Marrs Bar review 8th December

posted 13 Feb 2017, 12:25 by Dean Miles

The Whipjacks/One Second After

The Marr’s Bar, Worcester, 8th Dec

2016 was a tough year for local favourites The Whipjacks. Losing their brother and bandmate Tim Stamps through illness, I'm sure there must have been times when the band thought about calling it a day. However, knowing that Tim wanted the group to push forward, his inspiration ringing clear, the five-piece have rallied round and set about cementing not only his legacy but theirs too by recording a brilliant EP, Scoundrels And Rogues, and hitting the stage running for a welcoming heroes return to a packed out Marr’s Bar.

Prior to The Whipjacks storming the stage, the audience were treated to a warm up set by another local bunch, One Second After a relatively new four-piece who blend the punky rock riffs of The Wildhearts, with a slice of grunge and a dose of pop-punk attitude to create an instantly infectious sound full of vigour.

The group made all the right moves. Low slung guitars blazed over a driving rhythm section, whilst the frontman hung from his mic-stand with appropriate attitude. Currently, I think the band needs a bit of fine tuning. The riffs and hooks are there but they need a few more shout-a-long tracks to really stand out.

Hopefully we'll see a bit more of them in 2017.

Before the curtain could be raised, The Whipjacks lurched for the audience’s attention as the band's unaccompanied collective voices - led from the front by Dean Miles - hollered in unison, signalling in Song For A Swine.

The rhythm section swooped in with guitar and mandolin, lifting the track further and kick starting an energetic rush of attitude drenched speed folk (as they themselves call it). Echoing sounds of US/Celtic heroes Flogging Molly, The Dropkick Murphys and The Levellers.

My Madness Molly Murphy has a shanty like appeal, encouraging an unusually restrained audience to jig in their seats or nod furiously before the first revellers break rank to spin across the floor. The band upped the ante for a tear through and sprightly rendition of Another Bag Of Bricks - Dean strutting and posturing across the stage, whilst his fellow Whipjacks tore at their instruments.

The party well and truly kick-started, a charged Upstarts And Broken Hearts careers along with the attitude of the original, whilst a rollicking Bad Touch perhaps nods back to the past glories of Logan. A seasonal run through of Merry Christmas Everybody, completed with backing vocals courtesy of One Second After helped summon the festive period.

But, among the frivolous covers and the frantic strumming, The Whipjacks delivered a host of their own classics. From the festival friendly, Campfire Song, to their defiant anthem, Scoundrels And Rogues, with its apt refrain of 'We're the Whipjacks and we're just having fun', the band delivered a poignant and fitting tribute to their fallen friend whilst simultaneously announcing their return to the glee of a, now, rapturous crowd. The audience demanded more and the band, in the mood to party, duly delivered with a run through of The Grace Of God Go I, brand new, Push On, rounding off the evening with a rousing rendition of What's Left Of The Flag and Wild Rover. The audience were left with a keen melody and one final hook, reverberating through us as we filed into the cold December night, warmed by the return of a group of local favourites.

  • Will Munn