40 Shillings On The Drum.
Having kickstarted 2018 with a well-received live album and short UK tour (their first), 40 Shillings on the Drum were snapped up for an appearance at Beautiful Days alongside the likes of the Manics and The Hives. During this festival, the band became friends with Skinny Lister and Tom Gleeson of Feeder, the latter has now completed mixing duties on the band’s brand new single – Mean Streets (Born in the Same Gutter). Hailing from Brighton, England and armed to the teeth with an array of songs about life, love, friendship, and getting smashed out of your brain, they are ready to take on the world, one town at time.
I had not seen the guys play before, although that was not through lack of trying. They are a band whose live performances are talked about, positively. Scene Sussex had promoted the band, being from Brighton in a local Battle Of The Bands contests just down the coast in Hastings.
Daniel Scully (vocals),
Steven Cobley (lead guitar) – aka Zeus,
Seb Cole (keyboard/backing vocals),
David Cobley (bass)
Matt Hill (drums) – aka The Kid.
Could these guys be your next favourite band? They have certainly impressed all who have seen them play. I think Daniel confirmed work starts on 40 Shillings on the Drum’s album soon with Tom Gleeson producing. You can put me down for a copy of that!
Here’s forty shillings on the drum
For those who’ll volunteer to come
To ‘list and fight the foe today.
Over the hills and far away.
The lyrics from “Over the Hills and Far Away” which was the main song from the TV series Sharpe. It is a traditional British song, dating back to at least the late 17th century.
These guys have had some good gigs already tucked under their belts with some solid guest and support slots. Tonight they were opening up for Charlie Harper and UK SUBS. I had sat through the soundcheck and my ears picked up after a couple of bars of the first warm up song.
Brighton Belle opened up for the crowd that had started to arrive and settle in. A storming introduction, and debut for me, and of course its a local favourite, Brighton Belle, was released worldwide to stream, and as a digital download back in 2016. No fiddles, but we had keys filling in the sound, and a rocked up energy to bring the song to life. The original release had a real Skinny Lister feel to it. Next up after the melody from the keys masterfully played by Sam was Everyman, two songs in and these guys had us hooked. This was the second single from these guys and the rock influences are buried in there, and the single was recorded locally at Brighton Electric.
The rock influences are there and the punk influences are there, I caught a distinct Clash sound, taking us back to the classic White Riot. Steve/Zeus is a big presence on stage and he pours everything into that guitar producing the riffs and some superb breaks. He interacts with Daniel during the songs. This guy is a tour de force. Just listen to the harmonics and watch his fingers fly. He doesn’t stop. Brilliant playing. I really cant emphasise enough the layers and complexity of what he does.
Next up was A Dance With Jack Ketch. You could sense the crowd had “got it” by now, extraordinary as many had not seen the band before. Now was this song a reference to John Ketch, generally known as Jack Ketch, who was an infamous English executioner? I will have to ask! Terrific.
David on bass was totally on point, tucked towards the back of the stage, his fingers positively flew across the neck of that guitar to deliver a pile driving solid bass rhythm. Some strong Clash influences continue but with so much more, some Thin Lizzy, early Boomtown Rats. The lyrics are sharp and delivered with gusto by Daniel. Cocaine Charmaine, Beggars On The Street and Four Star Blackout came at us hard and fast.
Matt, the man at the back worked hard, damned hard. Some damn fine patterns and fills and some pure power. He worked effortlessly with David to provide that support for the band. The time was coming when we knew it was all going to come to an end. Broken Windows and the pure class of Mean Streets, Born In The Same Gutter (new single) were served up to a now hot and sweaty crowd. The crowd threw themselves into Mean Streets with Daniel leading us. He is a great front for this band.
I liked these guys, I liked them a lot. I want to see them again and soon. Ceremony of The Dead was the last song of the set. This kind of hailed back to the folk-rock era but with the addition of rock, just listen to that guitar scream and howl, and a delicious punk rock drive with keys! It works brilliantly. A perfect blend guys. Watch the video below and you will see what I mean. The short clips describes what the band is about far better than I!
40 Shillings On The Drum: A video
Sit back and soak up the the fast fuelled atmosphere generated by 40 Shillings On The Drum. Oh yes, play it LOUD!
These guys are definitely worth your time, go check them out and you might just find your next favourite band. I have made references to other bands and artists just to give a rough hint to the sound they make, but these make no mistake, these guys are unique in their sound and performance. Well played guys, great to meet you all and hope to see you play again soon.
40 Shillings On The Drum are on the WWW here
40 Shillings On The Drum are on Facebook here
We work hard with the artists, promoters, the venues and the crowd to bring you the best photos and reviews across the area. Keep Music LIVE! Follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.
Please note all original images / video are copyright, please do not copy. If any of the featured artists/promoters/venues want copies of the images – or more if available – please just get in touch.
All original pictures / video – copyright to IAN BOURN / SCENE SUSSEX – Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2019.
Got an event coming up? Need some gig photography, promo shots, previews or reviews? – please get in touch! See you down the front – come and say “hi!”