It is normally incredibly rare and not without a great cajoling, bribing and blackmailing that I attend a social gathering on a Sunday evening - reason being I hate to drive at least three hours everyday just to get to and from my job, which I don't really love and the worst time to do that, is, of course, first thing on Monday morning after having fun the night before. But this Sunday, after a string of particularly s%@t Sundays involving, being dumped, being very ill and being in some very big arguments, "Something Other Than" seemed like a good choice. So when a very close friend invited me to a band's charity gig at 4pm this Sunday, I replied with an expansively enthusiastic and confident "...yeah...ok then."
The pub that was hosting is one I know well - The Swan in Braintree town. If you aren't sure where it is, imagine the old monolith that was Woolworths. Then imagine yourself stumbling out with your pick n mix and walking directly across the road - and then you are at The Swan. It's a great pub, actually. And by 'great' I really mean "real". None of this gastro pub prattery with its clean lines, soulless furniture and photocopied menu. This pub is made of beams and beer. It is a great shape, with one of those classic U-shaped bars in the middle so you can walk around the whole place and still be the same distance from your next beverage. It also has a lovely fire place, a massive beer garden and a little pool table room snuggled in the back. Basically it's a proper pub. It knows it, and it doesn't care who else knows it either.
Which seemed fitting, considering the entertainment that was heading our way. My friend had invited me to see the Nightworkers, a Brighton based band that actually, I had never heard of, despite knowing the lead guitarist through a friend, and seeing him in a previous band, Shake 101. They weren't on until 4 and we were a little early, so we got a drink and then listened to their sound check.
From. That. Moment. On. I Knew. I just KNEW they were going to be worth their salt. When a band's sound check sounds great... before they've even checked the sound, you know they are a good'un.
Also, not that it matters a jot to the music (plenty of great band members have been the biggest d*&s ever. Gallagher. Doherty. erm... Gallagher again) but the guys themselves were really lovely blokes. Sitting there as they drank their fee (a rather large sparkly bottle of Bells) these guys came across as friendly, funny, and genuinely unpretentious.
Their music takes itself a little more seriously, though - and so it should - for it is a BIG sound. Great vocal finesse from Jack Moullin (not to mention his natural stage presence) matched excellently with easy-looking-but-actually-rather-complex lead guitar from Mitchell Turner. Joe Haberfield's ability on keys was second to none, and was actually rather reminiscent of some of the piano in a lot of Stones' songs. With Rowan Reddington on subtle but clever bass, and Jonny Ross holding it all together with some of the most energetic percussion I have seen in a long, long while. The friend who invited me lent over during one of the songs and said in my ear - "thing is, they're tight. Even after a bottle of Bells, they're tight". And I had to agree.
The Nightworkers absolutely smashed through an hours set which I have to be honest, went far too quickly. I am aware it can get very tedious for bands who are trying to do their own thing, to hear they are "like" this band or a "sound similar to..." but sometimes it is actually very complimentary and also helps a reader to glean a bands' sound. For me, the big thing about the Nightworkers is that yes, for me personally they sound like a sexy little splicing between Kasabian and The Bees... BUT - and this BUT is crucial - they also sound like something else, in that mix. There is also something else, in there. and the something else; it IS the Nightworkers.
Search Nightworkers on Facebook for more info or to make a booking.
Apr 15 The Nest, Bath
Apr 17 The Eagle Inn, Manchester,
Apr 18 NEWCASTLE, Newcastle / Gateshead
Apr 20 Yard Life Festival, Islington, United Kingdom
May 09 The Great Escape Festival, Brighton,
May 28 Green Door Store, Brighton, United Kingdom