Highly energetic and intense. The two best adjectives I can throw around for the recent gig by Tip your bartender, Screaming Maldini and the always mojo-fuelled Johnny Foreigner.
Tip your bartender sport a crazed, punk attitude that’s well backed up by an intense vocalist and a solid rhythm section. Their set felt short but utterly sweet, with one cover and a magnificent, seamless integration of Brand New’s ‘Degausser’ into one of their songs. Way to finish a pretty rocking set with a heavy rock potpourri!
Screaming Maldini shed their pink and white uniforms. Long live the pink & white (the dress of choice of Double Dragon villains). Whatever was lost in visual flair (i.e. nothing, really, they are snazzy dressers) is lost in the mesmerising sounds of the band. From the frenetic harmonies of their French Pop Punk from their previous EPs to the new sounds premiered that night (I swear they are going proggy on us), they gave their best on stage. Crutches and tendinitis be damned, this is a band fully dedicated to their music and it shows. Love the vocal harmonies created by all members. A chorus that will resonate in the now hallowed nooks and crannies of The Harley.
You could cut the expectation-heavy atmosphere with a knife. There’s always something about Johnny Foreigner that brings in a certain vibe to people (except the ones that can’t appreciate albums), a good vibe like the ones you get from a band like The Hold Steady. Not gonna compare the bands, just the feeling you get through their music. In what way am I going to justify that? Well, the best (ok, my fave) song by The Hold Steady is called ‘Party Pit’ and it has a very singalong chorus. Johnny Foreigner started their set by doing a singalong of ‘Johnny Foreigner vs You’ with their fans. No microphones, no pyrotechnics, just a fantastic, buzzing moment with the fans. This moment alone sold me the gig.