Queen Street West Festival: Day Two - The Beez Kneez

Music City North :

Queen Street West Festival Day Two, saw us based at the beautifully put together venue, which is Cherry Colas, for the entire evening. In front of us were seven bands, a few beers, a packet of Skittles and a ping pong ball (don’t ask).

First up were Andreas who consist of Brian Dahl (Lead vox/guitar), Jason Brandow (Lead guitar /vox), Jennifer Lockman (Keys/vox), Adam Payne (Bass/Vox) and Mike Medhurst (Drums). The harmony choruses during their first song were impressive and continued in this vein with some slick lead guitar work during their second song. A cover of ‘Glory Days’ followed, which was nice, but the drums were too prominent at this point. That said, what followed was a slower number with a great guitar break and some serious melody from the lead vocal. The set closed with ‘I Bet’, ‘Time after Time’ and ‘Beyond Repair’, the last of these being a cracking tune.

Syn Brit Rating: 3/5

Next up were the Stormalongs who delivered a set of high powered songs from Colin James Gibson (Guitars/Vox and keys), Rev. Nick Gaiser (Drums/vox) and Matthew Thompson (Bass/vocals/Keys). They opened with some fuzz box guitar and rapid vocals, but seemed to play within themselves for the first few songs, but an older tune ‘Watersong’ changed that vibe. Suddenly the band were having fun and ‘Fucking the Man’, ‘Clowns’ and especially the last song ‘Tristian’ provided an upbeat finish to their set.

Syn Brit Rating: 3/5

Trove had been built up as the main attraction at Cherry Colas on the night and that comes with expectations at times, as shown by the large crowd who came to hear them play. Founder Aryn Powell (Lead Vox/Guitar) was joined by Matt Chaitram (Lead Guitar), Alexa Pavao (Bass), and Matt Bellissimo (Drums) took an extended soundcheck, which was unusual, but one they’d started it was easy to see that the plaudits were warranted.  There was a strong 70’s rock feel to their songs, which were both melodic and had excellent backing vocals. Clever drumming intros and some audience call and response engagement proved their pedigree and with one song in particular having elements of ‘Copperhead road’, there was plenty to enjoy. Visually, the band employed the full stage and the floor of Cherry Colas, heightening the connection with the crowd. As a really nice touch, they dedicated and played a Foo Fighters song for Jeannie Reid, which shows that they appreciate where they are today, but that there is a lot more to come from Trove.

Syn Brit Rating: 4/5

As a big Pirates fan I am a big fan of a driving Bass line that is certainly the case with Strawman. JP ( Vocals, Bass), Joe (Guitar) and Sean (Drums) have a serious back line that provides a tremendous platform for the vocals and lead guitar. In amongst the cover of ‘Helter Skelter’ and a Rush song to close the set, there were significant traces of Hawkwind and Sabbath, both of which appreciated by your truly.

Syn Brit Rating: 3/5

Describing themselves as a Rock n Roll band on Facebook and citing Monster Truck as one of the bands they like, is a good start, but I hadn’t been prepared for the facial gymnastics of Last Bullet lead vocalist/frontman Bryan Fontez. Ably supported by Brenden Armstrong (Lead guitar), Michael Silva (Guitar), Will Shannon (Bass) and Chris Galaz (Drums) careered through their set, playing ‘Carefree’ (written by a fan) a ‘Led Zeppelinsque’ track and closing out with ‘Girls Gone Wild’. Their set was full of good riffs, lead guitar and a heavy metal back beat to boot.

Syn Brit Rating: 3/5

The saying goes that there is no substitute for experience and that is certainly the case with Second Pass. Right from the start they demonstrated some seriously excellent lead vocals and great bass riffs. They seriously rocked through their set and thoroughly enjoyed themselves while doing so, which is so important when it’s getting late…. How good were Second Pass? One of the band arrived on crutches ‘the show must go on’ style emphasising the phrase, ‘if you can’t stop, keep rocking’ and they did.

Syn Brit Rating: 3/5

Opening their set by way of a warm up jam session was one way of letting the audience know that King Beez had taken the stage in more ways than one. Dressed in their yellow and black jackets, the Beez took us back to a place in the 1950’s when things were simpler and had a heck of a lot of fun at the same time. Underscored by a driving rhythm and blues sound reminiscent of The Pirates and Johnny Winter at their best they delivered instrumentals and covers with only a single guitar pedal for variety, the set from Matt Groopie (Lead Guitar, Harmonica, Vox), Johnny I (Drums), Adam Bandit (Guitar) and Mike Crombez (Bass) was fun, very danceable and high octane rock and roll, borrowing from Jan and Dean and the Surfaris. The King Beez’s sound may not be original, but their commitment to deliver fun was high, with Matt G playing outside in the street at one point, with a very appreciative audience at the end.

Syn Brit Rating: 5/5


Until next time......The Moose 

Queen Street West Festival Day 2 - Andreas


Queen Street West Festival Day 2 - King Beez

King Beez

Queen Street West Festival Day 2 - Last Bullet

Last Bullet

Queen Street West Festival Day 2 - Second Pass

Second Pass

Queen Street West Festival Day 2 - StrawMan


Queen Street West Festival Day 2 - The Stormalongs

The Stormalongs

Queen Street West Festival Day 2 - Trove


All photos reproduced by kind permission of Back2basicsphotography.com