Skam just keep getting better and better and tonight they make a welcome return to a town they love to play and the room is full of the band’s hardcore fanbase.

First up on this triple-bill is local band Kikamora. The boys from Clevedon have been working hard lately and earning a great reputation for their live performances. It was good to finally see the band, having recently reviewed their In The Henhouse EP.

The band kick off their hard rocking set with “Twist My Arm”. Kikamora are tight. The band’s lead singer Wilf Kite has an amazing gravelly rock voice. Kite proclaims, “We are here to play some mother fucking rock n’ roll”, which is exactly what they do.

Their set features most of their new EP, plus a couple of older tracks. There are some frantic guitar licks from Jimi Bessant, especially on “Pest” and “Methadream”, and the rhythm section is strong throughout. The highlight is left to the end of the set as Frankie Povey joins the band on stage to play sax on “Half Rats”.

Tequila Mockingbyrd has been doing the rounds lately, including an appearance at Hard Rock Hell 10. It’s good to see the band in Bristol tonight, as part of their run with Skam this tour. Drummer Josie O’Toole is a pocket rocket mini-Animal who pounds a great intro to set opener “Money Tree”. Tequila Mockingbyrd is on top form, working well together.

All of the tracks included in the set tonight are from the soon to be released Fight And Flight CD, and on the strength of this performance, it’s going to be worth the wait. During “Shut Me Down” Jess Reily makes full use of her wireless bass, she delivers a high energy performance, during which she can be found jumping all over the stage.

Singer/guitarist Estelle Artois is in great form too and goes on to tell the crowd that the band hail from Melbourne, Australia, but having all bought one-way tickets they can now say they are from the UK. The set flows well, with the crowd clapping along to “Catalyst”.

The band slow down the proceedings with “This Ain’t Dead” which is followed by a brilliant high-speed Ramones cover in the shape of “Somebody Put Something In My Drink”. “Good Time” is a great rocking number, with a sentiment we can agree with – we are here for a good time, not a long time, but let’s hope this great band are here to stay.

Tequila Mockingbyrd finish their fantastic set with Planet Rock favourite “I Smell Rock n Roll”, which features some great guitar and vocals from Estelle, and solid, pounding bass and drums. The band leave the audience wanting more.

Skam is one of those bands that deserve success. The Leicester trio features Steve Hill (guitar / vocals), Neal Hill (drums) and Matthew Gilmore (bass). The band work tirelessly and the crowd here tonight certainly appreciate it. A tremendous round of applause ensues as they take to the stage with “Peacemaker”. The band are your archetypal power trio, but with added power.

New song “Between The Eyes” features some great vocals from Steve Hill. “Soldiers Of Rock” sees Matt Gilmore on form as ever, he prowls the stage, pulling faces while ripping out some great bass-lines. Steve gets a chance to show his guitar skills too, all the while Neal provides the usual solid foundation to the band with some excellent drumming.

The band slows things down with “The Wire” before Steve shares with the audience that the band will be out touring their new album after Christmas. Based upon the new tracks performed live tonight including the likes of “Take It Or leave It”, it will be another record to add to our shopping list.

The band go from a new song to an old favourite, with the partisan crowd singing along to “Going Away” from 2011’s It’s Come To This. “Lets Get Rocked” from the more recent Peacemaker album brings the set back up to date, before another new track “Other Side”. The crowd are asked to let the band know what they think – and the answer is pretty obvious as they lap it up. This is surprisingly only the second time the song has been played live.

During “No Lies” Steve Hill gets up close and personal with the crowd, armed with his guitar he walks around the room to say hello, then it is sadly the end of the set. The hungry fans get their just desserts though, as the band give us a duly deserved encore in the shape of the often requested but rarely played “Precious Stone”, which features some more great guitar work from Steve. Skam finishes the show with fan favourite “Massacre”, which is segued with Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs”, to finish off a fantastic set.

As the band said on their Facebook page after the event – “BRISTOL! You rock! This is becoming our favourite city to play; thanks so much for your support!” Tonight’s show proved again why their dedicated fans continue to support them.

Not only were the fans out in support tonight but during the course of the evening members of the supporting artists watched on too, which is great to see. Altogether a fantastic evening, another great value gig with three amazing bands. Who said that rock is dead? Maybe they should get out and support their local scene a bit more often. Miss these bands at your peril.

Photos: Becky O’Grady

Skam
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Tequila Mockingbyrd
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Kikamora
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The Tunnels
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Event Date: 16-Nov-2016