Clark Kent’s Rock and Roll Revue #003 Soap Opera 1of 3 Feat. Dark Stares
It’s Friday night and I’m swaying outside The Camden Barfly with Sophia D. We’re intent upon reviewing happy-go-lucky-punk quartet The Dash, not just because of their music, but because they make it easy for me to mesh their trials and tribulations with other London bands. For example, The Dash used to employ Lee Veralis on drums, and the dude drums for half of London! See? Rock family tree planting made easy. My concern is this: Is scene-building a bad thing? Is it healthy for musicians to help create and play up to a sense of community, especially when said bands only commune at gigs?
Photo Credit: Neil Anderson A.K.A Wildblanket
Latest single by The Dash is called 3 Times More. Check it out:
August 9th 2013 The Barfly Camden/Chalk Farm (London)
Courtesy of my inside man (cheers Jon Jon) my photojournalist and I have snuck into the tail-end of the club night before Club Jubilee. Upstairs Sophia and I are pushed against a sea of students, parents and family of the band currently performing. Dark Stares, a hard rock band from St Albans. These young men are another delightful offering of what I am beginning to think of as the Josh Homme generation. What self-respecting young rock band isn’t influenced by Queens of the Stone Age’s psych-punk? I don’t spy a mosh-pit (not that security here go for that kind of a thing) but even the people at the back are giving these guys a chance. Sophia heads past the rabble of people to get a better shot of the band whilst I hang back; it's time for me to take specific mental notes.
(Dark Stares Club Jubilee @ The Barfly 09/08/13 - Photo Credit: Sophia D)
So then, Dark Stares are fronted by the effervescent Miles Kristian Howell. His vocals betray innocence stark in contrast to the mood of his music (Think Songs for The Deaf era QOTSA). Not only is his vocal phrasing and melodic styling’s in debt to Homme, Howell’s vocal tone reminds me of Black Rebel Motorcycle Gang. By the way, this alchemical mix is in no way a bad thing. Dark Stares do the whole driving rock thing with a practiced professionalism. I’m keen to know where they’ll be – musically at least – after proving themselves such careful craftsmen. Blackfyre is the track that gets me to ask the rather bubbly lady in front about the band. She obliges with a set list and informs me that she is Mrs Taylor, that she went through labour to bring Myles and his brothers Taylor (tight on the skins), and Brett (groovy basslines) into the world. Thank you Mother Howell. I do find myself wishing the soundman would turn up Harry Collins’ lead guitar, but the vocals are paramount for this band (always a tough element to cater for in a live hard rock band) and I’ve heard worse jobs. And look, these guys aren’t fannying about yeah? This St Albans crew is serious; they sell merch:
(Photo Credit: Sophia D)