Words & Photography by Lexi Goodland
One major downfall about living down in the depths of the South-West is the apparent reluctance of popular musicians to venture past Bristol – Plymouth at a push – to play a gig. As a lover of music, this is something which frequently disappoints me. On the flip side however, it’s led me to invest my time and interest into the music scene directly around me and for that, Plymouth is great.
The Junction is quickly on the rise to becoming one of Plymouth’s best hubs for live music. Having already welcomed bands as big as Circa Waves onto their stage, and soon to welcome indie-rock band Blaenavon, The Junction has also hosted some of Falmouth’s own musical talent including Bonetired, Carolina Cove, Milo Gore, Luke Moss and Oh, and it was great to see up and coming Falmouth bands BAGGS and Hops make their first appearances there last Saturday, followed on the line up by Chloe Carrubba and headliners Rainbow Maniac. It was an evening that brought plenty of musical diversity and flavour to the stage.
Opening the show was new math-pop rock four piece, Hops. These guys were one of the two bands who made the journey from Falmouth to give Plymouth a taste of their funked-up groovy tunes to get down to. I’ve been lucky enough to see these guys live before and their unique, off-beat rhythms are surely becoming their trademark sound. Truthfully, I didn’t know too much about the “math-rock” genre before these guys popped up in the music scene, but their sound is zesty and fresh, and very different to what I’ve seen before in Falmouth. I’m always particularly blown away by guitarist, Will, who appears to play riffs at lightning speeds and still somehow manages to maintain an incredibly slick and polished sound throughout their sets. This gig was no exception. It is also refreshing to see a band being led at the front by a woman, similar to the likes of Orchards.
Up next was BAGGS, another up and coming four piece band from Falmouth. These boys brought a completely different sound to the evening; a beautiful chaos of heavy guitar, drums, and vocals, and a massive dosage of fuzz and distortion. Grunge to the core, their sound swallowed the room whole from the get go as they continued to play a tight and electrified performance with an absolutely contagious energy.
Following BAGGS was solo artist Chloe Carrubba, who played a stripped back acoustic mixture of her own songs and some, in my opinion, cheesy covers (think Stevie Nicks and Dua Lipa mashups…). If I have one criticism of the evening, it would be that this set may have perhaps been better suited at the start of the evening, for no other reason than the energised atmosphere created by the first two acts was somewhat lost in Chloe’s more ambient, acoustic set. She did, however, boast a great voice; soft and gentle, but also full of power. I was also pleasantly surprised by Chloe’s engaging and comedic stage presence. She definitely made up for what she lacked in her musical performance with her witty banter.
Closing the show was Cardiff foursome Rainbow Maniac, who came onto the stage each sporting a very chic and stylish suit which perfectly complimented their blues-rock motown psychedelia cocktail of sound. A quick glance around was all I needed to see how much the audience enjoyed their set: heads were banging, feet were tapping. There was even one guy in full dance mode at the front.
Their sound was reminiscent of Arctic Monkeys but with an added touch of funk thrown in. They carried a huge sound with their large riffs and infectious hooks, vocals were also a standout with the drummer taking the lead on several occasions.
Overall it was a great set from Rainbow Maniac who finished up with a massive instrumental jam, the tangent was a perfect end to a brilliant night of music.
By Lexi Goodland