Kaine, Lucien Sarti and more at The Grinning Rat (2014)

The Grinning Rat (Ipswich, England)

Kaine, Lucien Sarti, Oculus, Osmium Guillotine
  We live in the part of Britain known as East Anglia which has a […]
By Rage Sadler
July 19, 2014


We live in the part of Britain known as East Anglia which has a thriving and diverse underground heavy music scene, totally ignored by most and usually discounted by the people further up the food chain in the music game. These small time gigs are not only musical events, but social ones. The bands meet up and are joined by friends and fellow musicians throughout the scene who help make the shows both enjoyable and special. No one's making money out of music at this level in this country so it's done purely for the love of doing it and this has created a friendly and supportive environment for original music to thrive in.

The venue (The Grinning Rat) itself is one of our favourites to play, we were given many gigs here back when we were just starting out that helped us build our following in the town (Ipswich). We have made so many friends since playing here and genuinely feels like a homecoming every time we return. The venue has recently secured its freedom from the chain that owned it and thus will continue to put on live music nights for the foreseeable future.

This night was extra special as we would be saying goodbye to Serious Face Promotions, a duo in the form of Jeph Hammell (also of YAK ATTACK) and Chris Chamberlain who for work reasons had to give up the regular music nights. In Britain these small promoters are absolutely essential for bands who want to play regularly and not be forced to Pay to Play to play one of the bigger venues who are simply trying to milk bands for whatever they can get. Without these guys bands would have no place to play at all, and there would be no place for younger and new bands to hone their crafts as live bands which is absolutely essential. For all their hard work and sacrifice for our music scene we wanted to give them one hell of a show to go out on.

It was an extremely hot and stormy night and the pub slowly started to fill up as the gear and sound was being set up for the show. I was really looking forward to the bands myself at this point and was feeling really good about playing myself.

OSMIUM GUILLOTINE were first up, borrowing Dan Mailer from ourselves (KAINE) for the night as their current bass player was unable to make the show.  OSMIUM GUILLOTINE are not only great friends of ours but genuinely one of the best bands around, the band is driven by James Balcombe (ex-KAINE [Live] and THE TICKTURDS) as he formed the band in a small Essex village pub back in 2009. James is also an absolute hard hitting monster behind the kit  and in front of James you have the two guitar attack of Lance Steele and Peter Keliris who are both exceptional guitarists and riff writers. Peter has also taken on the role of singer since their original bassist Elijah Kindon left the band is a good vocalist in his own right. OSMIUM GUILLOTINE's primary sound is NWOBHM Revival, but they don't limit themselves to just that with twists of Thrash and Doom also thrown into the mix. Considering Dan had only a few days to learn the set and had no practice with the band the set went extremely well and set the standard for the rest of the show.
Next up were OCULUS. Now we first played with OCULUS at this very venue back in 2012 and we have been friends ever since. OCULUS are a great band and have a sound totally unique in this scene; they have a diverse range of songs which lends to the appeal with fantastic songwriting which can be appreciated by musicians and non-musicians alike due to the brilliant hooks in the tracks. They are different to most of our scene in that they employ the keyboard skills of Patrick McKenna who's melodies work in harmony with the guitars of Jax Deacon, whose range of riffs and inspiration range from NWOBHM to Nu Metal and the excellent rhythm section of Lee Alexander on drums and Sam Mason on bass and finally fronted by James Whitby who has one of the best voices and ranges in our area and he's a great front man on top of that. OCULUS has a sound and songs that could easily be a mainstream success in this country, they are the right age, have the right image and ability to go far, but that would take someone with more half a brain cell to see, and when what the industry is feeding us is rubbish like Baby Metal, who's good press and reviews is simple bought by the music industry, it's hard for genuinely good bands to rise to the top and get noticed with all the gimmick crap standing in the way.
Finally on before us were LUCIEN SARTI. Now I always hate following on from these guys because they are that good a band and again another great example of the diversity in Britain's underground Metal scene. They always deliver an untouchable first rate performance and considering the complexity of the songs and the riffs it's an absolute joy to watch. LUCIEN SARTI have successfully fused NWOBHM, Speed, Thrash, Black and Death Metal to come up with something absolutely brilliant musically. They are almost like a British Death, but more polished and refined giving them and more solid sound then the founders of their genre. They are led by the absolutely demonic veteran guitarist / vocalist Leigh Rumsby who's backed up the equally talented Frans Markwell also on guitar and the mighty rhythm section of Jack Patching on bass and Rael Bearman. Easily the heaviest act of the night the audience at up their set. They really did tear it up as usual leaving us with three extremely tough acts to follow.


We took the extremely hot stage last, hoping to give it all to honor Serious Faces Promotions work to keep music alive in our area and I think we delivered a good set! We played tracks from our new album "The Waystone" with "Quality of Madness" thrown in from our first record as the encore. We left the stage, sweaty, tired but roughly satisfied at a job well done and that we gave our all for the audience.

The night was extremely well attended, after I went to get cash I couldn't even get back to the front there we so many people in the pub enjoying the music. It was the perfect send off for Serious Face and a great return to Ipswich for us. It was a special night and many of the local music fans have stated it was the best gig The Grinning Rat ever had, considering how many gigs the venue put on and how many good bands have played there that's one hell of a compliment and tribute to the promoters and the bands on the bill that night. I truly love this music scene and thank everyone involved and who's supported it over the years, this is where the real music really is, so forget BloodstockDownload and Sonisphere if you want real hard hitting Metal that didn't have a record label pay the festival to get their bands on the bill or win some sham competition, come out to a local show sometime and you really will be surprised by the quality of the bands you will see. These people need your support; IRON MAIDEN already has enough money.

linkcrossmenucross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram