Mistiksin, After the Enclave, Escape the Ocean and Insult at The Bar Below, Folkestone : 12/01/2013

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.

Escape the Ocean

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 the Enclave

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.

Below the Radar Events and Promotions on Facebook

GIGgle Pics on Facebook / See all images from the event here

Insult on Facebook

Escape the Ocean on Facebook

After the Enclave on Facebook

Mistiksin on Facebook

David Horn



Below the Radar’s Punk Special at The Bar Below Folkestone, 05/10/2012

It’s late on Friday night and The Bar Below in Folkestone looks like a riot has exploded in inside it.  There’s money and white powder across the floor with a little broken glass for good measure.  What has happened here?

A)     A nuclear bomb has exploded

B)      An over energetic kangaroo has escaped

C)      A punk gig

Luckily it’s not A, and I think I saw a kangaroo running through the cloud of dust but the answer is a punk gig.  Yep, on Friday the 5th of October Below the Radar Events and Promotions brought punk to The Bar Below and it was good!  Across the night four bands took to the stage to vent at a very enthusiastic crowd.

Starting things off were The Half-Wits.  A spectacle from the start as the band started churning out noise front man Tadhg Leachy stood poised on a drum kit that looked like it had been kicked down a mountain.  Not for long though, the energy in the room was instant and The Half-Wits went in to action stirring up the crowd.  Despite being the opening band they even managed to get a few people moshing.  The band played a Joe Strummer cover and featured guest vocals from a friend in the audience.  Impressive because he could barely stand up, and managed to keep time with the band.  From their set and stage presence it’s easy to see why they’ve played with bands like The UK Subs and Avenge Thee + Naime.  Please a take a moment at this point to mourn the loss of several glasses during the moshing.

Following this were Ted Bibiase and the Million Dollar Punk Band, playing their first ever Folkestone gig.  Confusing the audience before they’d even begun, sitting on stage was a decanter of champagne and a cigar.  When the three piece joined the scene mostly dressed in suits things were no clearer.  But from the word go they went for it in full facetious glory.  The level at which the band went for it was shown when the drummer kicked though the kick drum.  Dedicating one song to a public figure becoming more and more infamous as every day passes they attacked and degraded pretty much anything in mainstream culture.   If things were unclear at the start of the band’s set however they soon became much more unclear.  The band let a few talc-bombs lose, causing people to dodge the low flying bombs – and one unlucky person to suddenly do an awesome impression of a ghost.  The band even made everyone in the crowd rich releasing hundreds of 1,000,000 dollar notes.  I for one can’t wait to cash it in!

Folkestone’s very own Insult hit the stage next.  Aggressive and to the point they opened with ‘Down Your Beer’ before storming into a kinetic and frenzied set.  The band brought moshing to a new height amongst the spectators, helped by the lead singer crossing out into the crowd.  The band raised the energy level of the room, very happy to be playing a punk gig in Folkestone again.  By the end of the set there could be no doubt they were from Folkestone.  As aggressive and raging as their energy was it was clear watching them that ultimately they were four mates having a laugh.  This was the overall vibe of the night, shown by The Half-Wits returning for some guest vocals again.

Ending the night were 7 Day Conspiracy.  The band took a more light hearted approach to their music.  In between tracks they chatted with the slightly diminished audience and spoke in depth about the war stories of their drummer during his time during the Korean war.  Mainly of him as a prisoner his new role as a drummer probably suits him much better.  After smashing it out with a few powerful punk songs the band rose to the challenge of the crowd.  This involved playing calypso and reggae tunes, turning the moshing into near dancing.  They even rose to the promoters challenge, playing closer to six songs in the time given for three.  Now I must take a minute to apologise for what you’re about to read.  By the law the first mention of Christmas adverts and songs means it then Christmas.  So you’ll be delighted to know that after getting the crowd to sit down in a circle 7 Day let lose a Christmas tune.  In their words, ‘Merry Christmas’.

Each band played well and had a stage presence to match.  There aren’t many gigs that maintain the amount of energy Below the Radar’s punk special did.  Not only that the whole atmosphere was friendly.   A great night of live music!

And that’s the tale of how The Bar Below became a talcum powder and money covered mess.  Totally worth it.

Below the Radar Events and Promotions on Facebook

The Half-Wits on Facebook

Ted Bibiase and The Million Dollar Punk Band on Facebook

Insult on Facebook

7 Day Conspiracy on Facebook

David Horn

This Week in Gigs

Pinch, punch, first of the month.  That might work better in person  in all honesty – which is good because there are a lot of gigs this week to meet you at!  There are gigs from a lot of Banned Reviews favourites to sink your ears into.

First things first, Crashgate have their E.P launch party on Thursday (4th of October).  The new material sounds amazing and live they’re an awesome and entertaining band.  Don’t take my word for it though head to The Walmer Castle pub in deal and decide for yourself.  Wild Child plus two bands TBC are supporting.  Click here for more details.

Dye your hair green and put on a London accent, Friday (5th of October) see’s Folkestone’s View and Bar Below host a punk night.  It should be eventful!  Check out 7 Day Conspiracy, Ted Diabiase and The Million Dollar Punk Band, Insult and The Half-Wits!  Click here for more information.

If you find yourself closer to Margate than Folkestone on Friday then The Westcoast Bar have you covered.  They have a night of new blood.  Head down to see Atlantica, Escape the Ocean, With Open Arms and Anchors Down.  Find more information here.

Saturday is all about Canterbury and Equafest.  Click here for more information but check this out for a line-up!


Headline act – TBA

Foreboding Ether –http://www.facebook.com/forebodingether

Then the wave came – http://www.facebook.com/thenthewavecameWeather The Storm – http://www.facebook.com/wtsuk?ref=ts

Magnitude – http://www.facebook.com/MagnitudeUK

Dead Reckoning – http://www.facebook.com/deadreckoninguk

Third place victory – http://www.facebook.com/thirdplacevictory

The homecoming – http://www.facebook.com/thehomecominguk

Throughout our Fears – http://www.facebook.com/ThroughoutOurFears

Wretched Soul – http://www.facebook.com/wretchedsouluk

Transcending the Flesh – http://www.facebook.com/transcendingtheflesh

Locusts – http://www.facebook.com/LocustsUK?ref=ts



Faultline – http://www.facebook.com/faultline

Predicting the Fall – http://www.facebook.com/predictingthefall?ref=ts

Avenge thee + Naime – http://www.facebook.com/avengetheeandnaime

Within the Silence – http://www.facebook.com/withinthesilence

The Blissful Mop – http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Blissful-Mop/136218309755901

Find full listings here!