The Smokin’ Barrels may not be a band that you are entirely familiar with. That’s because they’re ridiculously young and are yet to unleash their first full album.
One person you will have heard of is Noel Gallagher – a man who is so impressed with this fresh bunch that he’s granted them the coveted support slot at his forthcoming gig at Newcastle Arena. The boys will feel right at home in the venue, having hailed from the north and already nailed a memorable gig at the 1000 strong Newcastle O2 Academy. They’ve been grafting on the local music scene since 2008 and with the release of their new EP ‘Mindless Self Indulgence‘, 2012 might just be the year they become a household name.
The band’s front man and guitarist, Chris Dawson, recently took time out to chat with Live4ever and we were fortunate enough to catch them live at London’s Queen of Hoxton venue. A club night named after a Happy Monday‘s song could surely never fail; ‘This Feeling’ continues to flourish and cement itself as the most reputable night on the indie calendar, described by Kasabian mastermind Serge Pizzorno as a ‘mad sixties carnival’.
The Smokin’ Barrels took to the stage at 10.15pm sharp and had the audience’s full attention from the first menacing notes of ‘I’m Coming Down‘, cherry picked from their current EP as the set opener, and what a wise move it was – just as gnarly as the record and a prime example of the band’s blend of influences which range from Kasabian to the Arctic Monkeys.
They kept the momentum going with a textbook rendition of ‘Blinds My Eyes‘. If you can imagine Arctic Monkeys tackling an Oasis song then you’ve got the jist of this little belter. It boasts a chorus which most bands would kill for, and was done justice by vocalist Chris who attacked it with as much venom as the studio cut. The chunky riffs of ‘David & Goliath‘ equaled the swagger of the opening two tracks, but also introduced a slightly gentler, melodic side to the band’s persona.
With a combined age of one Bono, this is a group of musicians who have got plenty of time to climb their way up the greasy pole to the top. With the impressive EP out the way, they finished off the set with ‘Phyling Out the Ashes‘, the brilliantly titled ‘Suicidal Idol‘ and ‘Millionaire‘. These didn’t quite achieve the same level of impact as the first half of the set, but they glimmered with enough potential for you not to write them off.
The band left the stage with another solid performance in the bag and a step closer to the potentially career catapulting support slot with that bloke who used to be in Oasis.
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