Well that happened. This is the only way to describe what happened Saturday night at The Bar Below, Folkestone. The Below the Radar gig started with angry punk and ended with a performance from Bat Girl. It was as much a spectacle as it was dominated by big sounds across a range of genres.
The night began with Insult. The Fokestone based punk band, something they were keen to deny, started the night in a frenzy of noise, aggression and attitude. After a strong 2012 Insult’s sound and presence were at new heights. Happily for their first gig of 2013 this meant nothing but make the band better at being raw, raucous and in your face. Something that those new to Insult in the crowd fully understood. Josh Battams and Jak Colins sharing the role of front man and getting right into the crowd. As well as live favourites such as The Old Bill, Insult played newer songs such as one dedicated to Folkestone’s homeless. Insult played an energetic set, entertaining people whilst also giving their brains something to munch on. The set even featured reluctant guest vocals from The Half-Wits’ Konrad Harris.
Escape the Ocean took to the stage next. Starting in a cloud of distortion, they left the crowd hanging until guitars climbed out the storm of sounds. Joined by the rest of the band the thing that struck you first, especially your ears, was the power of front man Lee Morrison’s voice. Even as Lee Morrison hung back from the mic like the moon orbiting the earth his voice powered out the P.A. The whole band played a tight set, delivering their songs in a strong and accomplished way – aided by some special facial expressions. Driven forward by powerful drumming, this continuously threw out exciting moments. Another band on form, Escape the Ocean are a band to see in 2013.
Keeping the momentum, After the Enclave claimed the stage next. Their first gig of the new year, they didn’t hold back. Bringing their heavy sound to the small basement bar they filled the room with riffs and dominating vocals. As After the Enclave brought track after track to the audience they carried across a Disturbed vibe, the band – not people needing help, which is never a bad thing. The band impressed as they played tracks such as their signature song Crucified. Good crowd interaction made After the Enclave the devil on everyone’s shoulder, tempting them into a cheeky head bang. Coming at people like a shark with knees the out of town band are a strong live band!
After over a year since their last gig, Mistiksin finally reached the stage. An all star line-up took to the stage. First up was a six foot something Bat Girl, followed by Ryu from Street Fighter. The line-up was completed by a drumming skeleton, Batman and …. a sailor. After a few jokes the music started. Something tells me these weren’t the original characters however. The expectant crowd was treated to some big metal as it screamed across the room. The crowd approved, starting a mosh pit. Playing strong originals like Unleash the Beast it was clear Mistiksin had been missed. You also wouldn’t have been able to tell it was new guitarist Nick Price’s first gig with the band. Alongside originals were strong covers of Killing in the Name and a destructive cover of Let The Bodies Hit the Floor. The band put on a show, with Bat Girl aka vocalist Andrew Lawence singing from the bar and a sofa. As the show came to an end a beer keg emerged. This then got smashed by the band and crowd alike ringing across the room and bringing the gig to a close.
See band, promoter and photography links below.
This was another good gig put together by Below the Radar Events and Promotions. All photos are courtesy of GIGgle Pics. See all these bands if you get the chance, another quality gig at The Bar Below.