After bustling through Canterbury’s rush hour traffic, I parked up at the University of Creative Arts to find Broken Hands before their afternoon sound check. I turned the corner by the student union bar to find all four of them soaking up the sun on a bench outside. Each of them were eating fish and chips and looking very composed ahead of their sell out show tonight, with their shades on, long hair and dressed head to toe in black.
I sat and chatted to them whilst they finished off their lunch and before long they were heading back inside to prepare the room for the show. Front man Dale and bassist Tom stayed behind for an interview with me for Way Out Radio and we had a good laugh catching up about the last time we were all together at a Festival in Ramsgate held at The Kings Theatre back in 2015, where I was drumming in a supporting band and we shared a dressing room and beers.
Click here for our interview with Broken Hands where we talk space suits, South By South West Festival and the long road to success
After a great interview with the guys, it was time to crack on with their sound check. I headed inside to give them a listen and was taken aback by the hard work that was going on to transform the venue. Band members and crew were climbing on walls to duct tape black and silver sheets across any window letting in light, the stage had been moved completely, huge silver umbrellas were reflecting symmetrically across either side of the stage and lighting strips were held upright around the bands instruments. Callum was sat playing his bellowing bright silver drum set and the sound man was running through each mic on the kit. The planning and passion that had gone into Broken Hands DIY efforts to make this gig memorable to the fans who had sold it out, shone through the atmosphere and gave me a buzz for the night ahead. The bands work ethic and uniqueness in staging was reminiscent of Crass and the anarcho-punk ethos of the early 80’s – find a venue, make it your own by creating it differently and make sure the fans feel valued for their support.
Broken Hands began to play and I sat on the floor whilst they ran through ‘Turbulence’. I felt privileged to be at my own one-woman concert, knowing the guys were about to go very far and this would be the last time I’d have the opportunity to see them in Canterbury like this. They sounded tight and the vocals were on point. After a few songs, I bid them goodbye and good luck tonight, leaving them to it for a few hours before the show.
That night the atmosphere was electric and the set looked even better once the room was packed and the night sky had fallen. In attendance was Harry from Dreamweaver, the bassist from Surgery Without Research, the boys from Get Inuit and the band SKIES among a number of other members of rising bands from Kent. The band performed with passion and raw energy and Dale’s vocals and performance mesmerised the crowd with a conviction and movement reminiscent of Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder from Seattle’s grunge scene circa 1992. Not only do the band play in a professional and technical way, but they look like a band, are passionate about the music and treat each other on and off stage like brothers, working as a team towards a shared goal. Overall, the gig was a massive success and we enjoyed every minute of it. Way Out Radio wish this band all the best on their venture to America. See below for pictures! Video footage to come!