For young entrepreneur, eighteen-year-old Emily Edwards, and record producer, Carl Crane, this was an ambitious first project to take on, however the night was an undeniable success. With well in excess of 250 people in attendance, the hall was busy- great news for both the bands, Herne Bay Music and the Herne Bay Pier Trust, to whom the profits were all in the aid of.
To open the night was the exceptionally talented Funke and the Two Tone Baby, a man who has refined the use of a loop pedal down to a fine art. The talent of Daniel Turnbull is inescapable: playing guitar, percussion and mouth organ while singing is not something most of us mere mortals can pull off. Harsh acoustic blues guitar riffs resonated through the hall; the guitar was played aggressively with no regard for the poor strings. After an almost completely undetectable stomp of the loop pedal, Funke was onto the harmonica, effortlessly wheezing into it to create complex and beautiful sounds, giving every song real character and soul. With a scruffy, bluesy sound, evocative of a one-man White Stripes wearing a trilby, Funke’s set was a marvellous start to the night. The next band, The Doctorates, I would love to give an outstanding and complimentary review, however my view point may be slightly tainted due to the fact I am a member, so I will simply brush past this band for the sake of writer’s integrity.
Third on stage were The Merchants, a band performing only their second ever gig; but it has to be said, they could have fooled me. The guitar riffs alone were enough to bring the audience to their feet and dance; it seemed like the body’s natural reaction to such a unique blend of mod, punk, and rock and roll all mixed into one. Frontman Sam Wise was brimming with confidence and charisma, and had a stage presence that instantly put the audience at ease, giving subtle interactions to both the band and the audience throughout. The Merchants gave off the impression in their casual approach to their set, that they were almost ‘winging it’, like it was simply something they were doing for a laugh; but the tightness in their live sound and the sheer quality of their material was enough to show that these guys really were practised at their craft. Music was not so much something they gave any intense thought and concentration to, rather something more organic that seeped from their pores and oozed from their very beings.
The final act, Audioshock were a class act. They have already been backed by the likes of Coldplay and have even had radio play on Radio One, which is really no wonder when you see them play. The four-piece electro-indie band combine synthesisers with a Fender Telecaster and a Rickenbacker bass to create an indie sound with aggression, energy, great melodies, as well as something to dance to. The drums are also certainly worth a mention as they are an absolutely vital part of the band’s sound; drummer Charlie Banyard has an incredibly unique style in indie music- one that can be resembled most closely with that of dubstep. The force and skilfulness of the drums is one of the first things to really grab you, and are possibly one of the most exciting aspects of Audioshock’s live performance, hitting you so much harder when they’re right in your face at a venue. Audioshock were a fantastic finisher to the night; it was a privilege to see such a refined act in Herne Bay.
None of the above would have been possible if not for the hard graft of Emily Edwards and Carl Crane, they did Herne Bay proud in setting up such an enjoyable evening and bringing in some great, earnest music into the town. Keep an eye out for their upcoming events, as they are now commencing their ‘Seven Weeks of Music’, bringing great local music to venues all around Herne Bay… for seven weeks! Also expect to hear from Herne Bay Music at the much-loved Herne Bay Festival in the summer, which they have hinted to a heavy involvement in this year!