Weather wise, it was a pretty sad afternoon, as we arrived at the Station Hotel. We grabbed drinks from the bar, I myself couldn't wait to get my lips around a bottle of Trooper (Iron Maiden's signature beer – very important I get that into this review!), and we headed outside to get a table. Amazingly, we managed to get the one nearest to the stage … and we weren't, by any means, the only ones there.
With drinks, and very well needed parasol, we waited for the band (Outside Central) to get set and sound checked. In this quiet period, the atmosphere was buzzing. People were already chatting and hyped up for what was to come. Despite the weather doing its usual English thing, with my Trooper, I was very much looking forward to it all, and there were some good tunes coming out to keep us occupied while the tech stuff was being done: The Hoosiers' Goodbye Mr A, Queens of the Stone Age's No One Knows, to name but a couple.
The start was a little late and a little messy due to technical issues from the sound technicians, but I can't think of many times where this isn't the case – so that's not really a criticism!
Outside Central's line up was as follows: Hugh Reilly-Smith (rhythm guitar/vocals), Charley Robinson (guitar/frontman) and Matt Carter (bass). Guesting on the drums was Chris Judd (Thanks for letting us know via email).
And they started playing! And it was cool! Everyone playing together, everyone in time and I was impressed.
They first song burst into action with a strong intro in a classic common time signature, which changed into catchy different rhythm. It was clever and interesting, and captured everyone's attention. I was also very impressed to see the guitarists using different inversions, rather than both of them plugging away at the same old E and A shape barre chords. Chris, the drummer, kept excellent time, supplying the crowd with all the cool techniques – and even the cheeky ghost notes. And keeping everything together was Matt, with his gentle bass lines, which was a pleasure to watch, because he wasn't just banging out the usual deep boom of the open E string. Hugh's singing, and guitar playing, was great. His voice carried strong over the music, with catchy musical lines and an excellent tone.
It was unfortunate that there was a little issue with the PA during this song and the next, but it began with an octave progression between the guitarists and, despite the sound problems, the performance remained strong. Along with harmonies from the bassist, a sly rallentando in the middle, a repeated motif from Charley, a strong, constant drum line, and a dynamic between the lower and high vocal ranges, it was another great song.
By song four, everything was sorted out, the band was in full swing and all the problems with the sound were sorted. It was great to see such good rapport between the band members. It adds another layer and really allowed the audience to buy into the act. The drummer exhibited good high-hat control (Stuart Copeland style) and Charley played a really cool Caribbean-like guitar riff.
It was a great to watch them play and, if you haven't seen them yet, you should make it a point to go!
You can see them on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvbEYEkpS9c
I was doubly impressed to hear that they had a song played on Made In Chelsea – Tell Me That You're Mine – and triply impressed to read that it was picked as the 'Track of the Week', by MiC's music supervisor, Andrea Madden. You can read more and listen to it here, track 65: http://www.e4.com/chelsea/series5/music/ep9.html
The line up was as follows: Ollie Gurtler – Vocals, Steve Rickwood – Bass & Vocals, Dan Alland – Drums, Richard Fry – Guitar and Ed Clements – Guitar.
So, a year ago, to the day, these guys had their kit ready and primed, on the stage at the Station Hotel's Pig Fest, 2012. What was born was Sherman's wheel, an absolutely cracking – seriously cracking – cover band.
This was their one year anniversary and they began with Molly's Chambers, by Kings of Leon and it was a great start, a great anniversary present.
The guitarists were both using Fender amps and, again, impressed me with their use of differing inversions. The drummer and bassist both produced an excellent sound and solid constant tempo – a really good rhythm section and singer made the lyrics come alive. It was like listening to the real thing, which for me, as a cover puritan, was great!
Unfortunately, we couldn't stay for very long as we had other commitments, but what we heard was just awesome, for want a better word – if such a word exists to define such awesomeness!
Thank you all for brightening my afternoon on a (sunny – yeah right!) English day!