The Joiners finally reopened its doors for the first time since March on Thursday night. This night’s event was invite only and an amazing reintroduction to the live music scene, with loads of local talent, as I think we’d all started to forget what it was like to experience it.
Several tables were positioned around the venue with 2 chairs to each, allowing for social distancing. An app called ‘Butlr’ has been introduced to the venue so that table service can take place, again allowing for social distancing and to avoid clusters of attendees at the bar. Everyone is required to wear a mask when moving around the venue and there are multiple posters around to remind people of this rule. There were absolutely no qualms about any of these rules, it’s become second nature anyway and at this point, I think we’d all do whatever is necessary to go to gigs again.
Folk artist Tom Bryan opened the show and his set was a great way to say ‘welcome back’. An electro-acoustic guitar and a loop pedal was pretty much all his set was made up of, as well as his voice, and he smashed it out of the park. One track he wasn’t particularly happy with so decided to start it again, twice, before saying “fuck this, I’ll come back to that one,” and performing a funny tune about not knowing what you’re doing with your life and realising we’re all literally just floating on a big rock in space, which is extremely relatable. He came back to the one he had the issues with (not that we could tell, but they say you’re your own worst critic) and it sounded spot on; strong guitar sounds made with effects pedals on top of his beatboxing and raspy vocals fit together perfectly.
Secondly, we had the pleasure of watching Calum Lintott. Another man with just his guitar but a powerful voice to go alongside it. He performed a few original songs as well as Christmas classic Merry Christmas Everyone by Shakin’ Stevens. Calum urged the audience throughout to get involved and clap along and this was no exception, especially for one eager punter who seemed to be very excited by the fact he was covering something Christmassy, leading to this being a running joke throughout the rest of his set. A simple set up that brought maximum oomph.
Much to my surprise, the third set of the night came from Band of Skulls. Coming from Southampton and absolutely smashing the music scene, it seemed only right that they came to perform on the opening night of one of the city’s most loved venues. They delivered a short but sweet acoustic set, consisting of only three tunes, but one that captured the audience all the same. Successful singles taken from their first two albums Honest and The Devil Takes Care of His Own were included and as always, their harmonising vocals made for fantastic listening.
BASH rounded off the night with a contagiously energetic performance. All members of the band really manage to showcase their individual talents through different songs, proving how great they are as musicians. Lead singer, Amanda, has a really unique voice and dances about the stage with bounds of positive energy which radiates through the audience every time they perform live; she even revealed she’s been teaching herself guitar to play on their most recent work and made her guitar playing debut especially for us.
So much hard work went into putting these shows together after constantly being back and forth what with new rules and regulations being put into place every five minutes. The team at The Joiners are second to none and always manage to produce top tier line up’s and shows; this is continued invariably. It felt amazing to get a taste of live music again, albeit not in our usual sweaty, mosh pit-y way, but nevertheless still great. Hopefully we can start to ease back into normality and if this is the way to do it for now, then so be it. VIVA LA JOINERS.
Words by Elisha Cloughton
Photo by Ricky Bates