Billed as the small and dirty pre-album UK tour for RavenEye’s forthcoming album Caged Animals, tonight sees the trio grace the walls of a backstreet pub in Bristol for the first of a 6 gig stretch.
If they wanted a quirky kick-off then the band have struck gold with this venue, with its collection of uncommon objects behind the bar and adorning the walls, the flocked vinyl wallpaper, the sinister clown portraits and the Sweeny Todd style Barber’s chair casually set amongst the furniture, it’s a unique atmosphere right from the go. The pub itself boasts an interesting layout over 3 floors (or 4 if you count the dungeon of toilets) and it’s hard to imagine exactly how or where a band will fit. Fans have travelled from the deepest depths of Cornwall, the vales of Wales and all of those interesting places in-between to be a part of this evening and as the staircase is un-roped, it transpires that the action will take place at attic-level. It’s going to be a HOT one.
The tension is mounting as the 50 lucky ticket holders (yes 50 – these shows are intimate) make the final climb of their journey and begin to jostle for a good viewing spot, some seated, some standing, remarkably there is room for everybody and the mood is good. After a buzz around the merch stand the band take their places in the stage area and it’s time for a quick decibel disclaimer – during which they point out the available earplugs and honesty pot – before blasting in with their forceful Grunge-fuelled Rock.
This band mean business throughout their set and lead vocalist and guitarist Oli Brown belts out streams of potent lyrics and exhibits his impressive talents on guitar, shaking down with the crowd and steadying his foot on the drum kit as he slays those solos. Drummer Adam Breeze is absolutely on point with tying the band timing together with what feels like an invisible thread, sometimes standing to thrash out the beats on his kit and punch those choruses in where they’re needed and at other times holding his sticks in the air, slowing the pace and making his teammates hang on a long pause. Bassist Aaron Spiers goes in hard and flawlessly with the heavy bass lines and funky riffs whilst also providing solid backing vocals along with AB.
RavenEye are a tight-knit band but know how to have fun and it’s clear that tonight’s crowd are more than ready to join them on the ride. A handheld camera is passed around with the band explaining that they have recently left their record label and as the agency wasn’t interested, this tour is a DIY experience and so the fans are being asked to capture some footage. This challenge is of course gladly accepted. The red wall lights add to the hot and heavy atmosphere of the evening and as OB stands atop the bass drum, hands pressed against the crimson ceiling to encourage crowd sing backs, you can literally see the glowing sheen of heat as the band wring every last ounce of sweat out of the captive audience “Let’s all imagine you’ve just got out of the shower and you’re ready to bounce again, that’s what we want out of you!” laughs OB.
There are regular check-ins with their crowd to introduce new album ‘teasers’ and with thoughtful song placements – interspersing the darker heavier and angrier subjects with those with a more uplifting vibe – it’s evident that RavenEye care about how their fans are feeling. As the set draws to a close there is huge applause for their efforts. A clear indication that their fast-approaching new album Caged Animalis already a winner. Find out more at www.raveneyeofficial.comor catch the band at Ramblin Man Fair on Saturday 20thJuly.
Review: Suzi Boots
Photography: Emma Painter / Pacific Curd Photography
Caged Animals Dates:
12th July – Mother’s Ruin (Bristol)
13th July – The Sussex Basement (Tunbridge Wells)
14th July – Prince Albert (Brighton)
17th July – The Cannon (Milton Keynes)
19th July – Aces & Eights (London)
20th July – RAMBIN’ MAN (Festival)
25th July – The Castle Hotel (Manchester)
Tickets available from www.raveneyeofficial.com
£12 entry with limited tickets available – so get in quick!
All shows start at 8 pm unless otherwise indicated.