The Grey & support live at The Chameleon Arts Cafe

Saturday 27.08.21
Line up: First Signs of the Aftermath, Common Spit, The Grey.

Photos and words by 9 Bars Of Gold

So this was my first visit to the well known Chameleon, and on arrival I was pleasantly taken aback by the overwhelming good vibes of the venue. A real, honest and independent home for free thinkers and artists. The walls generously plastered with prints and posters from years of activity, hundreds of polaroids from God knows when, but all with smiles and moments of celebration. Bright colours and mannequins at every turn, and a set of 1210s throwing out a very kinky selection of vinyl. This is a great place, a mid level bar/cafe overlooking the centre of the city with a legendary live room one floor above.

Sound check provided a real insight into the level of commitment shown by the owners and sound crew: the room just bellows with rich and textured sound and everyone agrees, it’s a great place to play. This is the first time back for a lot of people, so the energy and excitement are easy to detect, even before the gig has started.

First Signs Of The Aftermath

Show Time. First up and opening the night were Nottingham locals “First Signs of the Aftermath”. These guys were just so wholesome, so happy to be back on stage after nearly 2 years away, and they smashed it. An intricate Math-Rock Instrumental trio showcasing a real dynamic range, quirky, engaging and very disciplined. Their Primus like style and manic changes of tempo and energy make for a very entertaining act indeed. Plenty of banter between tracks, and real sense of gratitude was on display as the boys ripped through a good 35 minutes of very original material.  A really great way to start the night.

Common Spit

Holding down the mid slot were Bristolian Smashers, “Common Spit”. A Power Math Duo who provided another level of Instrumental trickery and some very hefty grooves. This 2 piece filled the room with a selection of juicy riffs, seriously powerful drumming and a well-balanced selection of loops and midi runs, highlighting the nimble use of bass and lead guitar, as well as keys, controllers and a whole bunch of pedals. Vernon Reid-esque Whammy stabs merged with Tom Morello’s 2nd Cousin’s scales and scratches, all held together by some heavy, but intricate and very well executed drum work. Nice job fellas.

The Grey

And onto the headlining act…The Grey are a 3 piece instrumental band from Cambridge and have been very active in the last month or so since restrictions were dropped, this being their 4th gig in 3 weeks. These boys are definitely getting out there and spreading their dark, melodic tale to a new audience, whilst simultaneously showcasing the energy and talents of their new bass player. It’s definitely working, the boys seemed tighter and gnarlier than ever. The tone these 3 guys generate is quite literally, astounding. A deep, heady resonance that just fills the room and takes you along for the ride. With big riffs, fiery bass, and pounding drums, The Grey deliver a driving set that showcases a huge wedge of new material, in parts hypnotic and subdued, in others, like a freight train raging between your ears. Some new monsters-in-the-making right there, that’s for sure.

All in all, a genuinely great night out. A really enjoyable venue, super hosts, great sound, and 3 individually unique bands that will all be remembered.Hats off to all involved and thank you for the music!!!

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