The Bonnevilles,The Mandelbrot Shakes
– The Rialto Theatre 13/02/2022. Stay Sick.
The Bonnevilles play it hard and fast, the music is damn good. Its Fast. Its loose. Its tough. Its great! New favourites right there!
The Bonnevilles are a no-frills guitar and drums kit only two man outfit from Northern Ireland. They play what they describe as hard hitting garage, punk and blues. Its almost a journey back in time to those Muddy Waters blues roots music. They formed up in Lurgan and Banbridge back in in 2009. The Bonnevilles are made up with guitarist and vocalist Andrew McGibbon, Jr. and the man on the skins, drummer Chris McMullan.
The Bonnevilles: guitarist and vocalist Andrew McGibbon Jr
The Bonnevilles: on the drums Chris McMullan.
The Bonnevilles: Calm Before The Storm!
It was so good to be back in The Rialto. Its a great space to see a band. The weather outside was dreadful, blowing a damn gale and lashing it down with rain. This was a Stay Sick event and it was great to see so many folk arrive on such a filthy night to enjoy some downright filthy music! The Mandelbrot Shakes had been the opener for the evening at the wonderful Rialto Theatre, a delightful set from them in a wonderful venue.
I managed to grab a quick “Hello” with Andy as he set up his guitars. Tricky to hear what he had to say as he was wearing a precautionary face covering, background music and audience chatter. But through gestures and fist bumps we got there. I had just fallen for these guys when Scene Sussex was promoting some of their early live streams during the severe COVID lockdown regulations. Sorry Andy, The C word raises its head!
At the back, Chris was quietly and methodically putting together the drum kit. I imagine, after witnessing his performance, his kit needed extra strengthening. Andy formed up with Chris, and they began playing out live and, in 2010, released their debut album, Good Suits and Fightin’ Boots. They have since released many fine slices of their music and the new album Dirty Pictures.
Lets Do This: Some Dirty Pictures!
The Bonnevilles took their places, masks and flat caps gone. Andy grabbed his guitar and Chris settled in behind his kit. They were ready to go and we were all set in the crowd.
Machine Born To Think from the album Folk Art & The Death Of Electric Jesus and later included on Listen For Tone opened up the set. Andy firing up some slide guitar, then some picking, the drums fired up as Andy hit the vocals. Oh my! This was awesome and damn it was loud. The riffs opening up could have hooked in anyone. They were barb laden and delicious.
Good Suits from the first album hit the auditory canals like a well oiled steam hammer. Looking around The Bonnevilles had their crowd from the get go.Heads shaking and feet tapping what a way to start up a gig! Here at Scene Sussex we love live music from across the spectrum and to see so many genres being displayed live tonight was a real surprise and in a good way! Live music is where its at, as UK Subs frontman Charlie Harper told me, and to comprehend just how good these guys are, I can only strongly suggest it’s best to go and watch them play live. C’mon was next and followed up as we were taken back to 2018 for the all out Long Runs The Fox.
Its clear that the band are here to play, unleash and have fun after the constraints placed on the live music industry for the last two years and the inclement weather outside hadn’t damped the audience spirits and desire to sing and dance the night away. The Bonnevilles were rocking it!
My Dark Heart and the the title track of the new album Dirty Photographs were up next. Andy entertained us between tracks and whilst guitar tuning, with stories, anecdotes and hilarious banter with Chris and the crowd. I had waited a long time to catch these guys live and to see what they do, and they totally exceeded what I was expecting.
I am not going to list every song played for us tonight. The set was made up with some 20 songs. For most of the tour, and due to share the stage tonight, was Mudlow. Sadly one of their number had tested positive and had to drop out. Two members of the band, Matt and Tobias, were in the crowd however and they were invited up onto the stage for an impromptu jam “rock out” session. What followed for the next 10 minutes was extraordinary. This was smooth, real smooth. Some fine vocals blending with guitars, drums and maracas. I truly have never witnessed such a breath taking session. These guys are all friends and the four musicians seemed to just hook up. They just knew what each other was doing and what they would be doing next. It was sweet music. It was a real privilege to witness it.
The set was steaming along now and still the fine tunes were fired up for our pleasure. Poachers Pocket another track from the recording Dirty Photographs was up followed up with Poor Boy and Reflex Liar, that one coming from a limited edition 7″ single. These guys were sounding so damn sharp you could cut yourself. The Bonnevilles sounded as sharp as their attire made up of freshly pressed white shirts and black skinny ties.
Engrossing, energetic and original!
I thought The Bonnevilles were great, and they seemed to just get stronger and larger with each song and Andy clutching his guitar venturing out into the crowd. Andy and Chris clearly know their stuff! The two guys sure as hell can make a lot of noise. Their music is really engrossing, energetic and original. Its so rich in tones and sounds. Really, you have to see these guys live. Pictures and words can only go some way to capture what these guys do.
They rocked us from the start right up until the last hit of the drums and chord from the guitar. s until the stunning ending. If you were wondering, yes, No Law In Lurgen, 10,000, Hell were in the set and Hardtale Lurgen Blues was chosen to end and close proceedings.
Damn what a great night that was. Chatting with the guys they hope to do some more work for the USA but hopefully will be back down on the coast again soon!
The Bonnevilles are on the WWW here: https://www.thebonnevilles.co.uk/
The Bonnevilles are on Facebook – and give them a follow here.
“We are a Punk Blues band from Ireland. Come see us play, party with us and buy our stuff.”
The Mandelbrot Shakes:
Original guests Mudlow had seen one of the band members test positive for COVID and had therefore decided to cancel their performance. The wise team at Stay Sick pulled in The Mandelbrot Shakes as replacement opening band. What a great choice! These guys fitted into the evening perfectly and here was an outfit I had not seen previously. Result!
Brighton based punk blues duo have been busy and are putting in more shows in the coming weeks. They play trashy punk mixed with a heady mix of blues. What they do is push out a great mix of two minute bangers about just about anything!
The Mandelbrot Shakes are made up with Letty hammering it out on drums, searing vox and timely hilarious banter. On guitar, husband Jules, stood with his guitar and baseball cap laying down some delicious guitar work.
The Mandelbrot Shakes put down a short and sweet set of some 12 songs. They clearly had pulled in some fans for the evening which is always a delight to see. People back out and enjoying some fine live music.
The Mandelbrot Shakes took to The Rialto Stage bang on time. They gave us a 30 minute all out set. Jules was putting down some rich rocking riffs whilst Letty powered out some dynamic vocal work.
We had a fine set from these guys and some of the numbers in their set included Big Old Case (set opening number), Losing My Way, Your Love, Siren and closed with Better Run. This set was crammed full of full of stripped back and powerful foot tapping rock beats with a sprinkle of Surf on a couple of songs. A great set. It was really nice to be able to kick back after their set for a chat about guitars and gigs. If you see these guys are due to play then I strongly suggest you go see them.
Click on Image to enlarge
The Mandelbrot Shakes will be joining Bob Log 3 at The Hope and Ruin on Thurs 3rd of March 2022. That’s gonna be a cracking night.
Keep up with The Mandelbrot Shakes are on Facebook here.
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