You know you've been to see a great band when you wake up with one of the songs still playing in your head.
I have been capturing photos of 26th Avenue for almost a year now and they are getting stronger and more powerful each time I see them. Their own songs are great and have their own soul but as with so many bands reaching out to a new audience they mix it up with a few covers. Last night this Crawley band played a gig at a closed venue. It was live streamed, on a mobile phone, through Spotted:Crawley. However, with the amount of energy in the room you would have been forgiven to think that the 4,000+ audience online were actually at the venue. I was one of the lucky few who got to be there.
They started off with 'Use Somebody' followed by 'Smells like Teen Spirit'. Demi's voice lends itself to so many different types of songs and I love the fact that she takes on male fronted bands but does it in her own way. Saying that she does mean versions of 'Torn', 'Ironic' and 'Zombie' too, as her voice can easily handle both the dynamic, powerful parts as well as the softer more delicate notes.
We got to hear both '206' and 'Flare' from their own repertoire during the first part of their set and although they are both great songs 'Flare' is definitely one of my favourites. The drums and bass work so well together on this song, especially, and I love the guitar riff. It has such a wonderful summer feel to it which makes me want to grab my shades and drive down to the coast with the music on top volume!
So, the rest of the band - guitarist Lewis has the handsome, moody look down to a tee but don't let that fool you. There is nothing moody about his guitar playing and he definitely knows how to play a catchy solo! The riffs have passion and punch with a wonderful melody ringing through.
I always feel the structure of a great band comes from the strength of the foundation built by the bass and drums and these guys seem to think the same. The drums are dynamic yet have a pure and clean feel, no unnecessary fills but with wonderful rhythm that builds throughout the songs.
Alex on bass is another great musician. He clearly gives it his all and it's great to see the passion he has for their music.
The chemistry between them all is great. They do what great bands do - they play as a group. There is constant eye contact, nods and smiles fired across the stage. I have been to so may gigs during my life and the best ones are always the ones where the musicians are having genuine fun on stage.
Another Crawley band which i have seen a ridiculous amount of times is 'The Cure'. I remember having 'Boys Don't Cry' stuck in my head for days after seeing them the first time. They are a great example of how enjoying what you do makes you a strong band that manages to survive in the music industry over many years, and 26th Avenue is definitely showing that same passion and enthusiasm.
And if you're wondering what song I woke up with playing in my head - it was their powerful energy driven version of 'The Chain'.
And yes, I did my best 'Mummy Dancing' during their set.
I give my time for free to photograph this band as I believe in them. They have been recording their their first EP and there are of course so many costs involved. If you feel you can spare a few pounds to support their dreams please pop to their fundraiser below:
You can catch the first part of their set here: https://www.facebook.com/SpottedCrawley/videos/623649318283960/
And why not follow them on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/26thaveband/
Thank you also to Redz Bar in Crawley for hosting this gig and Spotted:Crawley for arranging it all. Dan of Spotted Crawley is setting up gigs for local bands to be streamed live to help keep their music going during these crazy times when social distancing makes it more difficult to hold gigs, with an audience, in venues.