It was entertaining and good music, but the main act Greywind didn't make a massive impression on me as performers. The saving grace was Miss Vincent, the support act, who energised the room ready for Greywind's performance.
As I arrived at The Joiners, there was a flurry of excitement as local support act, Dali, took to the stage. They said themselves that they’d only been a band for 6 months, and it showed. They were good, but stood next to Greywind and the other support band Miss Vincent, they shrunk away. Their music was OK, however the guitars and drums were too loud compared to the vocals, which meant their singing (or should I say, shouting) was lost behind the instruments. They were present on stage, but they weren’t so interactive with the audience, they just played their set, promoted themselves and that was it – no banter with the audience, no hyping up. Their set just fizzled out, and as I am writing this, I can’t remember much of what they did, which isn’t ideal if you are paying to see a band, but they were only the support so it was no big deal.
Next up were Miss Vincent, who were my personal favourites of the evening, even more so than headliners’ Greywind. They completely changed the vibe in the room, getting everyone to move forward, and personally calling me out for leaning against the wall at the back of the room. This was much needed after the anticlimactic Dali left the stage. They caught my attention with their pop-rock inspired sound that was so different to Dali before them, who had a more hard rock scream aesthetic. The change in pace was welcome and refreshing. They had banter with us and built up a rapport which just made the room feel so right, a mark of true performers. They just seemed like they were having fun (the bassist was drinking Buckfast wine on stage, what a lad) and bringing the audience in on it. They also treated us to a very special cover of ‘Lonely this Christmas’, and got the audience to sing along with their interpretation of the classic festive hit. They were true performers and I thoroughly enjoyed their set.
Finally, the time had come for Greywind to take to the stage. They started off with their song ‘Forest Ablaze’, which was a good way to start the show with a stereotypical guitar heavy shouty jam, grabbing my attention. Then it got a bit boring for the next few tracks ‘Circle’, ‘Wander’ and ‘The Lake’. It wasn’t exciting, they all just blurred into one big generic alt-rock track with no real identity. This wasn’t helped by the fact that there wasn’t much interaction with the audience other than lead singer Steph occasionally shouting “SOUTHAMPTON, ARE YOU AWAKE?”, which just shows that they are still new to performing live.
I lost the music a little bit and got hypnotised by her head banging. When she actually started to introduce the tracks and give us some more background than just jumping from one track to the next, starting with ‘Desolate’, I was avidly listening from there on in. Some pieces were better than others, most notably ‘Carspin’, which I caught myself attempting to sing along to. Other tracks, such as ‘Stitch on my Wings’ and ‘In Autumn’, caught me off guard as they slowed the pace, stripped down with emotion and purpose. The final track, ‘Afterthoughts’, was the perfect finisher for the show. It crescendos into a cacophony of guitars, drums and vocals that works so well and sticks in my memory as a highlight of their set. They also announced that album number two is out sometime next year, and that they will be returning to Southampton in 2019.
Catch the track that was my highlight of the evening, ‘Carspin’, below: