 5x9 who I thought were great at the Rifle Club and look forward to catching them again soon...

Band of the night for me were The Banter, I've never seen them before but was really really impressed. Apart from the fact that they sounded great, they really look like a band, great hair and good swagger... more of that please!

I I I said...

The first time i'v seen The Banter and i have to say they were great. Band of the night for me. The standard of every band was great was a great night.