Puppy // Blank Atlas // Inhuman Nature // Live Review // The Exchange // Bristol

Gigs on a Monday aren’t always a big hit, but it’s a different story tonight at The Exchange in Bristol. Whilst many are preparing for the upcoming Jubilee celebrations, an eclectic trio of bands are about to hit the stage on this fine and glorious evening.

With a 7pm opening, the beer tables outside had already started to fill with the evening’s punters. So, who’s on the bill? Well, tonight we have one of Bristol’s finest rock bands Blank Atlas and London based thrash-metallers  Inhuman Nature providing the support acts. And at the top of the bill is no-other than London rockers Puppy, who’ve been on the rock circuit since 2014.

The time was 7.45pm and the sun was still shining outside. But wasting no time, Blank Atlas were up on stage heading swiftly into their set by which time a line of young clientele had formed all clutching a can of Thatchers at the front of the venue. This 3-piece outfit haven’t been on the scene for long, but guitarist/vocalist Dan Thould with his brother Tom on drums and Chris Simpson on bass (also bassist for Mother Vulture), certainly know how to put on a show. They’re young and they’re lively with more gusto than a vat of Lucozade, launching catchy and erratic riffs into the crowd.

Playing tracks past and present, their vibe was on fire as each track delivered stomping basslines, thickset guitar and drums that were beaten within an inch of their life.  With plenty of interaction between them on stage, by 8.15pm the whole crowd were nodding with approval.  A quick plug by Simpson was made to shift some of their band merch and their set was done and dusted.

During the changeover of sets, the room emptied for folk to grab another beer and catch a smoke outside whilst some headed for the merch stand in the bar. But it wasn’t long before Inhuman Nature were on and playing with no intro required.

This 4-piece thrash crossover band have been around since 2017 and have an obvious following in the venue tonight as the crowds faces change completely. Vocalist Chris Barling towers above one of the monitors and places one foot on it to peer over those at the front to hurl those guttural lyrics before pacing to the other side of the stage.

The sound they served was fast and furious with bass that intensely resonated across the room.  With a tight set to contend with, tracks were played with precision until a tech had to intervene under the stage to deal with a hitch.  But it didn’t phase the punters one bit as heads of hair continued to mosh to the monstrous sound put before them. With strong influences of Slayer, the band thundered through their set with ear piercing fanatical guitar riffs, fiendish drumming and blood-curdling vocals.

Another interval followed to let the roadies make the last set change of the night. Last but by no means least, Puppy graced the stage a little later than scheduled.

Both sides of the stage were now decorated with two cauldrons of roaring flames (don’t panic – they were fake) as Puppy came out and got in position. ‘The Eve of the War’ from War of the Worlds blasted out over the PA to set the scene as the crowd began to cheer.

First track of the night was ‘Shining Star’ and the first track from their recently released second album ‘Pure Evil’.  This dark and fleeting track filled the room with deep and dark rubbles from guitar strings that pulsated over the crowd.  Vocalist and guitarist Jock Norton faced his amp whilst bassist Will Michael and drummer Billy Howard-Price join him in creating a beat so treacherous, it was haunting.

‘And watched it Glow’ was next on the setlist – a heavy but uplifting track and another taken from their new album. As the evening went on, it became apparent that the crowd had shifted again with more and more Puppy fans popping their hands in the air to bellow lyrics to each track.

Time for a few words from the band as Norton and Michael cracked a joke about trying not to swear tonight.  Of course, this was short-lived in true rock n roll style much to everyone’s amusement. But in all seriousness, he thanked the crowd for turning up to watch them as they hadn’t played in Bristol since 2019.

One of the most prominent tracks from their set was ‘The Kiss’ – a track with a definite indie twist, 90’s guitar riffs and pop-like vocals.  An obvious hot favourite for fans in the crowd.

Of course, no gig would be complete without an encore.  It’s now 10.15pm but there’s nowhere for the band to escape the stage. Maybe they could “just get off the stage and get back on again”, Norton joked. “Here’s one from our Volume 2 album.  You might know it; well, I’ll be embarrassed if you don’t” he continued. ‘Here at Home’ was then played solo by Norton on his guitar as the crowd stood completely still and listened.

A couple of older tracks to see their set draw to a close – ‘Forever’ released in 2015 and ‘Entombed’ which came out in 2016 – a great one to end the night which saw Norton standing with his back to the crowd as he played those iconic riffs that sent them on their way to where they are now.

As 10.30pm quickly approaches, their set was over and the bar filled with fans who headed to the merch stand to meet the band before going home with the usual memorabilia.

One things for sure, the night was an interesting one.  A total mix of genres all under one roof and the vibe was buzzing for a Monday night on a bank holiday week.  But If there was one thing that did take the jam out of the donut, it was the sound.  Through no fault of any of the bands, the live mixing was unbalanced and way too bass-heavy which was a real shame as all three bands had their own distinctive sound.

That aside, each band put on a terrific performance on what would normally be a quiet night and are worthy of playing a much bigger venue.  Watch this space!


