Felix Martin & Archetype at Satans Hollow: Live Review
Words and Photos: Anthony Firmin
With one cancelled support band, Dwaal, it was a delayed entry into Satan’s Hollow, fortunately that band wasn’t Archetype, fronted by the omnipresent Jonny Harding-Smith and as they start the audience numbers equal band members, an auspicious start, luckily people started wandering in as their performance continued...
Although they do play irregularly in Manchester it’s been a while since I last caught them and I am not disappointed, even with a replacement bassist who only had two weeks to learn their complex set but the boy did good from the start with Here Comes The Archetype. Harding-Smith is on sterling form as they rattle through their set with lightning speed, drummer Graeme pounding away in a set far smaller than his large frame!
Interestingly their set included Flickin’ The Beano With Deano, named after their missing bassist. An all too brief cover of Primus’ Too Many Puppies/Jerry Is A Race Car Driver is a pleasant surprise in their all too short set before they finish with a punishing Paradigm.
The crowd has grown but is still far too thin crowd and is now suitably warmed up, things are about to get interesting! Felix Martin plays a mix of jazz, Cuban music and progressive metal with much of this evenings set taken from his latest album Caracas. It is eclectic to say the least. And to be honest with you, dear readers, I had never even heard of him until a few days ago when an ad popped up on Facebook, but damn - he is very good and I am really enjoying it. I am mesmerised!
Martin is a master of tapping as he takes us on a musical journey, it’s like a high speed video that is totally absorbing and gripping, you just can’t peel yourself away. From the front his twin neck guitar is impressive as his fingers fly all over the fretboard, the body is resin and crystal and is eye catching.
And it’s not just Felix Martin who is a dab hand at the twin neck tapping, his bass player is also as he demonstrates on a guitar that illuminates like a house of blue light. The drummer is a monster too, easily moving from heavy hitting to the lightest of touches, providing the perfect spine for the music to dance upon.
Sadly once more the fun is killed by Satan’s ludicrous 9:30 curfew. Even so this has been an outstanding evening of proggy guitar entertainment. Although the air conditioning on full blast and it’s like an icebox at the end, my heart is warmed by the music. And after I wandered down the steps I see a queue of youngsters waiting to go in for the club night, blissfully unaware of the gargantuan guitar-fest that has just taken place, their loss.