LIVE REVIEW. Otherkin at The Boileroom

Date: 23 May 2017
The Boileroom, Guildford
Genre: Grunge pop
Words: Steph Baker
Photography: Aaron Crawford


Tonight’s gig reminded me of why independent venues such as The Boileroom are so important to local communities and the music industry. Seeing live music, and having unique, memorable experiences at places like these, filled with welcoming and creative people is what it’s all about, right?

Bad Nerves


The main support for Otherkin came on stage to a warm and building crowd. The first thing that made this East-London four-piece currently touring with Otherkin was the front-man’s pounding vocals. His voice travels up, down and all around, diversifying the band’s indie-rock tunes and bringing each one to life.

The crowd were engaged, and our night was kicked off with a frenzy of heavy riffs and catchy hooks, especially within the most recent single ‘Dreaming‘. This was one of the band’s final gigs with Otherkin, an yet you would never have known it with the amount of manic energy the guys brought to the room, the set was actually exhausting to keep up with, and that’s exactly how music like this is meant to be.






Otherkin are a grunge-pop frenzy from Dublin who are… quite the experience. The four-man group came onstage looking rather un-disruptive but managed to turn a politely-bobbing-your-head-along kinda Tuesday night into a sweaty, bloody mess within their first track, ‘It’s Alright‘. The crowd were pulled to the front and brought up to the same level as the band while thrashing around to the infectious ‘Why Did You Treat Me So Bad‘. In today’s music scene, over-saturated with Libertines-wannabes and inauthentic boy bands, Otherkin proudly stand out by managing to genuinely connect with the audience and bring about an uproar with their ferocious hooks, passionate lyrics and attitude filled grunge riffs.


As the country tries to digest and contemplate the truly horrific attack on a gig in Manchester, tonight’s gig is a bittersweet event. Otherkin stopped their set to express their thoughts and pay their respects, saying “Music should be a safe space for everyone” before everyone in the room took part in a minute of silence. After this emotional moment came to an end, the group summoned up all the energy they had in them with the next tune of the night, ‘Come On Hello’, something fun and positive to get everyone dancing again. Further along the night, the London boys invited everyone onto the stage, this was a moment of pure joy and madness for everyone at the Boileroom tonight, exactly what we needed. Hook-filled, manic pop tunes full of attitude and truthful tales. Otherkin are a truly class act, and a band that will inevitably continue to shake up venues across Europe this summer.


Listen to Otherkin’s latest Single ‘Bad Advicehere

The East-London boys are on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


Baker Out

NEWS. Allusondrugs announce final headline tour via mysterious message from Allusinlove Organisation

After just coming off a co-headline tour with close buddies Fizzy Blood, the grungy shoegaze quintet are getting straight back onto the bus later this Summer, with support from alternative-indie group Massmatiks.

A spokesperson for the band released an ever-so-slightly ominous comment regarding the tour. Stating “The Allusinlove Organisation hereby wish it to be known that these engagements shall be the full and final musical undertakings of the entity known as allusondrugs. Please await further communications on this situation in the coming weeks for details of future works”. Could this really be the end of a band only just starting to peak at their potential?

Since their emergence in 2012, allusondrugs have been anything but stagnant. Between building a fan-base that followed their rising influence through support shows with Enter Shikari, Marmozets and Lonely The Brave, and creating ever-growing anticipation with every release, this band are getting bigger and bigger.

This tour is shaping up to represent a progressive move forward from their beginnings as a band. With more experimentation, unreleased material and heavy energy levels, allusondrugs – with an existing reputation for bringing it at their live shows – are perhaps (and hopefully) going to go through a name/image change rather than a breakup.

Tour dates for August 2016unnamed.png


You can buy tickets for the tour  here, and follow the band on twitter and facebook



Baker out.

ALBUM REVIEW. Spring King – ‘Tell Me If You Like To’

Release Date: 10th June 2016 (Island Records)

Genre: Indie/garage-punk



We were very excited for the debut release from the new boys on the block, Spring King after seeing them headline the Boileroom last month (Check it out here) and seeing the success and hype generated from hit singles such as ‘City‘ and ‘Rectifier‘. And it is safe to say that we were not disappointed.

The debut kicks off with the signature pounding drums that Tarek Musa masters so well accompanied by a fitting heavy bass line for the opening track ‘City‘. This is a care-free danceable track with the freeing lyrical hook ‘Who am I what does it matter?’ – Perhaps these boys foolishly believe they’re still in the small leagues, or maybe they are embracing their shooting success with an uncomprimising attitude.

