A select few bands from Southampton’s ever growing indie scene descended upon 2013’s Best Small Venue, The Joiners, as part of a showcase hosted by promotion company TIGMUS.
First up was indie rockers Howland, formerly a Southampton band but after packing up and setting off to Brighton for uni, the boys label themselves as Brighton based; they’re still lovers of their hometown though. Sounding better than ever, Howland played classic tracks such as Bruises, Slow Down and Callout. If you’re yet to see them live, check out their debut single which is due to be released on 1st April. And no it’s not a joke, as frontman Tyler Adams stated when announcing the release during their set. Keep an eye out for Howland and try and pop along to a gig soon, they’re very busy boys!
Up next was Southampton’s finest indie grungers Fever, who took the crowd in The Joiners on a journey of huge choruses and overdriven solos, accompanied by some of the sweetest vocal chords in the city. Fever truly showed their worth more and more as their set went on, ending on latest single ‘Sucker’. After opening the main stage at this year’s Truck Festival, the band have cemented themselves as Ones To Watch and you can expect to hear about them more, not only here, but everywhere.
Bel Esprit rounded off the night and proved that they were far from undeserving of their headline slot. Opening with EP track Detox, the band powered through their 45 minute long set, playing brand new songs as well as more well-known tracks such as debut single Lose My Mind which, seemingly through word of mouth, has garnered over 100,000 plays on streaming service Soundcloud. Despite the strength of their original tracks, the band decided to add two covers into their set; Radiohead’s Creep and set closer Best of Friends by Lambeth’s Palma Violets. The latter seemed to fit the crowd’s taste sweetly, causing a stage invasion from the young, energetic audience. With a new single set to be announced imminently, Bel Esprit are set to make a big impact in the new year.
Written by Tara Matthews