When I arrived at The Pav Tav I made a B-line straight to the downstairs bar for a drink. Inside the place was heaving; people were standing, people were sitting. It looked like things were shaping up for a great turnout.
Sadly I was wrong. When the time finally came and the first act was starting it became clear that the people downstairs hadn’t followed me up. I was surprised, after all it was The Great Escape festival and people were going to events all over town, but alas the thronging crowds seemed to have skipped this one.
The first act to get up and play was one man and his guitar; Gazz Marlow of the rock band InMe. Bathed in a really strange light that made the stage look like a 3D picture from the 1980s he took us through seven exceptional songs and ended with the beautifully written Situations Number 4. Now, I’ve met and heard Gazz play in the past, but this was the first time I truly realised just how excellent a musician he is. I would even suggest that he’s even a little better than his friend and fellow band mate Dave McPherson. To actually criticise this particular set has been pretty difficult, but if I had to I would suggest that he seemed a little nervous up there on his own, and that at times the talking in the crowd was louder than he was. Other than that it was pretty close to being perfect. Shame he wasn’t on longer. 9/10
Next up were Whitemare. Now, I’ll be honest, the last time I saw these guys play I hated it, really hated it, but this time was different; I enjoyed it. The band themselves seemed to be excellent musicians and front man Matt commanded the crowd such a way that hardly anyway dared look away. Whitemare had a lot of energy. Actually just saying that seems a little unfair, in fact they had power, push, drive, spirit, gusto, vigour, pep, zing, oomph, zeal, and real enthusiasm. Those words may all mean more or less the same thing, but listing them all seems appropriate in this case. Whitemare played fifteen songs, more than any of the other two acts. However, the songs they played were pretty short, they seemed over before they had even begun, but then maybe that was because if their front man continued shouting that loud for any longer his vocal chords would explode in a bloody mess of flesh, bone, and hair. 7/10
Finally came the clearly drunk members of Fathoms (whose name very much reminded me of how deep I wanted to plunge them). Much like Gallows, of whom they are a similar genre, two of their members got down and played in the audience. The band really got the crowd going; there were back flips, dancing that looked like the people doing it had been overcome by the power of Christ, and loads of general moshing. Other than that there isn’t really a lot I can say about this band without being unkind, but I will give them one bit of advice; if you’re going to play a gig maybe get a little less drunk beforehand next time. 3/10
Originally published here: http://sqmagazine.co.uk/2011/05/gig-review-gazz-marlow-more-the-pav-tav/