The Sunflower Lounge
Review by Freddy Puzey
Descending unto a bustling Sunflower Lounge finds solo singer Doodles, glamorous alternative rockers Room 11 and booming heavy metal powerhouses Crucible populating the house for the night. Unfortunately on account of illness in the band, originally-scheduled headliners The Achilles had to forfeit their places on the stage for the night.
Right out of the door came Doodles, bringing a quiet but prevalent confidence to a blend of home-hitting covers and original poetry. Entrancing the audience with lush vocals, it is obvious she is totally one for a singalong. She knows the stage is hers and commits herself to her vibe with some light dancing. With household bangers such as Amy Winehouse’s ‘Valerie’ and The Killers’ ‘Mr. Brightside’, all attendants in the room were vibing right along with her. Original poems ‘Society’ and ‘The Physics of Love At First Sight’, truly instilled Doodles as a wordsmith and one to watch in the near future.
Soon after Doodles left her mark, a star-spangled, charismatic and five-piece emotional explosion of young, gunslinging energy materialised on the stage. That was Room 11. They have unmistakable Alternative Rock and Emo Glam influences, with some glimmers of Hardcore as well – echoes of My Chemical Romance, Panic! At The Disco and Queens of The Stone Age come to mind. The fronting vocalist is very stage-present and aware of the audience, strongly feeling the tunes and gesturing with the lyrics. The bass is a confident, muscular spine to the band that holds everything in place. The guitar parts are executed very well, written with a stylistic confidence and being complementary of each other; the trading and weaving of rhythm and lead parts are displayed with splendour and feature rip-roaring tones. The drums were booming too and kept the sound charging. It’s heartfelt, but it’s huge, and Room 11 are not to be missed.
With humbled appearances before entering the spotlight, one cannot prepare themselves for the enormous and thunderous Crucible. You just have to see these guys. With classic Heavy and Progressive Metal influences as the ammunition, the shotgun slug that was their performance was second-to-none. They are well inspired, harking back to sounds of Metallica and Iron Maiden, presented with a grooving chemistry amongst the four of them that truly projects their presences onstage – as individuals and as a collective force. This was felt amongst the group and audience members alike, with their pronounced conviction in their pocket pulling everyone in to a mosh.
There were portions of the set that saw the number of guitars in the spotlight drop to just one, though the weight of the punch that is packed in the band’s bombastic sound and infectious rhythm work prevented the reduced instrumentation from diminishing the volume of noise to any extent whatsoever. The level of musicianship and inter-member instrumental understanding is some of the most commendable I’ve seen in some time and commanded my respect with no questions asked. Finishing with their debut release, ‘Warzone’, It is abundantly clear that these guys’ potential cannot be roofed.