Review: Emma Painter 



PUPPY revealed their latest music video, this time for the current single ‘Glacial’. Directed and edited by Will Michael from the band, with all animation being created by friend and artist, Sam Bailey.

As the band explain, “This was our second collaboration with our good friend Sam Bailey, who also animated the title sequence for the ‘Arabella’ (from EP Vol II) video. Sam was really into the aesthetic of late 90’s computer game graphics and did an incredible job of animating the entire sequence we dreamed up to beautiful low poly perfection.”

Watch the video for glacial HERE or by clicking the image below:

“For this video we wanted to create something that felt like the end credit scene from a video game that never existed. Games of the early 3D era often had really ambitious ending sequences that served as a reward for completing the game, they usually ended with the message “Thanks for playing”, and since Glacial would be the last single to come off Pure Evil we thought it was an appropriate sentiment.”

PUPPY released their brand new album ‘Pure Evil’ earlier this month through Rude Records.
Following on from their debut ‘The Goat’ in 2019, ‘Pure Evil’ sees the band continue on their path of fusing metal riffs with ethereal melodies but this time taking complete control and self producing the whole record. It is an exceptional record filled with the kind of heaviosity usually reserved for bands many more albums deep.

‘Pure Evil’ has had a slew of singles that preceded its release, including the Radio 1 Rock Show premiered ‘Angel’ and ‘….and watched it glow’ (which also had its video premiered through Brooklyn Vegan), ‘Shame’ (which was premiered through Revolver Magazine) and the monstrous ‘The Kiss’ that saw radio support with Radio 1 (Dan Carter, Clara Amfo, Jack Saunders and Nels Hylton), Radio 2 Rock Show, 6music Iggy pop, Kerrang! Radio and more.

‘Shame’ video premier – REVOLVER MAGAZINE
‘….and watched it glow’ video premier – BROOKLYN VEGAN
‘My Offer’ video premier – FLOOD MAGAZINE

Live wise, the band are currently at the mid way point on their own UK headline tour, which includes the shows previously postponed from their December 2021 tour. Inhuman Nature are supporting on all dates with the added extra bonus of Zetra being now added to the London show at The Garage on May 31st. PUPPY have also recently been announced on this summers 2000trees Festival (via Kerrang! as part of this years ‘7 Days Of Trees’ roll out), at Outbreak Festival in Manchester at the end of June and on Bigfoot Festival in Bucks in June.

The full list of PUPPY May ‘Pure Evil’ headline dates are below.
Support from Inhuman Nature (Manchester-London)

PUPPY are:
Jock Norton – Guitars, Vocals
Billy Howard – Drums
Will Michael – Bass, Vocals

—————————–A little bit about PUPPY:
PUPPY formed in 2015 when school friends Jock Norton (vocals, guitar) and Billy Howard (drums) met bass player Will Michael while working in a London bar; the three bonded by playing the soundtrack to cult 80s comedy Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and figuring out that Norton and Michael’s voices worked nicely together on Karaoke versions of Van Halen & Metallica.  Later that same year, the band released their eponymous debut EP, a joyful blend of swooning Power Pop and beer-guzzling Heavy Metal, that quickly earned comparisons to acts like The Smashing Pumpkins, Dinosaur Jr and ‘Weezer fronted by Papa Emiritus of Ghost’ (Noisey). Early tracks “Forever” and “The Great Beyond” were picked up and used in the mammoth video game series Guitar Hero, opening up the fledgling group up to a huge new audience and satisfying their axe wielding inner-children at the same time.A second EP quickly followed in 2016, and “Vol ii” saw the band take their first major steps into the live sphere, with UK festival appearances at Download and 2000 Trees, rounding out a healthy run of tours with acts like Creeper and CKY. In between European tours with Kvelertak and Turbowolf, the band retreated to the studio in England to begin work on their debut album. The result of a lengthy recording process with producers Tom Dalgety (Ghost, Royal Blood), Neil Kennedy (Creeper, Boston Manor) and mixer Adrien Bushby (Placebo, Foo Fighters), The Goat was released in January 2019, while the band were midway through an epic European tour with Monster Magnet. The album received rave reviews and cemented Puppy’s status as the oddballs of up & coming Heavy music.In support of the album, the band recorded a live set at BBC’s iconic Maida Vale studios (their second), and racked up festival appearances everywhere from Glastonbury to Bloodstock Open Air. That year also saw PUPPY travel to the US for the first time, selling out a headline show in Brooklyn’s iconic St Vitus Bar for Revolver Magazine, as well as heading to Texas for that year’s SXSW festival. Without missing a beat, the band saw out the year by releasing a surprise EP, ‘iii’, which drew inspiration from their favourite Steve Albini led productions of the 80’s and 90’s, stripping their dense sound back to its rawest components. The band then set out on a lengthy European run with Norwegian stoner-punks Bokassa to promote the record before returning home to begin writing again for their 2nd full length album.