Tax The Heat tear apart Night People...
First up were Liverpool-based power rock duo, Rival Bones, consisting of James Whitehouse on guitar and vocals and Chris Thomason on drums. The band immediately made their awesome presence felt with their raw, raucous sound, driven by big riffs and pounding drums. The impressive set showcased tracks from their self-titled 2017 EP and included their excellent recently released single, Scars. Their ear-splitting music was done justice by the superb PA system at Night People, which has quickly become regarded as one of Manchester’s best live music venues. By the end of their set Rival Bones had clearly gained a wealth of new fans.
Alt-rock duo, Naked Six, were next to take to the stage. The York-based band, comprising Seb Byford on guitar and vocals and Tom Witts on drums, are supporting Tax The Heat for the duration of their Change Your Position tour. A fresh-faced frontman stepped out in French mime artist attire, bringing lots of movement to his performance, whilst Witts did more than a fine job on drums and was evidently having the time of this life. There was something quite Grohl-like in the way that he played and it looked like he might collapse into his drumkit through exhaustion at any moment. He battled on, breathlessly giving everything he had to each and every song.
When Tax The Heat came on I had an idea that they’d be good, but I wasn’t expecting them to completely blow me away! The four-piece from Bristol, comprising Alex Veale, Jack Taylor, Antonio Angotti and JP Jacyshyn, gave a white-hot performance that was as polished and tight as some of the biggest and most established bands around.
Making a striking first impression, Angotti came out sporting a smart jacquard jacket teamed with a haircut so sharp you could set your watch by it. Veale had on a flamboyant Paisley shirt with black velvet trousers, Taylor was dressed in monochrome and Jacyshyn wore a shirt that was so heavily patterned, you could hardly tell where the sleeves ended and the tattoos began! Their cool, retro-chic style suited them down to the ground and they looked and sounded like a cohesive force to be reckoned with.
Playing songs from both their albums, highlights included All That Medicine, Animals, Change Your Position and Cut Your Chains. Veale was outstanding both vocally and on guitar and really knew how to delight an audience and get everybody going. The band displayed such confidence, they even had a ‘Tax The Heat Jukebox’ towards the end of the set, allowing fans to choose a couple of songs from their back catalogue.
A nice touch was when the band’s guitar tech, Adam Booth, who it was announced would be sadly parting company with the foursome, was invited up onto the stage to have a bit of fun with a cowbell and cymbals. The atmosphere was electric – everybody was lost in the music and the band just kept on giving.
Now if there’s something I like almost as much as good music it’s good humour and this band have that too… I spotted their unusual setlist, which I took away and might frame. It seems that on the way to ‘Madchester’ the band decided to have a bit of a laugh on the tour bus and re-worded the titles of their songs (see photo below).
If you love solid, rhythmic, high-octane rock ‘n’ roll then do yourself a favour and go and see Tax The Heat live. It’s an experience that will put a smile on your face and have you punching the air with joy. They totally knocked it out of the park and are undoubtedly one of the hottest bands out there right now.