Quick recap on The Joiners. Many great bands have played here including Coldplay, Radiohead, The Vaccines, Arctic Monkeys, The Libertines, The Maccabees and less than 2 years ago, Catfish and the Bottlemen. This place is steeped in history, great bands start out here. It may only hold 200 people but it has had a massive influence on today’s music.
It also seems to provide many a band member with a bar job when required, sort of like a band youth club for the seriously talented!
First up Submariner who are becoming well known on the local circuit recently supporting Fatherson at The Talking Heads in Southampton. Good songs and crowd engagement meant Submariner set the night up perfectly for The Wholls and Bel Esprit. Definitely one to catch again and apart from their guitar malfunction (see below) they were great openers for the evening.
I love how these bands pitch in for each other. The Wholls didn’t hesitate in lending Submariner a guitar when a broken string threatened to end their set prematurely!
Next band to appear, and reclaim their guitar, was The Wholls. Billed as a cross between The Foals and The Clash this Bedford band has been in the studio with LA producer Steve Baughman who has worked with Michael Jackson, Usher, 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg. Potentially a bit good then! Bizarrely The Wholls played to a 2 billion world-wide audience when they performed X21 at Miss World in December 2015.
Onto the headline act Bel Esprit who are currently on a mini tour to promote their new single ‘Leave Me Here’ (out on 8 April). Bel Esprit are riding high after great reviews and first play of their new single on It’s All Indie. Whatever ‘It’ is Bel Esprit have got it! Gearing up for festival season and playing on the Uncommon Stage at The Common Festival in May alongside Lonely The Brave this band is on the brink of massively deserved recognition.
The only criticism I have of Bel Esprit is that they’re not on the stage for long enough. The audience didn’t want Bel Esprit to stop playing and I’m looking forwards to more song writing and longer gigs.
All 3 bands complemented each other so big respect to whoever combined these acts. DJ sets completed the night’s entertainment. The Joiners knows how to have a party!
Words and Photos by - Rhona Murphy