Covtember – Friday live review

Covtember – The Tin Coal Caults Coventry – 17th September 2021

Every September Paul Quinn from the Loaded puts on a charity weekend in aid of Shelter, last year’s didn’t happen, I don’t think I need to go into details as to why, so this year he’s gone all out. I apologise for the lateness of the posting, I found the notebook in the bottom of a rucksack alongside the remains of a bag of chips and an empty bottle of beer so it took a while to decipher the drink addled notes scrawled across it’s pages. Anyhow, here’s our review of Friday at Covtember, have a read.

So he rings me, from the pub, where there are the best djs ever that I would love and we should ask them to do Covtember because we’re only doing the Friday and these guys are brilliant. We’ve already told them we will do Friday months ago, well, strictly speaking a year ago when the charity extravaganza that is Covtember was cancelled due to the worldwide locking down. So I know we’re doing Friday. Well, I think I did. It gets confusing. 

Then he rings me, from home, to tell me they want paying. I ask him what they don’t understand about doing it for charity. I mean, I never expect paying, I know the level we are at, and it’s hardly superstar dj. So we’re now doing two nights of djing. Better look for music then. Except my music hard drive has died. So I need to troll through my backups. 

We get together to sort out putting the equipment together, but get distracted by gadgets and stuff so we don’t. Totally prepared we think. What could go wrong?

Friday night and we’re at the Tin setting up trying to remember how the djing kit works with the laptop. I’d like to say that it went smoothly and we knew exactly what we were doing. It didn’t. We knew nothing. Fiddling around like a pair of amateur’s..

Half the room fills with the first band’s mates, parents, siblings and anyone else they’ve told. They are both bloody loud and very bloody young. The Astras play indie rock, at least that’s what I think it’s called nowadays. The singer swigs from a can of red stripe and knows he looks cool when he puts a guitar on. They don’t look at the crowd, I don’t blame them. The cool lead guitar is widdling all over the place as the rest of the band create a solid wall of sound. They slow down, then play a choppy punky britpop cool track. It’s good to see a band this young, they play an epic slice of British guitar pop and tell us it’s their single. 

They play Twist and Shout. Fuzzy, enthusiastic and full on. It’s Beatles at the Reeperbahn raw. If you’re wondering how good it was, ask the stand in for the Loaded, he’s the biggest Beatles fanatic I know.

They finish and the room empties. I didn’t think our music was that bad, but still. Pity people didn’t stay for all three bands but I suppose it’s up to them. By now I’m ever so slightly tipsy and we are shouting at each other about what to play next, laughing our heads off and being laughed at.

Second band are The Loaded, their singer, guitarist and officially nicest man in Coventry rock is however standing at the back of the room on a crutch after knee surgery. Well he says knee surgery, rumours of alligator wrestling remain just rumours.. Anyway, the point is that The Loaded are the usual rock solid force but with Beatles fanatic and he of the massive grin Neil on guitar and vocals. Which is odd to say the least. I’ve seen The Loaded as many times as any other Coventry music scene face and they never disappoint so for Mr Ingers to step up and take on this responsibility is quite a big deal. Having said that, it didn’t stop me from shouting ‘Better than Paul!!!’ at one point. But I am both djing and drunk by now so take no responsibility for any actions. 

The Loaded play a blinder and finish with the Buzzcocks ever fallen in love, which you of course know and can probably imagine The Loaded playing it. It’s as good if not better than you think. They do this because they have to, some people have sound inside them and have to play it out. The volume is so high that my ear is vibrating. 

By now the first band are long gone and the crowd is, to be honest, not as large as I’d hoped. The room is respectable but due to little things like a global pandemic making the population, rightfully in my opinion, as paranoid as Black Sabbath after a huge bong of bad weed, the crowd isn’t what it could be. 

DragSTER don’t give a flying one. They get up, turn on and it’s on. Right from the first drum beat it’s full on Punk Rock’n’Roll madness, it’s stripped bare, the back line don’t bunge, rock solid, pumping and driving the sound on. Diesel is staring belligerently at the room as he churns out riff after riff after riff. Fi has switched from the sassy, beautiful goth that was chatting and laughing five minutes ago into a full on Rock’n’Roll demoness tearing into the crowd and singing at people, giving every tiny bit of effort that she possibly can into this gig. They slip into a full on hardcore attack and there are a pair of pink pigtails thrashing around at the front. The music is spot on, the band are glowering, grinning and elbowing the sound aside to make room to groove but it’s Fi that you focus on, the astounding whirling dervish bouncing around the room, commanding your uttmost attention and then screaming in your face.

This is for music to run away to, to get drunk, feel pissed off and run as fast as you can until your lungs burn. 

At one point Fi asks ‘Is everyone well?’ followed swiftly by ‘ you better fuckin’ be if you’re in here!’ They destroy the venue and then finish with a blistering Dead Punk, a rallying cry and an idea to live by. What a band. What a night.


The Loaded

The Loaded are on Facebook and Tweet as @theloadedcov.

DragSTER are on Facebook, have a Bandcamp page and tweet as @dragSTERUK

The Astras are on Facebook and Tweet as @theastrasUK

All Pictures by Martin Ward

All words by Adrian Bloxham

Adrian Bloxham

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