New Art Riot

Corporation: Blend / The Strollers / The Junglists

Newbury Colony Club


The night kicks off with Newbury's very own jovial ska-punk starlets the Junglists. Struggling to fit onto the Colony Club's pint-sized, the six-piece collective prove to be an excellent opening act - lively, energetic, and getting the crowd (albeit the younger audience) going. With rumours of a support slot on a well-known ska outfit's UK tour, the future looks bright for the Junglists.

The Strollers have two sides to their musical personality; on one hand they're thrashing out muscular scuzz rockers in the vain of Modern Man's Son, but what sets them apart from their counterparts is that they can do the slow just as well, It's Not Me arguably receiving the best response from the audience. Musically, it's not hard to guess their influences, but any combination of Oasis, 70s punk, the Smiths and the Stones is worth a listen, and the Strollers prove they are certainly worth more than just a listen. Their incredibly tight set only goes to show why they've earned support slots with the likes of the Ordinary Boys, Delays and Snow Patrol in the past.

"This is your Shutdown Symphony" screams Corporation: Blend's frontman Rob Owens in his Axl-esque tones as his band hurtle through The Shutdown, a synth-assisted track which is essentially just under two minutes of bristling punk-like angst and energy. C:B's headline set brings the first ever 'New Art Riot' clubnight to a frenetic close, all members giving it their absolute all despite the, ahem, 'unusual' venue (ie. a boxing club by day, music venue by night). Bassist Dexy K starjumps and scissor-kicks throughout, drummer Ash leads the band with tribal-liking poundings, keyboardist Andy adds eerie atmospherics, and Rob at one point strays into the audience and incites a bout of mass air-guitar playing - it's amazing just how much explosive energy and effort they put into such a small gig. New single For All My Sins is certainly one of the most refreshing things to be produced all year, and it's b side Blew It employed as a frantic set-closer.

Pic Tina MccLelland

So overall, the first New Art Riot turns out to be successful, not only a diverse mix of quality bands, but a wide range of people who may not have had the chance to unite otherwise. Roll on the next one!

Clive Drew