Surrounded by mates, dodging the slippy beer-spilled mosh-pit and soaking up the fuzz-drenched sound of guitars. That’s what my night consisted off and it was fucking sick.
I opened the door to The Back Room at the Star Inn, Guildford, to a fucking wall of sound. I was late so I caught the last half of Oz Powell’s set backed by The Kryds and missed the first act E S P (an electronic duo). The Kryds played a mixture of covers and Oz’s newly released EP titled ‘Supafuzz’. These tracks were probably my favourite of the night.
I’d entered at the right time. People were loosening up and a couple of early pissheads were already starting to have it. I brought my housemate’s camera along and she got to work ASAP taking pictures of the band. We’d become good friends with Oz, so it was awesome to see him in his element! I’d heard just how much time he spends writing songs and the practice had really paid off; his songwriting showed craftsmanship.
After their set, we crammed outside for a ciggy and a drink. There was a hustling buzz of energy in the smoking area, everyone knew everyone and the air was electric.
“COITUS FUTON IS ON!!” was yelled by Oz to get our assess back inside and support the motherpucking band yo. This usually four-piece band was only two, but this wasn’t a drawback – just a different side to the band. When asked what their influences are after the gig, I got “Coitus Futon”. Seems accurate. I took it as a heavier-than-your-typical shoegaze sound.
They whittled their way through their set with a comedy-duo-act-esque approach. They were so obviously in tune with one another, one look and they knew how to manipulate the music. People gathered closer to the front as Roman Banwell (vocals, guitar) teased the crowd in-between songs. James Eden (drums) kept it fairly quiet – his skill on the kit did all the talking! Their set ended with Roman falling on the floor caressing his guitar. “Roman you’re a prick” was one of my favourite lines, heckled from the crowd with laughter from the girls <3.
The rest of the night starts to get a bit hazy from here. The bands change over too damn quickly when you want to have a laugh outside and grab another drink, so I missed the start of Freakouts’ set! This time when I walked in, the crowd had doubled, or maybe I just hadn’t paid attention to the people behind me. As far as I could make out (from not having much of a background in punk), Freakouts were more ‘straight up’ sounding punk band with a nod to the 90s.
“Think about your parents’ wages before you spend”
Quote no. 3 of the night goes to Charlie Hinton. There was merch at the back of the room he thought about advertising but wasn’t gonna push. He paused and said “You know… Think about your parent’s wages before you spend”. Hahahaha! Yes. ‘Cause it is a load of bollocks that 9 grand a year is your standard for University fees in the UK.
I was happy at the side of the crowd, avoiding, appreciating the mosh-pits and the emerging brawls. I still managed to get elbowed in the head! Pints were lost, Charlie climbed on top of the speakers, there was stage joining and stage diving, it was a beautiful mess.
I’d been to a few punk rock gigs before, but never really got it before that night. It was infectious and there was a feeling that we were all in something together.
The Kryds and Freakouts are playing at the Boileroom on Feb 23. You’d be stupid to miss them.
Photography: Jorden Mclaughlin, Elly Bailey