It was a Wednesday night at The Lincoln Imp in Scunthorpe for the second gig of independent Venue Week. The Lincoln Imp is a local independent venue to be proud of.
With so many small venues closing around the UK we need to make sure we support local bands and original music as well as the bigger names. Without supporting those smaller artists or the ones you’ve never heard of, venues like this can’t afford to bring in the bigger ones. The Lincoln Imp from the outside doesn’t look too much. A normal pub situated in a housing estate but inside, especially since the gig room transformation, It’s a top notch venue. If you haven’t been since the upgrade you really need to check it out and I think you’d be pleasantly surprised.
When I arrived the gig room doors were locked and everyone had taken refuge from the cold and ice in the main bar. It looked fairly busy quite early on which is good for a week night in Scunny.
When the gig room doors opened around 8ish there was a flood of excited gig goers all with their tickets in hand. It was nice to see so many people turn up early for the support bands as you often find if people know the stage times they won’t come until the main band are due on stage. Sometimes I get that it is a long wait between bands and changeovers, if you are just waiting to see the main band but you might discover another great one before the main band start.
It’s a bit like when you’re at the cinema and you watch the trailers of the other films coming out and you sit in your seat and turn to your mate and say “That looks alright”. You stand, you listen and you watch a band you’ve never heard before and their energy, enthusiasm and sound might just get you!
Now, I used to love my pop punk back in the day. I’d not really been a massive fan or follower of “A” and I won’t lie, I didn’t really know who they were. I was more a Limp Bizkit, Simple Plan, Yellowcard and New Found Glory kind of girl but I definitely owned a Kerrang CD with A’s hit “Nothing” on or heard it frequently played at Rock Open back in my youth, I just couldn’t have told you who sang it until now.
So first up to the stage was a relatively new band formation, Weirdwolf, from Scunthorpe. These band members have individually featured in a few local bands over the years so it’s always nice to see them come back with something different. Weirdwolf are pretty heavy and certainly very loud with some powerhouse vocals. Dave, Matt, Mike and Stuart put their all into showing the audience what they were made of. It’s a bit heavy for me but I couldn’t help but nod my head to the drum beats and guitar riffs. I think this band will become more popular with the local heavy fans and I’ve already seen a lot of gigs popping up here and there with Weirdwolf on the line up. There is no doubt that this local band is made up from a wealth of skilled and experienced musicians.
The switch over seemed a little longer this time and when you don’t have a beer to look into it probably doesn’t help. But the stage was a hive of activity as the next bands equipment was set up. And wow, they looked to have a complicated set up so I can forgive the wait.
Black Futures from London were next on the line up, describing their selves as future punk, with the use of electro Psych sounds. Black futures were not your everyday duo, they created a full band sound with the use of heavy and high energy drums, guitar, vocals and sound samples. It was definitely different!
I did like the energy and passion that oozed from this pair. The drummer was front of stage with the guitarist and I liked that he stood up and played his heart out. Drummers sometimes get a bit lost in the background but this guy definitely couldn’t be ignored. He had some mad drum skills and some amazing rhythm. It wasn’t really my kind of music but it was experimental and unique and they were entertaining to watch. They put on a show and an almost theatrical performance for the Imp audience. Shouting, jumping, screaming and going out into the crowd. I think I was stood in the wrong place as I couldn’t really hear the vocals but what I did hear of their voices they were actually quite good. Apparently these two are on the ones to watch list so it might not be the last time we hear of them. Although I found the music a little bit drawn out at times I can still appreciate the performance and the pure effort and energy that went into it.
By now people’s beers were flowing and the tipsy vibe was sweeping the room, as I stood at the railing stage front, I looked around behind me and it was so great to see everyone having such a good time.
Last up, the one everyone had been waiting for the mighty “A”, this band’s name makes it near to impossible to tag them on social media. Anyway, it was “A’s” first time playing Scunthorpe, although they had played neighbouring town Cleethorpe’s a number of years ago.
The keyboard player was unwell, so the band explained it would be iPad samples tonight in replacement, this didn’t really pose an issue as the band did well to keep in time and tie it all together. There was a bit of banter and conversation from the lead singer, Jason Perry before they kicked off a night of album hits. The band are touring their 2002 album “Hi Fi Serious” This album sold over 60,000 copies, back when CD’s were a thing. And their biggest hit from the album “Nothing” reached number 9 in the UK singles chart. They were pretty big back in the early 00’s on the alternative music scene and it’s nice to see they are still well supported by the fans they had back then.
Once the band began to play, the room went from head nodding to all-out jumping, dancing and madness. A few songs in and they pulled out the song “Starbucks” and this seemed to get a pretty good reaction. Everyone was right up to the barriers showing their support and love for the band. I don’t mean this in a rude way, but the band are getting older now and they still know how to rock and roll. Of course the newest and youngest member who all the girls seem to swoon for, Dougie, who was previously in commercial pop band “Mcfly” and appeared in I’m A Celebrity on ITV. And, I can say I prefer “A”, and although it maybe gets a little bit annoying that people go to see the band to stare at him, it doesn’t really matter because it’s getting people out and it’s getting people interacting, socialising and experiencing live music in their hometown in a close and personal venue.
I think this is what I enjoy so much about the Imp, often you will get to meet and speak to artists before and after the shows. Unlike the bigger gigs and concerts, where a look from the stage has to do for some fans. Dougie was more than happy to oblige when asked for photos from the audience. He came across as quite shy until he got on stage and started jumping around with his bass. The band all worked well together and really put on a great show for their long standing fans. Bands like this always bring an element of nostalgia with them. Looking around the room when you see people 30+ jumping around like their back in their teens at a gig, it’s nice.
The only thing that could make Lincoln Imp better is toilet door locks because in my old age and short arms reaching to keep it shut is a skill.
All in all it seemed like everyone had a great night and the cold didn’t seem to put too many people off coming out, it did have it’s advantage as it seemed to keep more of the audience indoors between sets. As always great set up, sound and lighting from Grind Events (Kevin Searby). Very professional and organised.
We gave away a pair of tickets to Independent Venue week at the Lincoln Imp and quite a few of you entered. Which is not always easy to get you to do when it’s something you maybe haven’t heard of. The winner of the competition has quoted her thoughts on last night’s gig as:
Competition Winner : “It was the best gig I’ve been to at the Lincoln Imp for a long time”.
So that’s all from me but it’s not the end of independent venue week, The fun continues with Thursday night showcasing local talent with Dan Senior, Friday night it’s some guy who founded the band Noah and the Whale called Matt Owens with support from Scunthorpe’s own Chriscooperband and Ramble Gamble. And on Saturday it’s time to jump and shout for some original Oi punk with The Warriors, Kingcrows, One chapter down and 76 Calling. Tickets are available online via wegottickets.co.uk or behind the bar at the Lincoln Imp.
For more info and events, follow the Lincoln Imp on Facebook.
-Review by LGM
Café Indiependent in town are also taking part in Independent Venue week with gigs over the weekend. Check their page for details.