Rock Ness Monster: Deep, Zephyr Avenue, Billy Goat and The Mongrels, Unicrons Revenge, ARequiem – The Harp Hotel 3/10/08

From pop rock, to metal and funk to the slack jawed sounds of a hillbilly band, if nothing else, Rock Ness Monster provided diversity.

The evening kicked off with Deep, a pop rock/blues outfit playing their first gig together. The band kept the audience engaged with their succinct commercial songs, peppered by glimpses of brilliance by their lead guitarist. Deep’s half hour set was enough to warm the audience which was slowly building by this point, ready for Zephyr Avenue.

With an interesting repertoire of hard rock mixed with funk, the band managed to keep the crowd interested for the whole set with hardly anybody leaving the room. Most memorable about this band was their extremely technical lead guitarist and great energy onstage, although the vocals did suffer at times as a result.

Billygoat & The Mongrels took the stage next and if those present weren’t prepared for what followed, they were soon slapping their thighs and ‘yee-haa’ing’ in true hillbilly style without a second thought. This was music that would make Jethro proud. The angry hillbillies didn’t disappoint with their Kenny Rogers and Johnny Cash on speed style. The audience appreciating the bands talent as much as the fashionable wife beater and flannel shirt worn by the lead singer and warmed the stage up even further for the highlight of the evening.

The night peaked when Unicrons Revenge took the stage and wowed the vocal audience with their sound and their enthusiasm. Unicrons bass player was the standout of the evening, playing slap bass reminiscent of the seventies and Flea with precision and fluidity. The band roused many audience members out of their seats and into the front row and managed to keep them there for the whole set. Unfortunately after Unicrons left the stage, so did much of the more enthusiastic members of the crowd.

ARequiem were left to play to a depleted audience but delivered a powerful set of heavy metal and thrash regardless, setting the remaining heads in the room banging. A sound similar to that of Sunk Loto mixed in with intricate atonal scales and a double kick drum which would hit with great precision and gusto. Those who left early indeed missed a powerful ending to a great night of varied musical taste.

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