Live Review: Random Hand – Trillians, Newcastle, July 14th 2009

randomhandAs the crowd still gathers down in the dingy but somewhat homely depths of Trillians rock bar tonight, it’s almost impossible to tell just how many people might show for this one. There are no more than a handful of disinterested punters half-an-hour after doors, but this sharpishly picks up – after all, it should do, the collective is to witness a real treat tonight in the form of Yorkshire quartet Random Hand.

For now though, the night’s entertainment is made by North East-punkers Pure Graft. With an ethic that mirrors their band name, they break out some decent slabs of skate-punkish hardcore; not one for real on stage banter (not to mention having a vocalist that didn’t actually set foot on stage for the duration of his band’s set) they tend to get their message across with their loud, fast music, and cause a nice stir to liven the night’s proceedings.

The Skints, of London descent and citing one of their primary influences as Reggae Reggae Sauce, go down an absolute storm with tonight’s crowd, which has vastly increased and packed out the bar. Tracks from their debut EP such as Murderer are an absolute treat; the crowd’s definitely down with it tonight, skanking along left, right and centre to this reggae/dub/ska-punk hybrid. As simple as their music sounds, it’s so effective; vocalist Marcia pulls out all manner of weird and wonderful instruments to accompany, a mouth organ, saxophone, and a wonderful voice, while at the other ends of the spectrum, drummer Jamie provides the soulful reggae sounds, and guitarist Josh lets out all manner of yelps, barks, and raps to keep the crowd alive. Such a fantastic live performance should not be missed by anybody.

As brilliant as their support was, ska-punk metallers Random Hand take it and blow it off stage in some style as they crash their way into such an energetic live set. The crowd that was positively electric for The Skints are now in a full skanking, shaking, frenzy, as the band crank out new tunes from recently released record Inhale/Exhale to a real rapture; the likes of I, Human, and Devil’s Little Guinea Pig gartering an awesome reception.

With humorous and engaging on stage banter, vocalist Robin Leitch has his crowd in the palm of his hand. Random Hand appear so comfortable in this environment, and rightly so; a full house in an intimate setting, with every single person in the room shouting the words back, enjoying the night, if not more so than the band infront of them, that is.

The band step things up a notch, punking it up with Josh from The Skints adding some fierce growls to the occasion, before breaking out some true ska magic, trombones and all, and putting a huge smile on each face in the room. Random Hand are an energetic live act second to none, and they make a point of mentioning how much they love the venue tonight – whether they can keep playing in a room this small for much longer remains to be seen.

George.

Photos of the show will be up soon, as well as an inerview with The Skints.

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