We are then graced with the irresistibly catchy hits such as ‘Detroit‘. This pre-released hit along with the fan-favourite ‘Summer‘ pain a fuzzy picture of the romanticized, chaotic, British summer experiences of one’s youth that we just love to reminisce of. The next track, ‘Who Are You?‘ tells a more cynical tale, with relentless garage-rock guitar and bass lines keeping it alive. Spring King then continue to intertwine gloomy-punk undertones into their energetic anthems in songs such as ‘Demons‘ and ‘It’s so Dark‘, a quality of this band that is flourishing with great responses. At this point, it could be said that Spring King may be suffering from an identity-crisis, with a seemingly endless melting-pot of influences and musical styles bouncing off each other throughout this album, but these boys shouldn’t be criticised for that. ‘Tell Me If You Like To‘ is a powerful, and solid establishing debut album, one that oozes more confidence than most being released right now. It does a good job of demonstrating that they are not the standard 16-year-old-indie-phase band that they could be accused of being at first glance – they are much more, and go much deeper.

The pre-released track ‘Rectifier‘ leads the charge of establishing what Spring King are all about. The seemingly chaotic but in reality genius arrangement of floor-shattering drums, heavy indie-rock guitar lines and Tarek to-the-point vocals makes for a highly danceable track, and a chorus that makes for a perfect British-style drunken chant. This track is also outrageous live.

Some bands are just made to be heard live, and it is always hard to capture the mad on-stage energy in professional recordings of these bands, but Spring King have taken a solid stab at it and this is only the beginning of what’s yet to come.

Listen to ‘Tell Me If You Like Tohere and buy it here.

They are also on facebook, twitter and instagram.


Baker out.

LIVE REVIEW – Sophie & The Giants, Machiavellis and HYLA at The Boileroom.

Date: 30 May 2016

Venue: Boileroom, Guildford

Tonight’s gig, hosted and promoted by The Boileroom and fello blog pals thnksfrthrvw was all about showcasing female-fronted bands from a variety of musical influences and genres. With a great selection of talent, a supportive crowd and good vibes all round, tonight’s gig did exactly what it set out to do.


First Support – HYLA

Image: HYLA facebook

Rating: ★★★★★

HYLA are a self-proclaimed aggro-grunge quartet who have been “smashing shit up on stage since 2015” and they are not wrong. Seconds after sneaking onto the stage, the almost silent Boileroom exploded as Libby plummeted the bass drum, with Aaron (lead guitar) and Yani (bass) accompanying with heavy grunge riffs. And then lead vocalist Vicky Holburt began to sing, everything changed. It seems this band have mastered hardcore grunge in its basic, and sometimes predictable form from day 1, and have gone onto bring something entirely new to the table in the form of impassioned lyrics and vocals. Vicky’s voice is a perfect powerhouse of darkness. She lures you in with soft but cut-throat tales of betrayal and heartbreak being glided along by Aaron’s detailed riffs before reaching whole new heights of zealous screams surrounded by energetic drum beats and resounding basslines. 

Not only do this female-fronted band play with such synergy that it is surprising they have only being going for a year, but they perform on stage as if they are playing to the sell-out crowd they deserve. As the set got more daring track-by-track, the crowd’s reaction became increasingly positive. The group (with the encouragement of guitarist Aaron) tried a hardcore rap tune that went down an absolute treat. It was the perfect demonstration of how versatile the group’s talents are, but also how stunning Vicky’s voice is, no matter what you put it to.

Check out and connect with HYLA at their official website and facebook now.

Also check out their live talents below:



Main Support – Machiavellis



Image: thnksfrthrvw


Canterbury group, The Machiavellis are another example of how much a band can progress and impress within less than a year since. The group sauntered onto the Boileroom stage and gladly showcased their distinct musicianship with a bit of instrumental jamming to warm them up before embarking on their set. The Machiavellis’ sound is led by the almost-overwhelming talents of lead guitarist, Ruben, who throughout the set continued to embrace his daring creativity and showmanship. This is an alternative-rock/grunge band that excel in instrumental abilities as well as the knack of writing 90s hooks.

