When: 23rd March
Where: TCAT Tiverton
Who: Drive Chain + Zoltar Speaks.
The Venue, a warm, amazingly lit hall with a large stage worthy of any big band. A huge drum kit sat on a high rise surrounded by white Gothic-esq, Victorian lamp posts. The scene was well and truly set for the highly anticipated return of DriveChain. But the biggest surprise of all? We were in Tiverton high school's school hall and the lead singer of this Heavy metal band taught English here for 4 years and the bassist was a student! This really was their Home ground show.
And first up to bat was Zoltar Speaks, a Minehead based, female fronted melodic rock band, boasting their high energy shows and they did not disappoint. From the word go Zoltar Speaks engaged the crowd, instantly wowing. Their heavy melodic, almost funk sound went down well with everyone head banging and dancing. They played a mixture of old and new songs showing of the full range of their talent but what really stood out was when they played the track from there new video release titled 'Last man standing'.
All of them pushed it and played their hearts out to this song, very impressive with the front row stood in awe. The drummer and the bassists played what seemed to be a well rehearsed carefully placed marriage of skill and ability to create a sturdy foundation on which the guitars built there chunky yet melodic phrases. All tied together, you had a catchy and powerful sound that any metal lover would bang their heads to. The lead singer, Louise, fully commanded the audience's attention, making full use of the stage and showing of her powerful vocals with one innocent bystander commenting that it was "mind blowingly good"
When asked what they were up to for the rest of the year, they kept it close to their chests with guitarist Ollie stating "We definitely have lots in the pipe-line, the video's just come out, loads of PR is getting done, keep watching!" And I agree! This band is absolutely one to watch in the future, they have so much energy and showmanship they really opened up the gig, getting ready for the main event.
Now for those of you who don't know, DriveChain is a 4 Piece Metal band that disbanded 2 years ago, their influence still lingered around the local southwest music scene though, with many bands looking up to and learning from them, hoping to fill their shoes whilst they were gone. But no longer it seems.
Ascending the stage they leapt straight into their set, with the song 'First to this Fire' as if they had never left before. Instantly it was seamless even with their new, female bassist, Chrissy Slevin, who was not only performing live for the first time with the well-known rockers but was running the whole gig, being the promoter!
One of the highlight songs was 'Salvation' which took all fans back to the old days and had everyone singing along. One thing I really like about this band is their sound is raw and basic. It takes you back to the classic, simple, no fuss metal days of bands such as 'American Head Charge' and 'Drowning Pool'. Impressive really in this day and age with everyone striving for a new sound. They make old school cool. Yet they still have an edge, keeping current and fresh. Fair enough they haven't got a highly technical edge but they are still thoroughly melodic and strong, with clear and seamless vocals, backed by memorable, fast paced guitars. A well oiled-machine grinding out those pounding rhythms.
I caught up with lead singer Matt after the show who told me that it was really good to be back here, especially in the place that he once taught. "It's good but strange, I walked through these doors every day for 4 years and then just stopped." On Stage he gushed to the crowd about how amazing the crowd were, adding after, "Tiverton is the place to gig, even better than Exeter!" And it's true, the crowd at this gig welcomed them back like heroes, singing along and moshing best they could. So it looks like the infamous Drive Chain are back for good, when asked about what's different now to how it was, Matt replied;
"There's not as much pressure anymore, it's much more relaxed, it's not like I'm turning up to the third practice in one week and thinking 'I have to look at your face again!'
As the crowd fell out the hall at the end of the gig, overall the consensus was that everyone had pretty outstanding night, the first of its kind in Tiverton's own TCAT, and not the last with hopefully a regular metal night to be hosted in the venue. Its community run, so all of the profits go back into the venue to improve the facilities and to get more decent entertainment in! So definitely keep your eyes peeled for more face melting metal coming Tiverton's way!
Go check the Bands out!
Drive Chain: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOZ6ZcCp-DM
Zoltar Speaks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiTC8j84bmM