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Live Sounds with Martin Hovden 01/05/14

 

Band Royale contenders Inhabit

I SEE numerous bands week by week to gather information and stories for Live Sounds, and just occasionally something rather special happens.

On paper (or rather their Facebook page) Inhabit are a six-strong metal band from Liverpool. I happen to like heavy metal, complete with pounding beat and screaming lead singer, and it's a genre that's very popular in Southport, especially among the new bands appearing on our scene.

But Inhabit are something different as they so clearly demonstrated in heat three of the resort's Band Royale contest.

They dominated the night at the Fox and Goose with a performance which took us all by surprise.

Yes, it was metal but in an up, close and personal, audience-friendly way.

And this was mainly due to lead singer Chop Chopz. He is one of the most charismatic frontmen I've seen for a long time, frequently leaving the stage to belt out his lyrics among the audience.

“Inhabit is all about love, music, expressing yourself, getting the energy out, getting the energy back, just spreading it around” he told me.

But can heavy metal be that sensitive? “Any music can be sensitive. The message is the same, it doesn't matter whether it's pop or metal,” said Chop.

And what makes his band different to other metal bands? “We have a touch of rock and roll that perhaps other metal bands don't have. It's all about love.”

And I can reveal they're a great bunch of lads off-stage, very friendly and approachable.

I can't wait to see Inhabit again in the quarter finals of Band Royale. Their performance confirmed yet again why I enjoy writing this column.

You can check them out on their Facebook page.

Animus
 

JOURNALISTS are taught to spend time and effort creating the opening sentence to their story. The “intro” must be interesting enough to make the reader want to read the whole article.

In a way, it's the same with bands. And some band “intros” are better than others.

First, not what to do. I once saw a band perform their first two songs with their backs to the audience (they even chatted among themselves during the instrumental bits). They most probably thought it was cool. I thought it was a complete turn-off and an insult to the audience.

One of the best I saw was when the band was introduced by the compere but with an empty stage. After a short pause the drummer walked on and started a catchy beat. Then one by one the other members of the band joined him, each adding their own instrument's contribution to the song.

And I must admit I laughed out loud when I saw St Helen's alternative rock/metal band Animus play in the Southport's Fox and Goose the other night.

They started with a really cheesy, rock number and then lead singer Jordan Kennie suddenly stopped the music and announced: “Hang on, this isn't right, we're Animus,” and launched into a really heavy, in-your face song.

And like Inhabit's lead singer (see main story), Jordan went into the audience during his performance. At one stage, he grabbed hold of Pat Hibell (a member of Path Unknown and formerly with Side Show) and screamed the lyrics into his face.

So that's what they call audience participation.

 

BAND Royale continues at the Fox and Goose in Southport every Friday night.

It's heat five tomorrow and the contenders are The Chromosomes (believe me, they're different as you will see if you check them out on my Youtube channel), Josh Berrington (a singer-songwriter from Southport who is also a member of resort heavy metal band Battalia), Resolutes, Cue Tigers, Elephantom and The Salty Old Sea Dogs.

It starts at 8.30pm and admission is £3 (or £2 if you win a game of rock, papers scissors at the door).

The contest has attracted 36 bands from all over the North West. It continues through until July.

If you have any news or views, you can contact me on Facebook or email martin.hovden@blueyonder.co.uk