Words & Images by Kieran Webber
Cornwall isn’t home to a venue really, sure there is Princess Pavilions, Falmouth but there isn’t a hub where live music and touring bands play consistently. As much as this can be tedious as a music fan residing in Cornwall it has opened up a vacuum where bands and artists play in a variety of strange, brilliant and unique bars, pubs and locations around the county.
One of these said places is the beachside pub in St. Agnes called The Driftwood Spars, a cosy, traditional pub steeped in history. Upon entering it feels more like somewhere you’d enjoy a lovely roast and pint of ale (which it is!) but on this night it was transformed into a space of highly intense rock and roll. People of all ages wandered around, old hairy bikers, the local geography teacher and young rockers like myself all rubbed shoulders for the night. I even genuinely spotted a fisherman floating around in the crowd. It’s moments such as these that makes Cornwall’s music scene unique.
The tiny room was now full to the brim with eagerly awaiting music fans, shoulder to shoulder, united under the banner of head-banging. First up was local band Wolf Note, who are infamous for their untamed energy that is draped in a cowl of ferocity. The duo certianly did not disappoint on this night, they came out kicking and screaming. From start to finish they came crashing down like the hammer of Thor with hooks so large you could hang your nan off them. Drummer Liam Jolly kept everything tight and bombastic whilst guitarist Danny Wood kept things feral and untamed at the front. I am always left blown away by their sets, they harness an energy that most bands couldn’t even comprehend.
With the crowd suitably warmed up the aptly named Saint Agnes took to the stage (space where the amps where) and after a quick introduction they bolted into action. Their opening track was a cosmic explosion consisting of organ’s, guitars and heavy percussion. They danced delicately between heavy rock and psychedlia, carrying a sound similar to The Dead Weather but packed more of a punch. They also covered The Doors – ‘Roadhouse Blues’ but with a riff heavy spin on it. Their whole set was a cascading journey into the psyched up freak out sound that they have expelling out of them.
I often find myself let down by the Cornish music scene and sometimes lack of crowds, I have found myself at many shows with really talented bands playing to half empty rooms. It can be pretty bleak. However, the Driftwood Spars in St. Agnes shown me that there is a scene that is alive and kicking and there are plenty of like-minded people looking to rock out to some stellar live music.
By Kieran Webber