When Dean James posted on his Facebook on Wednesday that he was doing a gig on Friday 3rd of June, and I was thinking “I like this guy, and I’m going”. On Thursday I spoke to Dean to get directions to Pop Recs LTD (venue) as I wasn’t quite sure were the place was, but when he confirmed Pop Recs LTD was just down from Park Lane bus station in Sunderland, thats when I knew were it was. As we talked he said that he was going to do a stripped back acoustic set, I was like “I’m still going”.
This gig was set up by The Bunker (rehearsal rooms, studio, venue etc) to promote a couple of up and coming local young bands, Three Thirty PH and The Criticism, and The Bunker wanted Dean James to come in to do some original tracks, and discuss things, i.e. about music etc.
Three Thirty PH
The first track that they done was Green Day’s Holiday, they did a pretty decent cover of this song, they had some decent vocals and guitars. for the second track they changed singers, the bassist swapped with the guitarist just to mix it up a bit, and it worked, thumbs up for that, plus the drummer was pretty good on this track. The third song that they done was an original piece from Three Thirty PH. the guitarist and bassist switched back instruments for this song. This is an alternative rock track which had some sweet guitar shredding and riffing solos, and the drummer came into his own on this track.
This band might be young and from St Aidan’s School
Their first track I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor by the Arctic Monkeys was a really good track by these youngsters, their guitars were pretty decent, if a little shaky. The drummer, like most drummer, was pretty energetic. Anastasia was next, this is a original piece by The Criticism. They said that they were practicing this track for ages, it started off little shaky but quickly recovered and was a brilliant punk-style track. Their next track was American Idiot by Green Day, they didn’t do the full uncut version of this song, for obvious reasons, this was an awesome cover as the drummer brought out the best in other member of the band. Their last song they did was their first song as they had another stab at doing it, and they did it better this time around which was pretty amazing.
Dean James & The Black Dogs
As he came up on stage, and started playing, I thought “Dean I seen you at the Independent when you launched your album back in the end of March, and you still got it”. Over the course of an eight track set, Dean was talking to the audience about different aspects of the music etc, and the crowd was very attentive to what he was saying.
Dean done some tracks off his album Pure, and it was a stripped back acoustic versions of his songs. He did Alive, Bad Day and Move On just to name but a few. He got one of the drummers from one of the bands to come up and play with him and I was thinking that “This guy is amazing” jamming out with an up and coming musician.
As Dean rapped up the gig, he played Black Dog, Stay With Me and Whiskey which were amazing even in this stripped back version.
After the the gig myself and Dean went for a drink or two and we chatted about music, who we’ve seen and what is in store for the future for us both. At the end of the night, we both had a really night at the gig.
I would definitely go and see Three Thirty PH, The Criticism and Dean James again, as all three were good.
I would give Three Thirty PH a 4 out of 5 for been talented young musicians who can change instruments mid way through their set.
I would give The Criticism a 4 out of 5, they might of been a little shaky in places but that could of been the live setting, but they professional enough at a young age to pulled it back, a massive thumbs up on that
I would definitely give Dean James a 5 out of 5 for being gracious and humble in supporting local young musicians
Project Metal Music