Gig review: BARE KNUCKLE + MORE HUMAN THAN HUMAN, The Victoria,Swindon,18 June 2021

The Vic in Old Town, Swindon is an established and well-known small music venue. With the current restrictions their capacity is reduced to 36, but they are not shying away from putting live music on and bands are queueing up to play here – I can see why. Great staff who were welcoming from our arrival, this was a seamlessly well organised event. We were advised of the rules and shown to our tables – table service for drinks was efficient and friendly. Without question, this venue is working hard to keep going, like every venue that has been brave enough to re-open despite the limitations and show they are here to stay.

This gig was bittersweet in many ways, as for the bands in question this was the first time, they have played in 16 months and it should have been a warmup for the bigger Quarantune Rocks event on 10 July, which unfortunately had to be rescheduled due to the stage 3 restrictions remaining beyond 21 June.

More Human than Human are a 2-piece prog rock / metal band playing original materials with some atmospheric synth chucked in for good measure. For 2 people, they make a lot of noise, they put the ‘heavy’ into rock! The bass riffs are sublimely heavy, and the drums are immense. I loved the blend of vocals from both – it works, and you find yourself lost in the rhythm. The set was about an hour – I lost track of time to be honest, was completely in the moment – if you like heavy, then definitely check them out, they are cracking, and you would never have known they hadn’t played for 16 months – they’ll be opening the Quarantune Rocks bash in October and what an opener they will be.

Bare Knuckle were the last band I saw live before lockdown started last year – and I am glad it was them, a band in a local venue, bringing pure rock – who could have guessed we would be where are over a year later.

Bare Knuckle are a 5-piece band that deliver high energy rock covers (they are most certainly not an average covers band) their own original material – they are accomplished musicians, and the performance lives up to the high energy expectations from the start – kicking off with AC/DC Shoot to Thrill. This is a band that aren’t afraid to tackle complex, stuff as well as the more traditional classic rock – who else covers the like of Volbeat or Chris Cornell – brave moves you might say and you would be right, but those brave moves pay off and it works, it really works. The band were on fire and clearly loving every minute as were the crowd, we rocked our hearts out, it was fun, it was accomplished, it was an honour to be there at their first outing post lockdown, bring on the next gig and their future album – this band are here to stay and I look forward to seeing them add more of their own material to the set blended with the less than usual covers. Good times ahead!

All I can say, is live music brings so much energy and happiness to all, we miss it, how we have missed it, we need it, it is time for music to restart, this industry has been hit so, so hard it is impossible to put in words what an absolute joy it was to rock out on Friday night – today my head is sore, but I am grinning from ear to ear – what a cracking night, in an amazing music venue. Perhaps we all need reminding that we are rock family, and this family will not be defeated.

I have rediscovered my love of smaller venues and I much prefer them to the bigger events – with all of the rescheduling impact, this is the way to get out and see live music. I’ll be getting as many gigsin as I can, I need my rock fix and this smile says it all :) Hope to meet some of you at a local venue soon – you’ll have a ball.

Review by Karen Clayton

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 12 September 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at for that week.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 14 September 2021.

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)

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