This female-fronted group are intriguing to say the least, with a clear amalgamation of musical influences including the likes of Peal Jam and Patti Smith, it is the sense of adventure and experimentation that flows through their hits that makes the band one to remember. Front-woman Megg shows off a delicate, yet impassioned voice that tell relatable tales of young love and angst, this is emphasised even more in selected tracks by the use of a duel-tone pedal which separates her voice into two distinct spheres intertwining beautifully together.

This is a band worth seeing live, even if only to see how their sound is broken down into individual inputs of the members. Up-beat drums carry the melancholic tracks, while lead guitar stammers through with intricate solos. Meanwhile, rhythm guitar and bass dictate the tone of each song, from 90s grunge to more recent indie-rock. A collection of musicians have come together to form The Machiavellis who are only going to get better and better.

Give this band a like and a follow on facebook and twitter




Headliners – Sophie and The Giants

Rating: ★★★★☆


sophie and the giants live boileroom
Image: Boileroom instagram

This is a band that are so comfortable in their own skin and with each other that half of them played tonight’s gig barefoot, while the other half were sauntering around the stage as if they were casually jamming together at home. Te first noticeable aspect of this band, (similarly to the support bands) is how can such an impassioned, ardent voice boom out of something so petit? This local group are amply named, as front-woman, Sophie did in fact seem to be surrounded by giants in regards to the size comparisons on stage, but this is more then compensated for with her huge, Florence-esk soulful vocals.


This indie-rock quartet have mastered their distinct sound, with each member playing their part to create a tightly polished collection of future hits. Set highlights included ‘Raspberry‘ and ‘All Along Nothing‘, we even got the delight of hearing a live rendition of their latest single, Lord Knows‘ (out now) which was met with positive acclaim from the growing crowd. As the set continued, the band grew more confident and energetic; part-way through, 3/4 of the band actually exited the stage, leaving us alone with Sophie’s voice to bounce off the walls. This solo track is beautifully written, with sinister lyrics “We are all human here, does that make us twisted?” that demonstrated her independent power is only emphasised by the accompaniment of screeching guitar-riffs and powerful drum beats. As their live experience develops, this band are only going to go on the up – a perfect female-fronted indie rock gem.

Like the band on facebook, give ’em a follow on twitter

And buy their new single ‘Lord Knows‘ out now on iTunes and Apple Music


Baker out


ALBUM REVIEW. Atiptoe – +Venture


Image: Failure By Design Facebook


Atiptoe are a 4-piece group from the South of England, who have been doing their thing, mixing indie-rock and pop-punk fun with local independent record label Failure By Design since 2013. After releasing two singles through 2013 and 2014 to set in the band identity and sound, they are now embarking on their debut album, ‘+Venture‘ (out now in all the right places) and the verdict is so far so good!


The band’s evolution in both musical style and confidence since their emergence in 2013 is apparent from the first words of opening track: ‘C’mon, Let’s Light This Candle‘. Front-man, Dave Sylvester‘s is especially impassioned throughout this record, as he sings the powerful lyrics that this band do so well in writing such as “Mister teacher, Mister preacher won’t you share with us the wisdom you’ve been keeping“. The album then goes onto take some risks, with some funkier-riffs in their latest single, ‘Oh, the Cleverness of Me!‘ and more delicate melodies in the beautiful track, ‘What Is Essential‘. This short instrumental track is where Atiptoe take a moment to demonstrate their brilliant musicianship that puts them apart from other typical pop-punk bands. Meanwhile, you have tracks like ‘You’ve Lost your Muchness‘ which are all about the intense build-up to the belting chorus, where all members come together to bring about an explosion of drums and heavy guitar solos. Just what we like to hear.


Atiptoe have simultaneously taken more risks musically here compared to their earlier material, with more elaborate drumming and ambient moments within tracks; the evolved vocals have also started to show a more vulnerable side to Atiptoe at times within this album. Finally, the concluding track, ‘Not Told You Half of What I Saw‘ confirms our estimations that this new material will be an impressive sight to see live. From the intricate ebs and flows of the guitar lines to Sylvester‘s ever-growing powerful vocals during a possible call-and-responce “Do you believe me now?”, this is a band will bring something new to the live indie-rock scene in their upcoming tour (dates below).


You can catch Atiptoe live at the following shows:

May 29th – Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, Brighton. (With Merrick’s Tusk and Redwood)

May 30th – Mother’s Ruin, Bristol. (With Redwood)

May 31st – Fiddler’s Elbow, London. (With Redwood)

June 1st – Chameleon Arts Cafe, Nottingham. (With Redwood)

June 2nd – Dog & Whistle, Hertford. (With Redwood)

June 3rd – Boileroom, Guildford.

