Falmouth’s reputation as being the cultural hub for Cornwall’s restless, expressive and idea-filled youth has always been founded upon its ever chaotic and turbulent music scene. The movie memorabilia decked walls of the Black Dog Hairdressers and the hazy, dense atmosphere of the Grapes Inn pub, along with the host of secret house party gigs that are constantly held by the indigenous Uni students, have all been the regular stomping grounds for many of the key players in the Falmouth scene.
Tonight, though, the grimy bar come student club, Mango’s, normally accustomed to playing your weekly dubstep night and the best place for your 3-for-1 shots offer to be found, is the chosen stage for this evenings carnage, courtesy of a concrete solid line up consisting of Grunge new comers Cereal, Surf-Rock merchants The Red Cords and finally, headliners and Garage Slacker-Rockers, The Black Tambourines.
Thundering into their set, Cereal disperses onto the already packed and turbulent audience, their skuzzy, fuzzed up, Spook Houses styled riffs with credible electric passion. The whole band pulse and churn as singer/guitarist, Samuel Bedford’s face strains as he howls out lyrics, with the rest of the members providing a flurry of vicious cymbal hits and screeching guitars, drenched in chorus and battling feedback. Known songs like ‘Sk8 or Die‘ connect with the audience well, with pockets of the attendee’s shouting the chorus back at the band, giving promise that their Easter release of the ‘Eat More’ EP will cement this bands future to go on conquering the dives and clubs in the same trashy, dynamic manner as they have done tonight.
Spirit’s are kept high but turn more abrasive as The Red Cords assume themselves on the stage. Without so much as a hello or even an acknowledgment that the audience is there, drummer Matthew Cleave starts a drumstick count that can only be considered a detonation timer. Reaching its final tick, the band explode into the most furious and aural assaulting version of their classic ‘The Dodo‘. After the opener, the room is set alive as the band thrash through set highlights such as, ‘Dead Heat‘, the rip roaring cover of The Germs – ‘Lexicon Devil‘ – the cover of which is sung by Matthew Cleave who has the uncanny ability to mimic the same brattish type vocals the original was known for – and their set closer, ‘Green Sister‘, where The Black Tambourines Sam Stacpoole makes an appearance to add to the carnage and round off what could possible of been tonight’s most furiously delivered set.
Finally though, amongst the baying crowd – suitably tanked up and still feeling the buzz from the previous sets – The Black Tambourines saunter on, bringing with them a Sauna Youth tinged echo-punk aesthetic, along with a 60’s garage attitude sculpted into every riff and drum hit they deliver. The set tonight features a host of new material that hasn’t been committed to wax or tape as of yet and contains a mature dynamic between danceable songs and anarchic, riotous numbers. The band command the stage, treating it as a playground, with guitarist Sam Stacpoole regularly jumping on and off the bass drum of the drum kit as he delivers all the spluttering and reverb drenched surf riffs of the night. Classics like ‘27-25‘ push the energy in the room till it almost peaks, but it’s the set closer ‘Green‘ where the crowd swells to the point where a stage invasion occurs, leaving instruments and band members in a mess laying there to the soundtrack of feedbacking instruments.
What’s satisfying about tonight is that every band has hit hard, presenting their own quirks and personality that’s contributed to an evening swamped with good tunes and a positive attitude. It’s gigs like this one which prove that the reputation of Falmouth’s music scene is still going strong; the evidence of which is found on the stage, shorn amongst the debris of broken instruments and battered limbs.