Photo Credit: Upset Magazine
Exeter’s Cavern has got to be one of my favourite venues. It’s got a really cool vibe and the intimacy of it always makes for a good gig. The smaller the better in my opinion. When I knew I would be getting the chance to see MILKTEETH alongside Black Foxxes and Eat Me, I was certain the night would be no disappointment. When I arrived the doors hadn’t yet opened, and band members were coming and going as I waited – all of whom looked very calm and collected. I also managed to hear some of the sound check which got me ready and psyched for what the evening had in store.
After a little more waiting and excitement building, it was time for the first act. Eat Me, who describe themselves as ‘shambolic rock’, were an exceptional opening act. Despite being relatively new on the scene, they put on an excellent show filled with what I would call a cheeky and upbeat array of tracks. Their lyrical content is truthful and authentic, matching the funky guitar riffs and catchy choruses. My two top picks from the set have got to be What You Doing, from their Let Down EP (available on Bandcamp to listen and purchase) and Big Love, from their forthcoming Melon Enema EP. The major selling point with this second track is the serious bass action at the beginning, it just makes it an instant tune from the word go.
Moving on to the penultimate act of the night, it was time for Black Foxxes to take to the stage. It’s always different seeing bands live compared to how their tracks sound professionally recorded, so I didn’t know what to expect. They began with their recent release, Husk, which is one of my favourites. This passionate opening performance got the crowd wanting more, which is exactly how a band want the audience to feel when they start a set. After a few songs, the main thing that stood out for me was the raw emotion in lead singer Mark Holley’s voice. It would give anyone goose bumps, with his vocal range making the set fluid and exciting to listen to. They chose a great set list, including tracks such as River which allowed for some vocal acrobatics through the use of crescendo from beginning to end. This song builds up so well with soul stirring yet relatable lyrics, making it a great live number. Much to my excitement, they also played their forthcoming single I’m Not Well. The intensity of feeling put into this song made the whole room go silent, with their moving and personal performance setting the bar high for their album release in mid-August this year. As the set drew to a close, lead singer and front man Mark said “and now you’re sad”. He wasn’t wrong, I was genuinely sad their set was over. It is definitely worth seeing these guys live due to the atmosphere they create, it was truly mesmerising.
Finally, it was time for MILKTEETH. The pop punk band’s sound could be described as a hybrid of 90’s grunge and indie rock, intertwined with downbeat and catchy melodies. As soon as they started playing the audience were on their feet, jumping around and singing along. It was a slightly bumpy start with a few technical difficulties but nothing a quick word with the sound man couldn’t fix! An old favourite of theirs has got to be Swear Jar, a favourite of many in the crowd judging by their reaction. In true pop punk fashion we belted out the lyrics passionately whilst fist punching the air. Around halfway through the set lead singer and front woman Becky Blomfield started talking about mental health awareness and the need to get rid of the ‘taboo’ that surrounds the subject. I thought that the way she is using her position as a performer to raise awareness for current and real world issues was really touching, and made me love the band even more. As the evening was drawing to a close the audience exploded into action with crowd surfing, moshpits, anything, you name it.
The evening exceeded expectations and elevated my appreciation of live music. If I get the opportunity to see any of these bands again, then I will jump at the chance – and so should you.