June 5th – Cellar Bar, Bracknell. (With Redwood)

June 30th – Sanctuary, Basingstoke. (With Signals)

Stream Atiptoe‘s new single, and full album now on spotify

Give the band a like/follow now on facebooktwitter and their website,

Also check out what else Failure By Design Records are up to on facebook and twitter!



Baker out

LIVE REVIEW. Spring King live at The Boileroom

Date: 20th May

Venue: The Boileroom, Guildford (SOLD OUT)

Main Support: Haize

This is a night that can only be described one way: A big, hot, sweaty mess.

So Manchester boys, Spring King finally grace the South-East with their presence at the best possible time. After steadily releasing smash hits such as ‘Detroit‘, ‘The Summer‘ and ‘Rectifier‘ ahead of their much-anticipated album, ‘Tell Me If You Like To‘ (out 10 June 2016), the band had plenty of new material, hype and summer vibes to work with. Additionally, the South-East’s favourite independent venueThe Boileroom proved to be the perfect hosts for this sold-out sweat and beer fuelled indie fest.


Opening support – JETTI


With a cheery, welcoming set, this four-piece from Ascot were a perfectly suited opening support act for tonight’s youthful-indie extravaganza.  

Their live material proved to be a pleasant surprise, despite having somewhat monotonous drum beats and bass lines that are, for some reason so popular within indie/alternative music, JETTI maintained a high level of energy throughout the set that got the crowd thoroughly warmed up. With catchy main guitar riffs, and the belting voice of front man, Toby Jones, the group were able to create a huge sound that is mostly lost on first support bands, and crowd favourites such as ‘I feel so alive‘ and ‘The Beach‘ were met with a warm reaction from the Guildford crowd.

JETTI are a prime example of an impressively young, indie-pop group that are starting to be on the rise in the world. They are capable of so much and when they find their distinct place and begin to take more risks with their music, they are only going to get better.

Check out their stuff on Souncloud below and catch ’em on facebook here


Main support – Haize

Rating: ★★★★☆

London boys, Haize were the perfect calm before the storm of Spring King in terms of their soft alternative-rock material and frontman’s oddly calming voice, but definitely not in terms of the crowd. Tonight the Boileroom was a blur of ‘just-had-my-first-beer’ tweens dancing and playfully shoving in an ever-growing mosh pit (Note: Can it be called a mosh-pit in an indie gig??). The lead-vocalist was looking quite apprehensive on stage, only giving the odd nervous smile and giggle when looking up at the sea of kids bouncing off each other and screaming the band’s ever-so-catchy ‘oooh’s right back at them. Meanwhile, the other members seemed to be loving it!

Haize is fronted by a charming voice, singing tales of youth, summer and love – perfect for tonight’s occasion. These tales were accompanied by the usual and irresistible indie-rock riffs that you can’t help but dance to. New material such as the group’s latest single, ‘Blue Lights‘ (out now on Soundcloud) seemed to encapsulate the set’s vibes perfectly, while old favourites such as ‘Solar‘ were stummed out effortlessly. One slightly unfortunate aspect of the set was the band members’ apparent lack of synergy and on-stage connection with each other, despite making a solid connection with the audience that was maintained throughout the set. If this was due to nerves about opening for Spring King tonight, it needn’t be an issue in the future because these guys sound great. This is a band that know exactly where they’re going, and just need to confidence to not compromise anything in the meantime.

Follow Haize on facebook, and Twitter while checking out their new single on soundcloud!


Headliners – Spring King



Image: Crawford Images


The wait was definitely worth it with this lot from Manchester. Within seconds of the members emerging on stage, the Boileroom transformed from a room of increasingly inpatient, near-to-flagging teens into a merging sea of hands and loud screams. It was a magic trick. The band opened with long-term fan-favourite ‘Better Man‘ which unsurprisingly turned into a riotous yet glorious mess. Then went onto show us the yet-to-be-released title track of the upcoming album: ‘Tell Me If You Like To‘ (10 June 2016) which was met with gratifying cheers and only made us more excited for its full release!


