The monthly Frequency event, organised by the Alternative and Indie Music Society (AIM) to showcase up-and-coming local bands, returned to The Bridge on 14 March with three more exciting acts. Bournemouth-based headliners Kinnie the Explorer were joined by brand new uni-based band Dodge This and local hard-rockers Stone Them Crows.
Despite technical issues delaying their start by 25 minutes, opening band Dodge This took energetically to the stage for their first live performance since forming back in October 2010. They confidently launched into a set dominated by covers of popular rock songs with ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Queen’ by The Subways, also performing renditions of such hits as Bloc Party’s ‘Helicopter‘ and Maroon 5’s ‘This Love’. The five-piece group brought quite a following to the gig, and their set was well-received by all in attendance. Perhaps most impressive was original song ‘The Wasted Youth‘, which showcased the band’s interesting alternative sound and was demanded again as an encore at the end of their set. The musicianship was solid, and lead singer Becci Ford delivered a powerful and charismatic performance to live up to next time.
Also from Southampton, second act Stone Them Crows brought with them a classic rock swagger and a sound to match. Whilst only having formed late last year, the band played an extremely confident and refined set comprising nine original songs, all with massive guitar riffs and extreme energy all-round. Regular attendees of Frequency will remember the band’s last visit to The Bridge back in January, when their set was cut short due to broken guitar strings and lack of replacements. This time around the equipment survived more than three songs, although hearts were in mouths when Robin Savage’s guitar lead cut out at the beginning of the solo of ‘I’m Running‘. Aside from these external problems, though, Stone Them Crows put on an impressive (if not out-of-place, considering the nature of AIM) performance, combining punchy riffs and fancy licks, nostalgic classic rock vocals, and a solid rhythm section, appreciated by all those left in attendance.
Finishing the night were headlining act Kinnie the Explorer, an ambient post-punk band from nearby Bournemouth, who set the stage by essentially asking for all the lights to be turned off. This ethereal, eerie setting was suited perfectly for the music to follow: a spaced-out, dark, mellow set of downbeat alternative rock which drew comparisons with The XX and “second album Foals”. A lot of the songs sounded experimental and almost like art rock, with the group themselves presenting a shy, internalised persona on-stage, with very little crowd interaction. Contrary to Stone Them Crows, Kinnie the Explorer are not an energetic, ‘rock and roll persona’ band; instead, they craft their music with delicate care and time over every note and construction. Despite this reviewer being bored by their post-punk droaning and extended instrumentals, Kinnie were extremely well received by those left in attendance, and picked up towards the end of their set to have people dancing into the night. Overall, it felt like the headlining act provided somewhat of an anticlimax to the hard rock that preceded, although it was clear that they were the most experienced and polished band of the bunch. A quick poll of the audience also showed that they were the most popular act of the night, which is what it’s about in the end.
So despite the technical delays and lack of audience post-opening band, March’s edition of AIM’s monthly Frequency event was another great show, and a big success. Look out for the next Frequency on May 9th, which promises to be another great show!