• Tina Sherwood

The Burning Hell Takes On The Maze

‘I’m tense!’ declared Jay (Brow) of host band for the night, Dream Deep. ‘The Burning Hell are my favourite band on the planet!’

Naturally, my expectations of the Canadian band were high. Alex Hale opened with a humorous solo folky/pop set, which touched on topics as far reaching as staying at his Nan’s on a Saturday night when he was a child. He impressed by teaching the audience a complicated chorus to one of his own songs, then he managed to sing a second part above it. That takes some doing, Alex!

Alex Hale - Credit: Tina Sherwood of Rock Shotz

Second on the bill was the (very tall) local singer/songwriter, George Gadd and his mate, Ciaran, who created some gorgeous vocal harmonies on their closing track, Runaway. It is plain to see why George was a finalist in this year’s Notts Factor competition!

George Gadd - Credit: Rock Shotz

George Gadd & Ciaran - Credit: Rock Shotz

Dream Deep added some electricity to what had, so far, been an acoustic night. Loyal fans helped stir the audience as the band opened with Pretty Lying Eyes, written when Jay lost a FIFA bet! The trio played a lively Alternative set, showcasing tunes from their latest album, to be released in the new year: This Is Hell, a follow-up to their first album: This Is Love.

Jay - Credit: Rock Shotz

Credit: Rock Shotz

Credit: Rock Shotz

Prime appeared as an acoustic duo, with Lee Heir delivering a Jagger-esque performance of ‘rock’n’roll blues with a pop feel.’ Guitarist and songwriter, Chris Bradley, accompanied on guitar with finely honed, crisp, choppy chords.

Prime - Credit: Rock Shotz

The main event: The Burning Hell, did not disappoint. Frontman, Mathias Kom, has a deliciously deep voice, with occasional comforting tones of (for older readers) Rick Jones, fellow Canadian and presenter of iconic childhood tv favourite - Fingermouse. Ariel Sharratt, on drums, bass clarinet and vocals, and Darren Browne on bass and bouzouki, add creative and beautiful sound dimensions to a number of tracks played from the band’s latest album, Revival Beach; a thoughtful, tuneful commentary on global warming and other issues. Standout performance: When The World Ends, from a 10 year-old album, Baby, about to be re-released on vinyl.

Mathias Kom - Credit: Rock Shotz

Darren Browne - Credit: Rock Shotz

Ariel Sharratt - Credit: Rock Shotz

As the gig closed, it was clear that Jay had been joined by a new army of fans for his ‘favourite band on the planet.’

Thanks for bringing them to us. A great night!