Image: Crawford Images


It is impressive to say the least watching front-man, Tarek Musa, manage to belt out lyrics with such persistent energyy  while banging the drums with such ferociousness. It was (reassuringly) not as easy as it was made to look, as he soon observed “oh look, cut my hand already” after their first song of the night. All members of the band continue to push out so much energy onto the crowd that it is unsurprising to see how they were swirling around the moshpits and bouncing off the walls all night. Guitarist Peter Darlington is especially strong at leading the crowd chants during tunes such as ‘Who Are You‘ and ‘The Summer‘. This is a band that you just have to see live, even if only to see them coordinate their individual talents on stage to recreate their huge roundhouse sound, and definitely for the atmosphere.

It was nice to see that Spring King enjoyed Guildford as much as Guildford enjoyed them, too. On several occasions throughout the set, they exclaimed that the Boileroom were “the best fucking crowd we’ve had all tour”, and I am not surprised. It was wild.


Make sure to check out Spring King on twitter and facebook

Stream Spring King’s latest bangers below:

Baker out


NEWS. Spring King are coming to the Boileroom, Guildford 20/05/2016

Spring King are a post-punk quartet from Manchester that have been turning heads all over while playing acclaimed sets at SXSW and Austin City Limits. Our best local indie venue, the Boileroom is now lucky enough to be graced with their presence which is sure to shake up Guildford this Friday night

Spring King have been building a reputation of providing a live music experience, rather than the monotonous reciting of their new youtube hits that we see so much of these days with young, indie punk bands. With banging singles such as ‘The Summer‘ and ‘Rectifier‘ being released ahead of their debut LP, ‘Tell Me If You Like To‘ (Out 10 June via Island Records), these guys have new material that you are bound to be drunkenly singing along to soon enough.

Spring King are to be joined with support from Reading boys, Haize and the interesting sounds of JETTI. This show is sure to be the full package of indie and punk magic in Guildford.

Make sure to come down early!


Check out the event page here for timings and tickets.


Baker out.

Live Review of Beach Baby, Babeheaven and Big Bug

Date: 2nd May 2016

Venue: The Boileroom, Guildford

Genre: Indie-pop

There’s nowhere else I would rather be on an otherwise dull Tuesday evening than at a gig. Tonight I saw the long-awaited Beach Baby play on the last night of their first UK headline tour, and also got introduced to two cool up-and-coming bands. I think Guildford’s independent venue, the Boileroom was the perfect place to host all three.


Big Bug

Big Bug is comprised of Charlie, John, and George; with origins in both London and Guildford. This bad were a good opener to warm up the crowd and get them off their feet. What started out as quite an unmemorable set transformed into quite the opposite once lead vocalist, John revealed the impressive set of lungs on him. As pleasurable pop tunes were being belted out by the trio, I began to get the feeling songs such as ‘I Don’t Believe in Love’ would be badly sung by a group of drunks somewhere at 2am tonight – the perfect end-of-the-night-sing-a-long song.

As front man, John, flounced around the stage, it was hard to decide whether he was more immersed into the music he and the boys were creating or more immersed into his high. Either way, their performance was a good one, with their new single, ‘Painted Blue’ sounding like a potentially perfect gloomy-pop anthem and their set receiving a warm reception from the audience. Hopefully, things will only get bigger and better for this trio.

Rating: 3/5

Check out their facebook here

Check out their soundcloud and stream their single here:



The musical dream this group creates speaks for itself.


I bumped into Nancy and the guys from Babeheaven and got to hang out with them momentarily before they went on stage. Nancy seemed simultaneously nervous and excited to end their first UK tour with Beach Baby with a bang, and the guys were telling me how they indulged in a ‘when in Rome’ moment and played a pre-gig football match (Babeheaven V Beach Baby) in the local Waitrose carpark – Can’t get much more Surrey than that!

I had heard Babeheaven songs dotted around the place in the weeks leading up to tonight, and was excited to see them live, but nothing could have prepared me for Nancy’s voice. Her delicate but haunting voice paired with the ambient guitar/keys created an indie dream floating around the room on a cloud.

The unique sounds that the individuals of this London-based group each created just fitted together perfectly. Many indie bands of late tend to sacrifice vocal quality for edgy guitar riffs and catchy monotone hooks, this group does quite the opposite of jumping onto that bandwagon. Everything is assembled around Nancy’s voice – and rightly so! It was the pinnacle of the set and the highlight of the night. With pretty much every musician multi-tasking between instruments that come in at the perfect moment on each track, this band  (with, surprisingly, only one single out so far) demonstrated the type of on-stage synergy that is usually only seen in much more established bands.

