Monday, 15 September 2014

14/12/2013 Healthy Junkies & Dragster @ The Unicorn

Saturday night finds me heading down to Camden for another top value for money night at The Unicorn. Four bands and it's free to get in - it doesn't get much cheaper than that - right? And a large bottle of Abbot ale or similar for just over £3 - no wonder people like coming here. They could use some extra bar staff though as the two guys behind the bar are having to work very hard tonight.

As usual my plans to get to the venue early don't work out and I only catch the last song by Crybaby Deathmatch.
Not much to judge by but what I hear is very downtuned and sludgy riff metal. You can download some free songs and make your own mind up here. Maybe I'm a bit of a purist but I like my metal bands to look like metal bands. I know there is a lot to be said for letting 'the music do the talking', but people tend to take a band more seriously and are more likely to remember them if they look the part. Actually bothering to look like you are in a band makes it look like you take it seriously, instead of appearing like you haven't really put much effort in and have just come straight from your day job without bothering to even get changed.

The next band at least look like they have made a bit more of an effort, or the singer has anyway. This is In Evil Hour and they have travelled from Darlington.
This mob churn out hardcore punk and put in an energetic performance - especially their singer who is definitely giving it 100%.

As is often the case at this monthly Rock 'N' Roll Rendezvous club there is more than one female fronted band - three out of four tonight in fact.
Dragster were meant to be tonight's headline band, but due to Healthy Junkies drummer's late arrival they have to go on earlier.
The change in running order doesn't seem to matter as there is a good crowd in by the time Dragster hit the stage running.
Rock 'n' roll with metal power and punk attitude is what Dragster deal in. It's 'in your face' stuff with no punches pulled.
There is plenty of energy on display here - too much to be contained on the stage as the band's singer is often propelled off into the crowd.
Dragster take the 'looking like you are in a band' thing a stage further than the previous two bands - apart from the bass player who looks like a Chav, although he plays well enough. Sometimes I wonder if there is some unwritten rule that every band has to contain one member who looks like he is in a completely different band.
Based on this strong and confident performance it's easy to see why Dragster were billed as tonight's headliners - definitely a band I'd go and see again.

So, a bit later than advertised Healthy Junkies take to the stage. It's worth the wait.
Tonight is actually the launch show for the band's second album 'The Lost Refuge'. Fortunately there are plenty of people here to witness the band put on a relaxed but tight performance - and hopefully buy the album! Also available on iTunes kids. ;-)
The band have been polishing their brand of grungey (can you even polish grunge?) pop/punk for several years now, and with the new lineup settled in are getting it down to a fine art.
As the band proved on their debut album 'Sick Note' they are pretty good at songwriting, and over time their live shows have improved a lot too.
The band's continued hard work has built them a good following and their London gigs are always well attended - playing regularly does pay off if you take your music seriously enough.
Another excellent night at The Unicorn, and the last Rock 'N' Roll Rendezvous of the year - I'm looking forward to the next one already.

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