Floridian rockers Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, most famous for their hit single ‘Face Down’, were in Southampton on Sunday evening for a show at The Joiners. Bet Me I’m Lying were the official support, whilst a couple of local bands, as is traditional when a gig is on at The Joiners, opened up on a reasonably mild August evening.
I get there a little too late to catch alternative punk rockers Kilkovec open up The Joiners stage, but throughly enjoyed the following band that played. Three Times Over played a bunch of original tracks that were upbeat, rocky and full of passion. Each band member showed enthusiasm and talent, which made for a thoroughly enjoyable watch. They were actually the best of the three acts I saw that evening, and that wasn’t a hard title to obtain when the following acts were as dire as they were.
When Bet Me I’m Lying took to the stage, I never would have thought that the four lads that stood in front of me were actually the band who are supporting Red Jumpsuit on the entirety of the tour. And if I’m brutally honest, I wish they weren’t. They tried hard, and their drummer and rhythm guitarist showed glimpses of genius, but the two vocalists, who were also the bassist and lead guitarist, couldn’t sing for love nor money and were content on just trying to make as much noise as possible instead of playing music. They seemed like genuinely nice guys when interacting with the crowd between tracks, but unfortunately their music didn’t equate to their personalities.
The main “attraction” in the form of the Ronnie Winter fronted Red Jumpsuit Apparatus took to the stage at just gone 10 o’clock to a packed out Joiners who were hoping and praying that they would be better than what had just been on before them. Unfortunately however, it was not to be and the night was just about to get a lot, lot worse. Winter stumbled onto the stage and appeared intoxicated, before gazing at the crowd and saluting those in attendance. The band went straight into their opening two songs and they weren’t too bad, but that’s when Winter ruined everything. He just started talking. And talking. And talking. He asked the crowd whether they wanted to hear ‘Face Down’ once and then everyone goes home early or he plays a load of other tracks. The crowd (later regretting this decision) opted to hear more than just one track.
By 10:45 you would assume that a band who had been onstage for almost three-quarters of an hour would have played a bunch of songs, but not Red Jumpsuit. In the space of 45 minutes or so they had managed to make their way through just four, thanks to Winter. He just kept rabbiting on, telling people that they should be pleased that he had gone through so much trouble and travelled so far just to play to them and that he just didn’t care and didn’t feel the vibe was right. But that was no surprise: people attended to see some live music, but what they got instead was a 32-year old having a rant. Half of the venue had emptied by this point. Everyone on the floor felt awkward, and the rest of the band appeared to be as well. The four musicians in the band are all very talented and very good at what they do, they just need a new frontman who doesn’t ruin it for them.