Zafiros, Truro 17/11/17
Apologies for being all about Truro at the moment but the music scene here has been remarkable for the last few weeks. Last night there were 4 very good quality gigs to choose from and there are two more tonight. It was also far too long since I’d been to see Oh Majester and the heart wants it wants…
I changed my mind about this venue last night! Previous nights out there have not been great and I’ve never thought of it as a particularly good space for live music. The bands are crammed into a corner and there is nowhere to store flight/guitar cases, merch boxes etc out of sight so the bands end up looking like they are performing at a garage sale. The lighting is also not great so ideally any bands performing here should bring their own, and also consider using a backdrop. The sound however was surprisingly good, better than average for a pub gig, and the atmosphere was very friendly and enthusiastic with lots of people dancing and constant good natured banter between the bands and the audience. I’m converted!
50 Year Storm
50 Year Storm from Newquay were first up and they certainly stirred things up and got a few windows rattling.
Formed in Autumn 2016, this original trio quickly grabbed the attention of BBC Introducing and have appeared across numerous South West festivals including The Great Estate, The Little Orchard Cider & Music Festival and Looe Music Festival. I first saw them in January this year and it feels like they have come a long, long way since. Not that I wasn’t wowed that first time around but Damon Morey’s voice has gained power and maturity and their new material really does blow you away.
Their material is an eardrum-wowing mix of electronic rock, emo and filthy dirty blues with songs written by all members. I particularly loved drummer Emma Limm’s contribution “Bulleit” which is a funky little number, stripped back to just drums/guitar, that sparked some incredible dancing from the audience. This is one of the tracks being recorded with John Cornfield next week, so I’ll be on the look out for that being released 🙂 The whole set list last night was outstanding, however, with other memorable tunes including “We The Brave”, “Lights Go Out”, “Grey Ladies” and the deliciously anthemic “The Harm” – the first track the band wrote together (see video above).
Oh Majester have been established as one of my favourite bands in Cornwall since the first time I saw them – but I haven’t been able to see them for a few months and it is noticeable just how much they have grown in confidence over the summer. The band are tighter than ever and Martin Burn’s sublime, soaring vocals are now given full reign to do what they can do, which is just fantastic!
Oh Majester’s facebook information says they are about ‘Noises’ and their music IS difficult to define as it is so wonderfully atmospheric and soundscapey. It incorporates samples from a range of sources with beautifully intense guitar from John Oakes and Luke James, along with kickass rhythms from Mark Russell on Bass and Dyl Jones on drums.
The set last night was an exciting mix of old and new material (well as old as a 1 year old band can have). It was great to hear favourites like “Brendan” and “Icarus” along with newer material like “Sweet Water”. It was also superb to hear them perform “Chemicals” which I’ve listened to many times on social media but which is even more impressive in real life.
Review by: Debi
Editor’s note – since writing this both bands have been listed in Cornwall Lives article “Check out 51 of the best Cornwall bands and singers before they get huge”. Well here’s hoping… I’ve already got my memorabilia for when they do 🙂