REVIEW | New Hellfire Club Big Band Payday 2017 – Part 2 (The Hug & Pint)


in memory of

CRAIG KEARNEY (1992 – 2017)

After a successful first night at Ivory Blacks for their 2017 Big Band Payday, the good times rolled on for New Hellfire Club as the festivities continued at The Hug & Pint for a more intimate second night.

Opening things up were Rose City Blues, a duo consisting of Petra at the helm of the mic (and occasionally, the harmonica), and Chris holstering the guitar.

On offer, they had some catchy blues tracks such as Talking To The ManKiss and Down On My Luck, plus a couple of affectionate, low-key jazz ballads, but the highlight had to be the highly solemn acoustic piece Eddie Slovak.

It was not flawless, given the odd miscue in parts, but nonetheless we were very impressed by their sound and style.

Everywhere went up next and turned out a very fine, packed set where they gave us a mix of tunes; some upbeat, others a little slower exhibiting a fair deal of emotion, with most featuring brisk solos, polished double bass lines and good drum beats.

They delivered the greatest cover of You Know You Make Me Wanna Shout ever – if you were in attendance, you will know exactly why – plus being a “Bowie tribute band in denial”, they presented their own version of Rock N’ Roll With Me.

A solid showing that had us more or less hooked the whole way.

We were more than familiar with Colin Bell, aka Fallen Arches, and his half hour on stage was a memorable one.

Private Show made for a turbulent start, with two attempts to get going and the latter involving Colin being cut off as the mic dropped in front of his face, much to all our amusement. In fact, there was plenty of back and forth banter between him and the crowd.

The harmonies were passionate and his strumming strong, with focal points including LifelineForeign Noises and the title track of his upcoming album Pen To PaperSeventeen was depicted by incredibly emotional writing, and Colin gave a nod in tribute to our friend who had recently passed away. As you would expect, our eyes were close to welling up in that moment.

It was a performance that had us both hollering with laughter and on the verge of crying, so plenty of credit to Colin for being able to accomplish that.

Howson were the final act of the evening, and the heaviest on the line-up by light years.

The trio fired out raucous songs driven by fierce vocals, rushing riffs and punchy drumming, whilst showcasing tonnes of energy not seen with the others on the bill. They even got to squeeze in their first ever encore.

While glaringly different from the rest of the performers who participated, it was a short but pretty satisfactory manner in which to cap off night two of the weekend.

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