First on were ?Reality Cheques?. At this point I must confess that I missed their set, and so can only offer my sincere apologies. Believing that all performances are good until proven otherwise, I must presume that they were fabulous and enjoyed by all.
?Death Penalty? were next to take to the stage and filled the union with the growling vocals and fast, relentless pounding of death metal. Their set was enthusiastic, energetic and well received by the majority of the audience. Despite this I found it difficult to decipher the lyrics and struggled to hear the guitar and bass solos. This in particular was a shame as, from what I could make out interesting sounds were being created. However, I accept that this is a feature of the genre.
Luca Laraia was the calm after Death Penalty?s storm, offering an acoustic soft rock set of his own material. Overall Luca gave a solid performance engaging well with the audience despite his stage being invaded on more than one occasion by a rather tipsy gentleman of unknown origin. There were some minor issues with tuning which he endeavored to correct throughout the performance and which did not greatly impede the set. I felt that he was at his best when singing lower in his register achieving greater depth and sincerity.
?Cato St Conspiracy?, a non- Imperial punkish rock band, cranked up the tempo and the volume once more. I found that the vocals could be a little piercing at times and that the amplification was out of balance making it difficult to pick out individual instruments, again a shame. This was a theme of the evening and was to the detriment of all the performers. Having said this, they were very tight rhythmically throughout which held the performance together.
?White Elephant? rounded off the night with a collection of their own works as well as some old favorites by Cream and Hendrix, to name a few. I found their performance to be the most enjoyable of the night, but then I am heavily biased to traditional blues-rock. The vocals still need work but have been getting better and better over the years. The Hendrix in particular went down a storm and saw even the most unlikely of characters take to the dance floor.
Overall the evening was excellent. The repertoire was varied ranging from death metal to good old-fashioned rock and roll, with something to please nearly all musical tastes. This was evident in the enthusiastic response of the audience who danced and moshed along to the music and helped make the night the success it was.