Last Friday The White Swan played host to the Aylesbury Alternative Music Society’s debut event.
The gig featured a line-up of three local bands – Casual Vandal, Honour Amongst Thieves and headliners Black Ju Ju. Kicking off proceedings was the newly formed Casual Vandal.
Consisting of bass player Michael Judge, guitarist Joe Craig and talented drummer Dan Thomas, the trio also split vocals – the lyrics of which some of the crowd already knew despite the band being so new on the scene.
Their set successfully warmed up the crowd and holds the band in good stead for the recording of their album next month at the Kiss My Disc studio in Chesham.
Second on came Honour Amongst Thieves, a four-piece outfit fronted by Dale Sullivan on rhythm acoustic guitar and lead vocals.
Setting the atmosphere with their own brand of sing-along punk the band played a polished set reminiscent of influences such as The Gaslight Anthem, Green Day and Johnny Cash.
With many gigs and original songs under their belts it was clear they have a very clear idea of who they are and where they’re going.
Packed to the rafters with revellers young and old alike, Matthew Small, founder of Aylesbury’s Alternative Music Society and chief organiser of the event alerted everyone to the presence of Friars legends David and Sue Stopps. Acknowledging their support and everything the couple have historically done for the scene he said “I’d like to think that if what they did was a new hope then maybe this could be the empire strikes back – a sequel’s pretty good.”
Last but not least, punk grunge trio Black Ju Ju took to the stage to deliver their usual anarchically flavoured visceral performance. Accompanied by earthy drone bass lines courtesy of Richard Knight and rhythmic drums by Paul Standing, Thom Harris’ theatrical performance as lead guitarist and vocalist set the tone for a dynamic and crowd pleasing event resulting in requests for an encore.
Aside from the music, the event had an electric energy charged by everyone that turned out to support the society’s injection of enthusiasm into Aylesbury’s alternative music scene not provided for since the days of Profile.
Labelling the night as a resurrection Matthew Small summarised with: “Tonight, we brought music back to the Swan. Tonight we made history.” Thanking all for their support, Small reminded the crowd of how fundamental it is to securing more gigs stating “I do have other gigs in mind, there will be others. But only if you want there to be.”
Citing the demand and success of the night co-founder of the A.A.M.S, Daniel Pullinger added “It’s really cool that we’ve done it and I look forward to seeing where we go from here. I’m proud of what we’ve done.”