Sink or Swim Promotions present – Juju – HEK – Massasauga – Coventry Live Review

Sink or Swim Promotions present – Juju – HEK – Massasauga – The Tin Music and Arts Coventry – 24th of March 2024

It’s hard to keep track of the gigs put on by Joe, or as he’s better known here, Sink or Swim promotions in Coventry and it’s harder still to make it to every one. So on a Sunday night Fighting Boredom’s Martin Ward and Adrian Bloxham head to the Tin Music and Arts by the canal in Coventry to see three more bands, unfortunately the snappers camera is dead on arrival so not many pictures this time, read what we thought of them below.

Massasauga are a duo, the guitarist wearing a pretty nice tee shirt for the band. They immediately burst into full on guitar and drums, it’s very bass heavy even though there isn’t a bass. It’s a rough hard vocal from the guitarist and a great rough rock’n’roll groove. There are no gaps, it’s a totally solid sound. They do go a bit slower and then build it up again, I think the songs got something to do with switchblades. They go into a NWOBHM feeling song, like proper heavy metal, they’ve got a great sound and it feels good too. They are chugging now, it’s got space and it’s looser with a gravelly vocal that fits just fine. 

Great circling blues now with a doomy metal edge, it’s fast though but still feels doomlike. They switch into a great big sabbath blues track, very heavy and very slow, very very loose but then turn me off totally by covering Paranoid. It’s not that I’m biased but there are a couple of songs that only the one band or singer can carry off. Paranoid being one of them. They do it slowly then fast but really, leave it alone. The next song is really good again, they switch into more Metallica sounding music now which is dense and full without the looseness, all in all a decent set.

HEK are a five piece band and fill the stage, two guitars, bass, keyboards and drums. There’s a brilliant patterned short sleeved shirt, a tiger stripe printed skirt and and excellent TV not tuned in patterned dress. The other two haven’t made much of an effort to be honest.. The music slowly rises, post punk guitars over a glam stomping beat, there’s lots going on it’ slows down and goes into a slightly chaotic bunch of noise. Then they play easy listing indie pop, a cool laid back tune but feels jumpy and on edge to me but it’s definitely a pop song. It’s a pounding beat again with good guitars and bass, it focuses in and the vocals spin around it, it’s more rock’n’roll than the last one. The vocal is high and fits well. They slip into an R.E.M. tinged tune and the Photographer isn’t impressed. The next song loses me, indie folk, but it leaves me cold. They slip out of that into a mental wah wah Hendrix guitar fix and it’s a lot better than before. A decent set but to be honest they’re not really my thing, although the applause means they were definitely good for lots of the people here.

Juju are a trio and in a totally different class to the other bands. They hook straight into a post punk groove and it’s immense. The vocals are echoing and distorted and the whole thing reminds me of the lack of rules that used to be the domain of The Fall. There are sheets of guitar noise falling onto our heads and now everything is distorted. It’s psychedelic but skewed away from the purple haze and flowers into spinning shards of concrete and broken glass. It’s a dense, massive sound that is completely absorbing me. The drummer just plays tom toms and it’s an odd brittle sound that is enhanced by the funky bass line that starts way way low down. Spikes of off key brittle guitar attack the sound and then it slams into vast sheets of noise being laid down over us all. It’s still psychedelic way down somewhere and the funk is still circling in there too. The vocal sounds robotic now and the noise is slipping back, slowly, massively.

It’s now a very post-punk sound, remember how the Pop Group mixed everything up to find a new sound? Well Juju do the same thing, they are way outside the box, this is an excellent noise. They’ve found a groove out on the edge and are moving along it as far as they can, the singer’s now shaking a tambourine. They switch it to a low marching beat, the guitar stirs you, makes you want to move and the vocal is clear and hard, it feels like a call to arms, a shout to stand firm for what you believe in. It’s broken, fractured music for a fragile crowd. Then straight back into the sheets of sound with hard lumbering drums and echoing bass. It moves back down to quieter to let the vocal in.

Without seeming to even breath they move again into the swooshing space rock of Hawkwind when they mattered, they have fixed into whatever mad trajectory they have found and are spiralling off into the darkness. They shoot back down to earth and it’s all turned funky again alongside the vocals and a high spiking guitar sound. They are singing harmonies that sound positively demonic.The drums are stuttering and lurching sideways, the vocal is distorted and messed up again  and it sounds great. It’s post funky punky and pretty soon descends into those sheets of guitar again. The drummer is hitting hard enough to break something and they’re lost in the sound again, taking it out there somewhere. There’s a  low menacing hum, eching out and then they’re away again into rock’n’roll this time, with stabs of guitar and ace messed around singing. The guitar sounds twangy and odd like a post-punk spaghetti western soundtrack.Then everything locks tight and it gets slower, they loosen a little but it’s still dense and they go into noise, it quietens and increases again, there’s a psychedelic guitar mass and the sound dissolves into pure chaos.

There’s an odd springy sound joined by the rhythm section, there are odd echoing effects as it slips into another massive, giant groove that carries them off. A fantastic set and a band to keep up with.




Sink or Swim Promotions have a linktree, are on Facebook, Instagram and X as @SorSpromotions

Juju are on Bandcamp, Facebook and X as @JuJu_GV2

HEK are on Facebook and Instagram.

Massasauga are on Instagram, Facebook and Bandcamp.

The Tin Music and Arts website is, they are on Facebook, Instagram and X as @TheTin.

All words by Adrian Bloxham, all pictures by Martin Ward.

Adrian Bloxham

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