25th November saw the second Jazz and Rock gig night at DBs this term. An enthusiastic crowd saw ?40 Acres? up first playing blues and funk (and occasionally dabbling with ska punk) for 30 minutes. The band played with musical proficiency and have proven themselves now as one of the winners of the Imperial heats of Rock Idols. ?40 Acres? were a good warm up before the heaviest band of the night graced the stage.
?DonkeyBox?, though having reformed three weeks previously, did a mix of covers including a rocking version of Metallica?s ?Enter Sandman? but it was their own tunes that shone through to show their true talent. Although drawing on several different influences, ?DonkeyBox? seemed to please the crowd with their amusing lyrics and first-class riffs.
?Pyramids of SNAFU? had a slightly precarious start, managing to adlib some psychedelic type keyboard stuff. With a drummer shared with the last band of the night, they proceeded to do an excellent set of rousing violin and keyboard tunes. Although totally different from the other bands the atmosphere was happy and the audience warm in their appreciation.
Next up were ?My Dark Empire (the erstwhile Raytracer) who opened their set with a commanding presence that proved sustaining throughout as they tore through song after song of powerful yet melodic tunes. The band themselves have had their fair share of London gigging experience out of all the bands that night, and it certainly showed. With seasoned classics such as the harmony clad ?Alive? and overwhelmingly dynamic ?Fits and Starts?, the set flows from strength to strength motivated by front man Toby?s vivacious performance.
?Kin? stepped up to take the headline act spot, despite it being the first time they?ve played at a JnR event. Having the unenviable task of following My Dark Empire this excellent three-piece shone with pure class with both their sound and stagecraft. Playing a 40 minute set of their own material, giving a powerful well rounded mid rock groove their own melodic edge. Their sound was characterized by the combination of beautifully clean vocals from the lead female singer, a powerful bass sound and an explosive injection of beat. This was easily a great climax to an altogether excellent evening. Switching to a more acoustic driven sound halfway through the set gave the opportunity to show the breadth as well as depth of this bands skill, playing more chilled and soulful tunes, before switching back for the finishing number and two encores.
All in all a brilliant night, filled with beer, unmatchable sound quality, excellent music and everyone having a great time. Given a lucky break by the music industry, My Dark Empire have got what it takes to make it big, but all the bands deserve credit for making it a superb night for all who played and listened!