A hellacious night at London’s Borderline on Sunday. Loud, proud and definitely hot.

The evening kicked off with Those Damn Crows from Bridgend in South Wales. They really had the packed place in the palm of their hand and at the death the whole crowd was singing along with ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Ain’t Dead’.
They have been on the scene for a while and it was easy to see just how much they have learned from constant touring and exposure via Planet Rock.

Next up was Federal Charm. I’ve seen them live a couple of times but this was the first time since they brought in new vocalist Tom Guyer and drummer Josh Zahler. They are definitely an all action outfit, constant movement making the stage seem small but the power of their music focused the attention on the band. Guitarist Paul Bowe has definitely grown as a guitarist since I first saw them and musically the gel really well. I would say though that the performance is not as smooth and grooved as it could be but the new rockier direction will shake itself out over time.

So now we come to The Bad Flowers, They are only a three piece outfit although they make enough noise for a larger band and they created a powerful rock blast that pinned most of the crowd against the back wall. I enjoyed their debut album – a massive slab of modern rock – but I wasn’t prepared for the force they are live. From the first riff of ‘Hurricane’ the sound was clean, massively powerful and, once Dale Tonks bass lead was replaced, had a bottom end that shivered my diaphragm. Rock of raw, primal power but tempered with a stunning sense of melody and space. Karl Selickis’ drums give a huge drive and Tom Leighton came over as the riff-meister and a damn fine vocalist. Highlights for me were a great version of ‘Lions Blood’ that really showed their ability to create a melody and a brilliant cover of Memphis Jimmy’s ‘Yonders Wall’. The crowd lapped them up and the first encore of ‘Thunder Child’ was greeted with a cheer.

A fine night in Soho and I will be looking out for The Bad Flowers very keenly in future – great things beckon.

Picture by Robert Sutton