An unusually quiet 30-minute trip up the A449 and before I know it I am pulling into The Boars Head, Kidderminster (formerly known as The Taphouse). Parking isn’t a problem and the venue is easy to find. I found it an intimate venue with charm and character, and decent acoustics. A good little pub room at the front of the building leads into the venue itself at the back, which was ample in size for the occasion. Easy access to the smoking area too for those interested!
We Are Goose were the first band to take to the stage around the time of 21:30, heralded by a slightly apocalyptic sounding theremin siren. This sample was used in the background for a good chunk of their set, but it provided a suitable backdrop for the sound they were going for, and wasn’t overused or too prominent. The band had a very warm and fuzzy tone which was a great way to kick off the evening. A handful of free EP’s were given out, which hopefully helped them gain new fans afterwards as well as on the night.
It wasn’t long before second band Gringo appeared on stage, who proceeded to take the gig in a groovier direction, with a very organic and crunchy tone. The vocalist was entertaining to watch and belted out some great solos which were easily audible due to a careful sound setup. Not something we always see, much bigger bands included. I’ve seen it many times down the years (and no, I shan’t be naming anyone.) Tight drumming and a great bass tone meant that every song was heard as intended, and the set was sadly over after seemingly no time at all, which is not a poke at the length of the set at all, rather a testament to the enjoyment of watching them.
Evolution of Man were the final act of the evening and they showed a great energy and passion for what they were doing. These guys were not originally due to headline, but it seemed as if they had been doing it for years. The sound was well balanced and the set had a good flow with minimal gaps between songs. The vocalist reminded me a lot of James Hetfield and Phil Anselmo, with a face full of hair hiding the mic behind it, and some epic backwards leaning going on at times! Daz (guitarist) was also very entertaining to watch, and I was also very impressed with how rapidly a broken string was replaced towards the end of the set.
I don’t have a bad word to say about the rest of the band either, as they are all apt musicians and a great bunch of guys (and soon to be our guests on The Friday Frenzy with Si, Steve and myself… stay tuned).
Whilst the place wasn’t exactly packed to the rafters, those who were in attendance showed good support and definitely enjoyed the evening. Staff were friendly and again there wasn’t any issue with the price of anything either. I recommend the venue wholeheartedly to anyone looking to play in Kidderminster!