The first single of their’s, ‘Heaven‘ was performed with grace and poise. Just as I was being taken into a trance of spacey sounds and gentle words, steel drums came out of nowhere to both enhance the beat of the song and bring me right back down to earth. Other great tracks included ‘Listen to Me’ and ‘Run Away‘, I cannot wait to see these tunes transpire into indie-pop hits and the most wanted 7inch vinyls around.

Rating: 5/5

Be a total babe and check out their Facebook and twitter

Check our their soundcloud here:


Beach Baby

Getting better and better while perfecting their profession a little bit more with every gig.


I first discovered Beach Baby when their single came through my letterbox as part of a Flying Vinyl release, and I knew from the first chord being struck that this was a band that were going to make an impact on the alternative scene.

As they made their entrance onto the stage, the guitarist spoke “You guys are in for a treat”, and they were not wrong. With the harmonies that are casually dotted around their tracks being excecuted with perfection throughout the set, the Beach Baby boys filled the room with their summery feel-good indie hits for the evening. They even managed to warm up the predominantly ‘too cool’ audience of Guildford enough to see some head bobs and foot taps which is certainly an echievement here.

This group, after a long time grinding through the alternative-pop scene looking for a big break, are now oozing out confidence in their polished hits on their first UK headline tour. However, it could be said that tonight’s performance felt ever-so-slightly complacent. Whether it is due to the Boileroom being the band’s last stop on their nationwide tour, leaving them tired and overworked, or the band are becoming overly content with their performances, I’m not sure. But at times, especially when either two front men were singing solo, the dulled-down vocals that are so easy to fall into with ultra-cool, Vaccines-esk music were pushed out to the room. However, this lack of energy was compensated for through humerous chats with the audience inbetween tracks and the clever spacing-out of the band’s best hits and audience favourites within the set.

Beach Baby’s indie-pop hits with their clever lyrics and lovely meloncholly undertones are taking the UK by storm, and tonight I could see why. Overall, I am confident in this band’s journey to indie-pop celebrity status and ability to keep bringing good vibes.

Rating: 4/5

Check out their Facebook and twitter

Give their latest single a listen here:


Baker out. 

Bigger is not always better – The Importance of Small Independent Venues

Every committed fan and connoisseur of music will have a collection of memories from small, independent venues that they can roll off the top of their head. Their first gig, their messiest gig, that one gig years ago where you saw today’s biggest band for the first time in a room with 100 people in. In a world where ‘bigger is better’ in regards to just about everything: TVs, companies, houses, among other things… music venues represent an important and timeless exception.

Why are small indie venues so important?

For me – and I reckon a lot of other people – it’s about the unique experiences you get with them. Instead of a polished, overly uniformed arena with structured seating, anonymous crowds and lacking personality, you have a room small enough where you can meet people, chat to the bar staff about mutual tastes in music, try an obscure craft beer, and be close enough to the band that a real connection can be made between you and the artist(s). You don’t have to pay an extra fortune to get close enough to the stage to actually see someone’s face, you just have to be committed enough to get in there early. It’s all about what you put into the night, not how much you pay for it.

Lydia from the Boileroom, Guildford, agrees. “Each one is different, and is ran by people passionate about music and the artists that come through and play within their hallowed walls.”


So it’s quite evident that independent venues have been suffering from a collective, nationwide struggle for some time now. Suddenly you find yourself more interested in saving up to go to one big gig at the o2 arena instead of four intimate gigs at the tiny club at the end of your street, and becoming increasingly less interested in the leaflets going round going on about who you should be seeing and listening to.

And why is this?

Well, as always, the government has its role in this game.With funding for the arts on an annual decline. Ambivalence for the creative arts often spreads from the top down, just as enthusiasm grows from the bottom up. The ongoing battles between indie venues and unwelcoming neighbours, staggering property values, and difficult laws that see great places being shut down nationwide seems to be a rarely discussed, unsurprising reality rather than a devastating misfortune in recent times. As towns are becoming more heavily populated, and reactive licensing regulations and environmental health agencies are putting on more pressure, it’s only getting harder. Indeed, of the 430 music venues that operated within London between 2007 and 2015, only 245 are still open, according to the trust.

So has all hope been lost?

