Live review: Sunshine Social, Raymond Meade at Captains Rest, 28/10/11

If you haven’t been to a gig at Captain’s Rest, you haven’t experienced a gig.


Straight up, the loud, echoing bangs of people thumping on the low basement ceiling and the stomping of the floor among the cheers of the crowd decipher the atmosphere for this evening.

I enter before Sunshine Social is anywhere to be seen by the expanding audience.

Soon enough, people are squishing themselves into corners and propping up on top of PA systems, anything to ensure a decent view in this tiny venue.

As they enter the stage for a last minute sound check, the crowd starts to energize and pushes forward excitably; when sound checks and microphone tests are cheered, you know this band has a dedicated following and you expect a more than decent show.

The crowd is awesome and sings every word to ‘Audible Smiles’ while stomping along to every beat.

The informal venue is perfect for this folk, indie vibe and the bass under the folk instruments floods the bouncing crowd.

Energy waves back and forth through the mob and the band end their set with their next single, set for release in January, ‘Trust’.

The only problem with Sunshine Social’s show is that they disappear too soon, disappointing the crowd’s choruses of “Encore”.

Without a doubt, they have warmed up that stage for Raymond Meade who is next up and holds quite a different feel all together.

As the band start preparing their instruments, the huge crowd disappears in seconds while a much smaller, more mature one is formed.

They get straight to the point with their nineties heavily distorted pop-rock guitar riffs, firing across Captains.

A previous member of The Ronelles, Meade is used to the spotlight and perhaps much bigger venues having supported the likes of The Proclaimers and Kings of Leon.

As he batters his guitar and powerfully sings his catchy tunes into the mic, the audience starts to move to the rock beats and sings along.

The evening is split and doesn’t seem to blend, that is not to say it is bad, more that it caters for several genres.

One thing for sure is that it holds both audiences captured and enthralled by the energies.

Words: Sarah Devine
Photos: Steven Williams

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