Skam stop off in the south west UK on the Out of our Rockas Tour with label-mates Texas Flood and support act Zepher.

Skam from Leicester, features Steve Hill on guitar and vox, Matt Gilmore on bass, and Neal Hill on drums. Since forming five years ago, the band has played well over 400 gigs all over the UK and in Europe. Starting with “Rivers” and “Peacemaker,” the title tracks of 2014’s EP and subsequent album, the band have set out hard and Matt on bass is soon into face-pulling, hard hitting, action.

This is followed by “Wires,” the title track of the new EP, and “Between the Eyes,” which is a great new track, giving us a sneak preview of what’s to come on the upcoming album. Featuring “Its Come to This,” the band played a mix of old and new, pleasing the strong fan-base who have followed the band since the early days. This is a heavy-rocking band, but it’s Steves turn to drive the van tonight, and he makes a point of letting us know he is on the Becks Blue, while Matt has definitely broken the “4-pints-before-a-gig” rule.

This doesn’t seem to affect either of them, as they break into band and fan favorite “Massacre.” Neal is on fine form on drums throughout, keeping the songs together with his own style. “Lets Get Rocked” is dedicated to the crowd, as the band finish a great set. Coming back for encores of “Holy City” and “Lies,” the crowd are left happy but still wanting more.

The Texas Flood from Swansea, made up of Tom Sawyer (guitar and vox) Ben Govier (bass and vox) and Tom Williams (drums/vox). Label-mates with Skam on Off Yer Rocka Recordings, the band is going from strength to strength since their first EP “Skeletons” in 2011.

Starting with lead track from last years “Young Dog New Tricks” album, “Cards” is followed by their bum-shaking intro to “A Little More.” “Rock and Roll Queen” features a bass/guitar play-off between Ben and Tom S., and this is followed by a trio of new tracks, which are sounding good. Half-way through “Forget You” the song stops for Tom S. to ask if everyone is ok, and to take a well-earned drink, before continuing.

The guys are hard rocking, giving it all in every song. Guitar solos from Tom, and bass-slapping torrents from Ben mix well with drums driven by Tom. With “Let the Wind Blow” the crowd are encouraged to sing along, and they do. The set finishes with “Worth The Whiskey” as recently featured on Classic Rocks Highway Stars 2015 free album.

Kicking off proceedings, Zepher are welsh brothers Louis (vox) and Tobias (drums) Ellis, joined by Tim Purser on bass and Shannon Edwards on guitar. Based out of Bristol, they have built a strong local following since forming in 2013. They start with “Drag me Down,” one of the 3 tracks tonight to be lifted from their new EP (due out in august).

The seemingly small crowd grows as the bar-dwellers follow the music to the main room. Bulletproof is a radio-friendly track, causing Louis to worry how it would be received by a more “heavy rock” crowd. The track however, was perceived well.

Moving into a cover of Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion” is interesting, with only time for 6 songs, it may have been better to stick to all original material. The set ends with “No Strings,” with Louis joining in on rhythm guitar, and features a snippet of “Paradise City.” A good warm-up act, leaving the crowd in the right frame of mind for the rest of the evening.

A great night all round, with all three bands hanging in the bar afterwards to mix with the fans. The tour moves on with Skam ending up at Steelhouse Festival on July 26.

Photographer Becky O’Grady was on hand to capture the night.

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The Tunnels Bristol
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