I was handed a flyer in my local pub, it was for a ‘Gig in a Barn;’ Performing were ‘Bite the Buffalo’ and ‘Crippled Rook.’ I was excited, Bite the Buffalo were good friends of mine back in my university days and Crippled Rook are a local band made up of friends and acquaintances. ‘Brilliant!’ I said to myself, “lets make this a proper night”.
Pete, Paul and I, (a good chunk of Music Unbuttoned) arrived at the venue; we discovered that the venue was a little gem, hidden between the rolling hills and picturesque valleys of Tisbury. Ashley Wood Farm is usually used for weddings and posh birthday parties, when we arrived I did think the crowd were a bit ‘pheasant shooty’, but as the night went on the atmosphere grew, it was a posh rock n roll cocktail of people from all walks of life.
There was paella cooking and as much Corona on ice that any party could handle. I found out at this point that the gig had sold out instantly. Looking around me I noticed some of the people starting to fill this medieval looking barn. There was a band called, ‘Marcky D and Special Friends’ playing as everyone arrived. The bar area had the feel of a tavern from a Robin Hood movie; signs made from wood, and a big stone floors that created quite an original atmosphere for a rock n roll gig.
Then as the unmistakable sound of crippled rook started to echo off the dense stone walls. The main barn and performance space opened and it quickly filled up. The barn had fairy lights hanging from its huge ceiling and those thin archery windows that you only usually see in castles. They let in a small amount of light making the room really moody and atmospheric.
I listened to ‘Crippled Rook’ and tried to pin down the sound. I thought it was somewhere between ‘The Brian Jonestown Massacre’ and ‘The Doors.’ There was some great sax playing by Joe Hunter, which really gave the predominantly rock sound some soul. The band were tight, they had an obvious passion that came through in their performance. They obviously love what they do and the crowd loved them back. Crippled Rook finished and the vibe of the gig was at a high, the crowd were responsive, the night had really kicked off. I saw a lot of tequila being handed around there was obvious excitement and anticipation for the headlining band.
According to the Facebook event these South African brothers have featured on Glastonbury’s BBC Introducing stage and sold out at Jonnhy Depp’s famous music venue in Los Angeles, ‘The Viper Rooms.’ I personally had seen them perform before and they were always a band that impressed me, but I’ve never seen them play like this.
Because there are only 2 band members, the stage almost seemed empty but as soon as they played that space was filled with attitude. How would I describe their sound? Deep Valley with balls, it’s the rock n roll of the 60’s with a modern twist but it sounds huge! Stos the singer uses a really simple set up including a fender amp, big muff pedal and a POG (Google them if you don’t know what they are) his guitar sound like 3 guitars. The drums where cleverly played by Demetri, he kept it simple when he needed to and he listened to the music, a true sign of a great musician. My favourite tune that they performed was Poker Dots, it’s a song I’m familiar with already but it was just so easy to dance to. It also has a great music video, so check it out: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALNxTWl9P4g
After the gig I interviewed both bands. There was a lot of booze around by this point and I’ll be totally honest I was trashed, my interviewing skills were limited but I did gather that both bands loved the gig and really enjoyed playing with each other. ‘Crippled Rook’ loved the night and really enjoyed playing with ‘Bite the Buffalo,’ they have plenty of gigs coming up and you can check them out at www.facebook.com/CrippledRook.
‘Bite the Buffalo’ are busy guys as well, they have loads of festivals coming up including 2000 Trees and FarmFest. Check out those dates and loads of others at www.facebook.com/BiteTheBuffalo. We where lucky enough the have a Bite the Buffalo exclusive for our Music Unbuttoned readers. Bite the Buffalo’s next record is called ‘Big Blind’ and is produced by Chris Ellul, from The Heavy. This is huge news! My advice is that if you don’t know who ‘The Heavy’ are then you should look them up. It is likely that you’ve heard them, even if you don’t associate the name. If they have anything to do with next Bite the Buffalo’s record then it’s going to be a belter.
Gig in a Barn was one of the best gigs I’ve been to in a while, the great music and the promoter’s attention to detail made the experience a million miles away from being in a dingy back room of a pub listening to cream covers. One to be remembered!