LIVE: Electric River/ Colt 45 at Beercart Arms, Canterbury [03/03/13]

By Lais

Marking the end of an eight date tour, the Kent city of Canterbury seemingly finds itself on the tour schedule due to the headliners Electric River’s local hometown of Ashford. Although running the danger of providing an anticlimactic end to proceedings, tonight retains the justifiable atmosphere that often accompanies the end of any tour. Although the first support band are sourced locally, there is a clear recognition that Electric River and One Day Elliot are not strangers, and the minimal attendance generates an altogether more friendly feel.

As the relatively unknown One Day Elliot supply a mixture of pop-punk and no-holds-barred straightforward pop, it is the sheer courage of the unaccompanied vocal harmonies that attract attention. Although the band find themselves playing to an almost empty room, there is not any lost energy in their punchy performance. Despite a few flat notes and missed beats, it is unarguable that One Day Elliot thoroughly enjoy being on stage – and one band that make the audience want to laugh along.

Cumbrian trio Colt 45 have travelled a long distance for tonight’s show, and despite the relative obscurity of the venue appear adamant to put their all into the performance. Taking tracks from both of their EP’s, the band switch between musical styles from song to song. Although this demonstration of ability is impressive, it remains difficult to keep up with the sheer magnitude of the changes. While the recorded material benefits from a certain cohesion, it is left somewhat confusing on stage; the band may benefit from clumping some of the more traditional songs together and separate from the more upbeat moments.

That said, tracks such as ‘Happiness is a Dying Art’ and ‘Brick Wall’ sound suitably impressive in a live environment with Neil Harper’s strained vocals sitting comfortably against the melodic undertones. If anything Colt 45 provide a grassroots sound and attitude that demonstrate a significant proportion of their time spent on the road. What they lack in continuity tonight they more than make up for in thorough brashness.

As headliners Electric River take to the stage a reasonable sized crowd has emerged centre stage. Bouncing and singing along to the band’s comparatively conservative blend of Americana inspired rock; it marks a less deflated conclusion than would have been expected earlier tonight. While the music balances on the genuinely impressive vocals, there is little to inspire in the accompanying Gaslight Anthem-meets-Go Radio commercial rock.

Regardless, tonight has become a family and friends affair for the headliners and one which the supporting acts appear welcome to frequent.