Two weeks after taking in Go Primitive and Cardinal Bay at the Zephyr Lounge in Leamington Spa I was back there again for another fine display of British talent. On the bill this time were touring duo Servant Sun and Derange and headliners on the night The Face Of Ruin.
After having a beer at the bar and taking in another local support whose vocals left something to be desired despite an excellent band behind them it was on to the main trio for the evening. Hitting the stage were Glaswegian quintet Servant Sun (8). Despite a rather lacking Leamington crowd, I was impressed with how these guys appeared to be brimming with confidence from the off. They gave it their all for the whole half an hour and there wasn't a person in the room that wasn't nodding along and getting involved. Frontman Andrew Macdonald used the space in front of the stage as much as the stage itself and this bridged the gap between band and crowd nicely. Their EP is released on the 15th of April and it could see the start of an exciting period for these guys.
Tour mates Derange (7) were up next and provided a nice change, being a female fronted band and all. The cockney quarter didn't give off the confident glow of their predecessors, taking a couple of songs to really get into the swing of things. Frontwoman Cat Periera has the all the tools to go far in the music business. Once she'd settled in she was confident and controlled the stage. Her vocals went from powerful to gentle in the space of a second and her growls were impressive. Bassist Joe MacPherson and guitarist Nick Crosby provide a good distraction from Cat, though drummer Warren De Melo cuts a lonely, static figure at the rear. They will all need to pull together to really push on, though a set at Bloodstock in the Summer will certainly help their cause.
Closing the night were local melodic death metallers The Face Of Ruin (8). These guys are barely past a dozen gigs as a band but they're already performing like a band beyond their experience. Without a studio release to their name they've already started building a name for themselves in the local scene. Their brand of death metal ticks many of the boxes to be successful both locally and further, they don't have a gimmick, they just let the music and some well chosen movie snipits do the screaming for them. Their 40 minute set comprises some of the heaviest riffs the Zephyr Lounge will have heard combined with ear splitting vocals that probably received tuts of disapproval from upstairs where Chase & Status were warming up their decks for a DJ that no one asked for. This isn't the last you've heard of The Face Of Ruin, something that can be said for all three of the bands mentioned here.
The tag one for the future gets bandied around like racial slurs between members of the royal family, but this gig, and the one a fortnight before, is showing that there is plenty to be hopeful for in the future of alternative British rock and metal.