Coach Party at The Joiners, Southampton 31.1.2023 with Girl Scout and Fiona Lee supporting

It’s Independent Venue Week and The Joiners in Southampton is as good an independent venue as any to be in. Tonight, I am following up on seeing Coach Party at Victorious Festival, down the road in Southsea last Summer.

Coach Party at Victorious Festival August 2022

They played on Saturday afternoon on the Castle Stage, the second stage, at Victorious Festival 2022. (Blog of that one here.) I’d given them a few plays on Spotify and the live set sparked more interest. I said I’d be back for more and when the tour was announced I was quick to book a Southampton trip – an hour’s trip away.

More on the 200-capacity venue that is The Joiners is here in my venue blog:

Venue Blog: The Joiners, Southampton

We get in several songs in to Fiona Lee‘s set. Guitar and voice, both with edge and power. As we squeeze through to the far left of the busy venue, it’s obvious she has everyone’s absolute attention. This is a nice surprise. Hard to believe someone like this is third on the bill in the smallest of venues. I find myself saying this a lot, but surely she has a big future?

Fiona Lee – The Joiners

As she finishes her last song she steps aside from the mic, so the last lyrics can just hang, unamplified in the room. So effective.

The polite tunnel appears in the small but sell-out crowd, to allow Fiona Lee out and Girl Scout to push through to the stage.

Girl Scout are four-piece band from Stockholm. I found their single Do You Remember Sally Moore last week and been playing that on YouTube and thought I didn’t want to miss them. I wasn’t disappointed. What a great set.

Girl Scout, from Stockholm

The guitar is intense and frantic from Viktor Spasov: he’s right in front of us so I may have over focused, but his guitar gives that ultra-live feel to the music. The band are cool and confident and the overall sound is not so reliant on a dominant vocal – Emma Janson on lead vocals and guitar can float around in the sound.

The Joiners – Girl Scout

Indie pop with a punky disorderly feel and despite all bar one song being new to me, I am loving this. It is so good to turn up for support band you don’t know and think ‘wow, where did they come from!’…Stockholm. More… more.

I realise by now that the lighting is a bit too challenging for my amateur picture taking. There are three photographers clambering about in the venue, one has her own fold up stool which she briefly and apologetically mounts just in front of me. I can hear lots of shutter clicking noises (you can turn that sound off you know.. I didn’t say it) and sighs. Yes, it’s dark, backlit and they are moving very fast.

Here come Coach Party – the security man’s torch-led squeeze through the crowd, from the toilets corridor, gets them to the side of stage. It’s the second night of the tour and a second sell-out. I doubt they’ve been home but they are from just over the Solent on the Isle of Wight. ‘Dad’ is in and gets a shout out (from lead singer Jess) and I guess other friends and relatives have popped across on the ferry.

Come to think of it, there are a lot of ‘dads’ in tonight. Not just the one grey-haired gig goer in eh. A healthy mix though.

Coach Party at a sold-out Joiners

This indie-rock four-piece are loud. At a festival this must be less obvious. I fumble for my muso ear plugs as the opening number pushes the sound set up to its limits. The drummer is really hammering it out and the drum and bass dominate with some songs right into the grunge zone.

Oh Lola, their first single, released in 2019, is up the bouncy end. Three Kisses is introduced as a late inclusion in the set – when being interviewed by a national journo this week before the London gig, he said it was his favourite song, so they thought they’d better get it in or he’d be disappointed.

Their five track EP Nothing is Real, released in April 2022, is my favourite ingredient of the set, with a place for all five tracks, from Weird Me Out early on to FLAG (Feel Like a Girl) as their last, well nearly last. Everybody Hates Me brings a poppier sound to accompany what I presume are tongue-in-cheek lyrics of youthful misery. FLAG is my pick, and maybe everyone’s as it is the last song from the main set.

Jess Eastwood and Steph Norris – Coach Party

The cheers are loud. They won’t be allowed to leave just yet, although Joiners doesn’t really have the set for encore games. As they descend to the left of the stage the clapping increases. I would be rude not to pop back up. “Don’t judge us on this one”, shouts Jess before a crashing onslaught of drums, bass and everything in a burst of aggression which has a title: Parasite, a new song.

Another top evening out at The Joiners. Twelve quid. Bargain.

Long live independent music venues! #independentvenueweek2023

Published by ivaninblack

Still wild about live music - bands - gigs - festivals - after 42 years at it. All photos have been snapped by me or I will point out otherwise - I'll even own up to any blurry mobile phone ones. If gigaholic is a phrase then in recent years I think I've become one.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: