What a tear-up, what a shakedown, what a shindig!
As if Saturday's temperatures weren't scorching enough - the needles were knocked right into the red (in all senses) as the dream team-up of Eight Rounds Rapid and Thee Faction shook, rattled and rolled the roof right off of The Railway Hotel. An evening Thee Faction are calling 'epic' and rubber-stamping the Podrophenia Roadshow as 'the best night out in Britain. Fact.'.
We salute you comrades.
Due to time issues - the Long Run had to zip to another show. So first up (in the newly renovated gig room) - Eight Rounds Rapid - thumb-nailed thus by Faction vocalist Billy Reeves: the real story of last night was Eight Rounds Rapid. Best young band in Britain? There's a very strong argument for it.
Sharp suits, snappy songs and nippy lyrics combine to make 8RR a fully formed powerhouse, punching well above the tag of 'local band' with a setlist of zippy originals supercharging the audience into a roaring response.
Handing over by way of MC Marmite Boy - Thee Faction's set of rabble-rowsing R 'n' B was almost speakers corner crossed with a gospel-meet mania. Tunes from the new LP Singing Down The Government were received like long lost friends - with long-haul Faction standards - Union Man becoming refitted as improv seaside sing-a-longs.
And worra reception: a volume of foot-stamping, hand-clapping cries for 'encore' and 'more' - that I haven't heard at *any* gig since the 80s. Possibly the greatest Southend live night since Dr Feelgood recorded Going Back Home at The Kursaal
The Quinn Martin style epilogue was Piley and I, running 'til one spinning bangers and boomers from popular beat combo's with nineties tracks being the floor filler preference. Along with a bit of Bowie..
There's already talk of a rematch next year - but if you couldn't make the gig - fill your boots for free with a take away version of Thee Factions new single - Soapbox. But it's only on the freemans for a week - so grab it here sharpish..
A huge thank you is due to jazz singing journo Hannah Marsh, for the Evening Echo support