Thursday, 21 June 2018

Review: Women Of Rock! (XERO, Wild Card, VNDTA, & Lock'N'Throw @ Boileroom (17/06/18)

We had the pleasure of reviewing and photographing Little Bear Promotion's 'Women Of Rock' night at Guildford's Boileroom; showcasing Guildford's best female fronted rock bands. (Which let's be honest... is a pretty cool and striking title alone, so this was an all round awesome experience.)

Lock 'N' Throw
Lock 'N' Throw, kicked the evening off with an instantly powerful, punchy, punk song. Inspiration from Paramore shines through as their image and stage presence represents true to their sound. They fill the gradually forming room with strong and mighty music, and delicate yet strikingly powerful melodies from the lead singer. They gave a strong performance that gave the illusion of years of confidence through play.
Their beautifully haunting contrasts and emotional performance throws us into the night, giving a fierce start, making the band feel truly in control. You can see they love what they do and clearly mean business. They finish off their set with a new single (yet to be released), 'Bed Bound', which is one to keep your eyes peeled for as it teleports you back to classic pop punk rawness. With it's relatable and catchy lyrics that trickle over their authoritative yet irresistible instrumentation. Overall, a strong start from this young, upcoming band, as they vary smoothly through originals to covers which kick start the crowd into party mode. 

VNDTA take over with an instantly heavier, dramatic yet invincible presence. Using a mix of media, they start with a voiceover that stuns us into silence, not long before shock takes us over as the lead singer smacks us round the face with these incredible screamo vocals. She wandered on stage blending into the room, but she certainly wasn't going to go unnoticed. Instantly the room fills with hungry ears, in awe of the power her stage presence and her vocals bring, leaving the audience captivated. The band provide strong and unforgettably sturdy skills in musicianship, as the lead singer shakes us by showing how versatile her voice can be, switching effortlessly into a melodic chorus with dynamic range. If I can say one thing straight off the bat, it's that these guys know their stuff, and they want to show us. They truly let their hair down in this performance as their passion oozes through every note and movement as it smashes our ear drums in the best way possible.
This lady boss smashes stereotypes and really knows what she's doing, all the way down to communication with the band. Everyone shows true musicianship as they bounce off each other. I've never heard growls and pig squeals sound so sexy, as every single member of the band stands out, making you forget where you are. They pay tribute to musicians out there with their song 'Leaches', representing relationships through music. The chorus still pumps through my veins as I feel inferior to these powerful lyrics. This band is onto big things (they're performing at Techfest this year if you want to catch them) and you need to make note of their name as they made me truly appreciate the skill that goes into metal. 

Wild Card
Wild Card provide a distinctively strong penultimate performance as this four piece fills the stage with their dominant sound. The lead makes love to the audience through her performance as she showers us with her vigorously vast range in vocals and dynamics. She slams down her spirit as the guitar delivers funky riffs that alluringly contrast with their heavy instrumentation. 'Burn' is a brutally honest original written about sexual assault. Recovery is a main theme with it's stunning, striking lyrics take you through the journey with them; with highs and lows, melodically, vocally, musically and dynamically. This perfectly flawless performance will stick with the audience as they spread messages of strength, this is what powerful women of rock need to do... and they certainly deliver. Jamie on guitar who's also from the band Sun House, performs their original 'Running', which gets the crowd moving and feeling empowered. The band interact beautifully, showing their bond and skill in communication through music. Wild Card deliver nothing but pure talent and strength throughout, overcoming technical issues like pros and interacting with the audience like old friends. They wind down their set with a gorgeous, possessing rock ballad, which will haunt the room and stick to the walls like glue. They are onto bigger things as this is their last performance known as Wild Card but they promised something is on the cards soon... Keep an ear out. 

XERO headlined this gig and instantly we all knew it was worth the wait. Hairography came to mind throughout this chilling performance as each member of the band delivered with every part of their body. The lead with a seemingly innocent appearance turned our stereotypes of rock on it's head as she filled our lungs with her handsome and versatile vocals. Their single 'Come Home' paints the venue with catchy and rusty riffs combined with atmospheric vocals. Each member of the four piece supports, lifts and empowers each other throughout, showing their true diversity, passion and pleasure. Their originals from a writing point of view were flawless, with the perfect lifts, space, silence, dynamics and range. They take a risk with a new song, unheard by anyone as it was written a mere 24 hours before. It sure paid off. This clearly shows their talent in every aspect of the genre, confidence oozes onto us as we're in awe of how seamless this single feels, as if it's an old, classic hit. The lead singer really knows how to connect to the audience just with a look, and she takes our breath away but gives our bodies life and movement. The room is captivated by their spiritual existence on stage. Their single 'Follow' transports the room into our darker, more pleasurable side of rock, light floods over the audience's heads as the contrasting vocals effortlessly transition between melodical to ruthlessly hardcore. Lyrically cunning and euphorically pleasing to listen to. They give their all in their performance of 'Birth Right', the first track on their new EP 'Dimensions'. Vocally reminiscent of Amy Lee (Evanescence), striking, stirring and atmospheric. This single clings onto your skin with every section feeding your hungry soul. 
They set the tone with their final song, 'Garden', which I can only describe as addictive, liquid gold. Harmonies fill out the song with unmistakable, breathtaking layers. Phenomenal performance from this up and coming band; each member filled to the brim with talent and an infatuation for music. This band is one to see live as they entrance you into their music. 

Winding down at the Boileroom
Overall, this event was such an empowering experience. Every member of the audience, despite gender were there to support feminism in this male dominated genre... and everyone rocked it. The Boileroom is a perfect venue for a gig like this, as it's friendly and cool staff make everyone feel at ease whilst having a great time. If you've never been to a gig at The Boileroom (Guildford), get yourself down there, the small venue makes up for it in lighting, appearance, sound and its unique niche community. The walls and ceilings are plastered with posters haunting the venue with past performers. Giving you a taste of its musical history and knowledge. 

Huge shoutout to Sophie of Little Bear Promotions for putting on this charity gig to raise money and awareness for the Helen Bamber Foundation, a UK based charity that works to support, protect and rehabilitate survivors of gross human rights violations including torture, trafficking, rape and political oppression. Supporting each other is something we all need to take part in, and if we can do it through music and powerful women... then let's get started! 

Follow The Bands!
Wild Card:
Little Bear Promotions:

Review: Charlie Wren (@charliewrenmusic)
Photos: Cinematic Desk (@cinematic.desk)

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