Driven Serious, Hivemind & The Gentleman Busker: Independent Gig Review

Over the course of a year and a half I have been follow the exploits of Hivemind (when I first saw them, they were called Masamune), and in that time, I must of seen them seven – eight times. When I got a notification through on Facebook that they were going to play Illusions in Sunderland on the December 7th, but I couldn’t go because I was doing my radio show Project Metal Across Pond With Ell Yong, but when I looked on the band FB page I noticed that they were doing another gig a few later on the December 9th, so I thought, OK, I’ll go to that one instead.

Anyways, the day came, and as usual I got to the venue early. When the doors opened and I went in. Now, usually when I go and see Hivemind live, there is usually a quite a few people show up to follow the band, but there was only a handful of people actually showed, which is very disheartening for the bands that played.

The Gentleman Busker

Well, The Gentleman Busker solo act and when he came on stage, I was like OK, what you got? As he started his set, OK, he is an acoustic guitars and singer. So when he finished the first song he said that he snapped a string on the guitar, so when he asked to borrow a guitar, he was having some banter with the people, and I liked that he turned this annoyance into something that found funny as he was telling jokes etc.

As his set went on, I was starting to like the guy, as he was really going for it. In between the songs that he was doing, he was explaining why he wrote that particular song, as he was drawing on personal experiences etc.

Overall, The Gentleman Busker was really good and I was quite surprised that I enjoyed listening to this guy.


This is the band that I came to see mainly, as they have improved immensely over the last year and a half since I first saw them and since Lauren joined them as singer.

When it was time for their set, I was hoping that there was going to be more people in the room, but sadly no, but they carried on regardless, as they are a band that want to play live.

As they went through their set did Velvet Thunder one of my favourite songs by Hivemind, now to me, when Steve (the guitarist) started to play the song, I was thinking at the time that he has that he had slightly changed the tone of his guitar to a different setting, as the song sounded better when I last heard it a few months back.

I was so rocking out to Hivemind and when they said that they were coming to the end of their set, I was thinking to myself, Noooo keep playing, but the final band was coming up, so they thanked me and the people that did come to see them.

Driven Serious

As I went outside to get some air, when the first two bands changing over and I got on talking to Rob the singer/guitarist for Driven Serious and he was telling me about the band (this gig was the first time that I saw/heard of them), that they are a Punk Folk Rock. In the band there is a double bass and a fiddle players, which I found really good, and it was really good mix of all three genres.

When Driven Serious was setting up do their set, I went outside and was speaking to Hivemind about their set and other things, I sort of lost track of time a for a bit, and I heard Driven Serious start to play their set, whilst talking to some of the members of Hivemind, I was listening to the set that Driven Serious was doing, and from what I heard of it from outside it was pretty good, so I made my way back in, so I could hear the set properly and when I got in, Rob gave me a shout out and thanked me for coming down to the gig.

As I was watching them, I came to the conclusion, OK, the genres that they cover might be Punk Folk Rock, but they make it work really well as it gels really good. As they went through their set, Rob was having problems with his voice, as he was suffering from a cold I believe, and he was joking that he might not reach the end of some songs, as his voice might not hold out to the end of them.

Anyways, as the band’s set came to a close, I really liked them. I would like to give a thank you to Rob for giving me an EP of the bands music as it is much appreciated.

Overall, the gig was brilliant, but the only thing I had a problem I had was, I just wish that there was more people there to enjoy these three great acts.

I would give The Gentleman Busker a 4 out of 5 need to see more of this guy to see what else he can come up with.

I would give Hivemind a 5 out of 5 brilliant as always.

I would give Driven Serious a 4.5 out of 5 totally loved the mash up between Punk Folk and Rock genres.

Project Metal Music

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