Last Friday (13th August 2021) we finally visited The Railway Inn, Winchester for the first time! A venue I’d been meaning to go to for ages, but then the world closed down. The venue hosted an all day “birthday party” for everyone who’d ended up spending a birthday (or two!) in lockdown featuring a whole range of artists spanning various genres. Apart from both Mystic Peach and Web, all the other bands who played on the day were completely new to me which is always exciting!
Some would say holding an event on Friday 13th would be unlucky, but after the past 18 months things couldn’t have got much worse anyway! The day wasn’t without technical difficulties, probably attributed to it being Friday 13th. However, for the sake of the bands I’m disregarding all technical faults in this review as it didn’t exactly distract from anyone’s performances and things were sorted quickly/efficiently.
Up first was Ryan Ede a solo artist who played a stripped-back set of upbeat, even groovy tracks and was commanding enough to keep the audience entertained between tracks. Even at his own expense regarding forgotten set lists and stories of Tai Chi. His set was comprised of his solo music, covers and even a track from his old band The Peeps. Next was The Ben Baker Fiasco who, following a year of rehearsing, could finally play their first gig! The band’s set was comprised of psych-inspired indie-rock music. A mellower start to the day from both acts anyway.
I’d attempted to find info on Lady Errant before this gig to no avail, but it turns out it was the bands first gig under this name. I wasn’t too sure what to expect and their music isn’t something I’d necessarily go for, but they were certainly entertaining. The band played piano-lead, harmony-driven music and their performance was lively and certainly animate/dynamic. Maple Sky followed this up with a set comprised of soulful jazz music with occasional disco vibes and generally feel-good music overall. Safe to say I’ll try and catch them again when they play Victorious Festival next weekend too.
Slow Like A Feeling are a two-piece band with a drum machine and backing track in tow that filled any spaces between tracks with, conceptual “vintage” advert clips. The band played a combination of their own brand of post-punk and also put their own spin on various covers. I did find a 45 minute set of theirs a bit much by the time it got past the 30 minute mark, although I’d be intrigued to hear more from them nonetheless. Vatican Romp then kicked things up a notch with their own blend of punk/metal, self-professed “nonsense”. The Salisbury based band performed a hectic set with their frontman spending most of their set in the crowd and/or on the venue floor. Probably the most interactive performance of the day.
Quick story… Back in April I remember watching Mystic Peach’s livestream for New Colossus and, I’m not sure why but I remember thinking “you know who would compliment them perfectly? Web. Why hasn’t this happened already?”. Then I didn’t think anything more of it… However, here we are for the second time in a few weeks seeing both bands on the same lineup!
I swear Web get even better each and every time I see them, which is saying something because they were already brilliant to start with. The band now perform as a three piece and if anything, it works better. I can say the same for Mystic Peach too. The band play through a set of psych-tinged grunge and their performance is certainly hectic. I’d only just realised how short, sharp and snappy their tracks are and it only leaves you wanting more.
A top day of high-class bands/artists, especially for what was a free gig. Anyone who wasn’t there truly missed out on something rather special. And regarding the venue as it was the first time I’d visited, I’d highly recommend visiting The Railway Inn if you haven’t already been. There was a friendly/welcoming vibe with the bonus that it’s also a very short walk from Winchester train station too.