Definitely not. There have been several developments in the last few years in terms of safeguarding music venues across the country. Lydia from the Boileroom, Guildford explains “Music Venues Trust have set up trade union TAMVA, and have been making headway with regards to PRS licensing fees…reducing business rates…as well as giving general advice and creating a network of grassroots venues that can support each other”. And that is when needs to continue to happen, networking and support.

There is something special about small indie venues that people still cherish, consumers and artists alike. Many bands still take the opportunity to play the smaller town venues when they could easily get 10 times the amount of customers in a bigger venue. For instance, last year youmeatsix played the Boileroom for Independent Venue Week (and it was an awesome night), and Wolf Alice stated in an interview for the guide2surrey that they will always remember playing the smaller venues before hitting it big with the likes of Glasto Festival.

So what I’m mainly trying to say is that small indie venues and grassroots venues are still as important to the music industry today as they ever were. They often represent the community in an all-inclusive, welcoming way and are a place to make incredible memories. They are the places that hosted today’s biggest headline bands way back in the beginning when they were still growing and developing as artists – just as we are still developing.

And they will continue to do this, if we are still committed to supporting them.

Baker out.



Trust Fund live at the Boileroom

Here’s a live review of Trust Fund, with support by Dog and Alimony Hustle written for thnksfrthrvw

Date: 14/11/2015 –  Boileroom, Guildford

Promoter – OXYXXEY Promotions


Support from Dog

The first support act of the night was a three-piece consisting of Benji, Sean and Ed from Devon.

This band manages to catch the zeitgeist of the present youth very well with their nonchalant vocalist, singing truths of heartbreak, drinking and general troubles in life. Guitar riffs reminiscent of psych-pop bands such as Beach Baby and down-beat drums tied romanticised angst and indie hooks all together in tunes such as ‘Too young to be so bitter’ and ‘Cause everybody’s so cool’.

With relatable lyrics and such a blasé style, this band is one to watch.

FFO-Beach Baby, Oscar, Kid Wave

Rating – 4/5


Support from Alimony Hustle

This playful pair from Bristol, consisting of Matt and Leah currently touring with Trust Fund came to Guildford for the first time this evening.

Alimony Hustle are definitely not your bog-standard duo act. Their heavy indie riffs and powerful drumming are accompanied by strong unapologetic vocals of Leah. The crowd were drawn in instantly with an abundance of audience interaction from Leah and Matt.

Part way through the set, the duo treated the crowd to covers of two very different, but much-loved tracks. First was Blink 182’s ‘Stay Together For The Kids’, dedicated to Dan, a member of tonight’s headliners. The duo’s rendition mixed the same nostalgic skate punk riffs with their own take on vocals, which were greatly received from the crowd. We then heard an acapella performance of the opening lyrics to One Direction’s ‘Night Changes’, which then exploded into the grunge-pop sounds that this group really excel in delivering.

You could never get a dull set with this fresh, fun-loving duo.

Rating – 3/5

FFO- Boyracer, The Get Up Kids,



Trust Fund

It’s finally time for our much-anticipated headliners to grace the stage to finish what is already a great gig. Trust Fund, from Bristol, are a perfect example of a rare, actually ‘good’ band to emerge out of the influx of seemingly monotonous indie-pop bands that are coming onto the music scene.

It was apparent just how pleasantly surprised this band are by their increasingly loyal following from the members’ reaction to the crowd singing along to tracks such as ‘Seems Unfair’ and ‘Dreams’ from their new album ‘Seems Unfair’.

What makes this band stand out from an ever-growing crowd of indie bands is not their style but the intimacy of their gigs. Ellis Jones manages to write relevant lyrics about young love, fear and anxiety, while presenting them with a backdrop of cheerful melodies, creating melancholic tunes that leave the crowd with hopeful vibes. This is emphasised by Jones’s distinctive voice, his charming tender vocals were perfectly demonstrated in tracks such as ‘IDK’. Similarly to Alvvays, this voice leaves a long-lasting impression on the crowd that ensures you’ll be back for more.

This band managed to bring members of the crowd together with their friendly interactions and heart-warming, alternative jams to create a perfect ending to a successful evening of showcasing the best of British Indie bands. It’s up to the up and coming promoters such as ODYXXEY to continue to make this happen.

FFO- Crushed Beaks, Hooton Tennis Club, Alvvays

Rating – 4/5


Check them out now: trustfund

Check out the promoter here: ODYXXEYtrust fund gig.png

(source: own image)