Gig Review
Haunts
Huntinh The Minotaur, Joey Nightmare And Stranger In Moscow
Southampton, Hamptons
28th January 2009
             

Haunts                       Hunting The Minotaur    Joey Nightmare     Stranger In Moscow
                      
This was my first time I'd been to Hamptons, and I was keen to see how it compared to other Southampton venues. Despite being a small bar, with a stage that looks like it's been forced there, that backs onto a plain glass window onto the main road, the sound was surprisingly good, and that's all that matters really.

Only one band were listed as support on the posters, and I'd probably have been extremely confused had my friend not recognised the first band to hit the stage; the unlisted Stranger In Moscow, a four-piece who apparently, according to my friend, used to be “fucking shit.” However, after reforming relatively recently, now are making some awesome tunes. The opening track instantly captivated me, and although the rest of the set trailed away slightly, for that opening song alone, they've done well. Although quite interesting to watch, (with the drummer and bassist almost looking out of place, and the vocalists/guitarists/keyboard seeming to work on stage very well together,) the music was pretty awesome, with incredible vocal harmonies, and a good mix of softer and heavier tones.

Next up were Joey Nightmare, also not mentioned on the posters, featuring a female vocalist. Musically, they had the tones and style very similar to Minus The Bear, and vocally, more like Paramore but male backing vocals that seemed, all in all, half-arsed, and the drummer can apparently only play 'disco-beat.' The lead vocal though, fantastic, a very good voice indeed, however I'm not sure it fitted over the music. Taking Minus The Bear as an example, the vocals are quite basic and plain over the top as opposed to quite expressive pop-punk vocals. But don't get me wrong, these guys (and gal) have serious potential, it's just almost like there's too much to think about at once. But that might just be me. Surprisingly musical.

Hunting The Minotaur brought an altogether heavier sound to Hamptons, that may have been briefly touched upon in the first set, but not very much. That said, the tearing riffs coupled with the powerful screams of the front-man, who, could easily be mistaken for a twelve year old, went down very well with the crowd. And the band's rapor with the audience, particularly the singer's comic quips, made the set extremely enjoyable. Energetic, heavy rawk n' rawl, Hunting The Minotaur stay on the right side of the melody fence to create a sound which so many bands push too far until it becomes offensive noise.

And then for the main event, Haunts, whose recent album release will no doubt get them a long way, once it bleeds further into the market. Opening with my personal favourite “London's Burning,” vocalist Kevin Banks put his deep dark vocal into action, whilst wearing an interesting leathery-plastic-hoodie-bat-cape-type-thing. And they just all seemed to work so well together, including four-part vocals in places. The choice of set-list was a relatively obvious one, given that they have one album which lasts little over half an hour, including “Love Is Blind,” “Underground,” “Low Slung City Skyline,” and “Live Fast Die Young.” For those who aren't familiar with Haunts, they've got a dark indie vibe going on, (haunting, being an obvious adjective to use,) which I've yet to encounter elsewhere, and is performed as if it were the album itself. Tighter than a duck's ass, yet considerably better to listen to.

All in all, a really great night. Every band well worth catching again, and the headlining act certainly stole the show. Destined for greatness, without a doubt.

Haunts 5/5
Hunting The Minotaur 4.5/5
Joey Nightmare 3.5/5
Stranger In Moscow 4/5

Review By Thom
 Haunts


Banks
Alex Woodcock
Gareth Grover
Mitch Mitchener

 Hunting The Minotaur


George McCanna (Vocals, Lead Guitar)
Michael Kerr (Bass, Synth, Vocals)
Tobias Lancaster (Drums, Vocals)
Joseph Dennis (Guitar, Vocals)

 Joey Nightmare


Joeseth Carter (Guitars, Vocals )
Alexander Cockburn (Guitars)
Benjamin Thatcher (Drums, Vocals)
Joshua Price (Bass)
Tiffiny Tremain (Vocals)

 Band Related Links
Haunts Myspace
Hunting The Minotaur Myspace
Joey Nightmare Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?