Killit plus Paris Dancer and Dox
Date: 5th November 2017
Venue: Trillians, Newcastle
Trillians is by far the best bar in Newcastle. That is of course, if you are one of those people who likes basement rock bars with a demon over the entrance way, a horror channel on constantly and live bands every night of the week. If you aren’t one of those people then I don’t want you in my bar anyway.
I am not a difficult person to find and nor are my friends. When it comes to nights out we would be able to find each other pretty easily in most cities without the use of mobile phones. It is as a result of this familiarity that I found myself drinking in Trillians on a Sunday night, but then every night is a good time.
I met Uncle Rock at the bar, once again mixing casually with the locals. He is not a person that you want to leave on his own too long or he will make friends with everyone in the room, a trait I do not share, I occasionally wish I was more of a people person. I was looking forward to the night possibly more than usual because I had been listening to the album by the headline act Killit (Shut It Down, highly recommended) on the way over and I knew I was in for a night of quality classic rock, and who isn’t up for that?
The acoustic opener Dox kicked the night off in fine style with a selection of covers, with a few original tracks mixed in. There is always a risk with acoustic acts, especially in terms of covers, that they will be forgettable in their song choices and delivery. Luckily this was not the case and the songs played were unusual enough in the area and sang with such quality that the attention of the assembled bar faithful was grabbed and held in his skeletally gloved hands.
Paris Dancer were up next; a spectacular local band that are Trillians regulars. These guys set the bar higher with their set, all original tracks. There is a fine line with song writing between turning people off with easy lyric choices that seemed cliché, however the straight forward driving rock sound of the band and the lyrics to the songs were catchy enough that you felt that you had heard them over and over again on the first listen. Anytime you are singing along to a chorus on the first listen through, and not instantly aware that this will be a guilty pleasure, you know you are on to a winner. There has to be a lot said for the band as well, especially the guitarists who are always impressive and don’t over do the solos; always a huge factor with me.
I had seen Killit when they had been onstage earlier in the night to sound check and had been impressed with what I had heard. Watching the lead guitarist, Niro, warm up there was a definite sense of anticipation, I was looking forward to seeing what he could do. Gaz, lead man extraordinaire, had been a different prospect during the sound check. This was mostly due to my own experience with musicians who would pretend to know more about the sound system than the sound guy to make themselves feel important, wankers basically. Gaz did not fit this mould and genuinely seemed to know what he was doing, but I’m not one to let a negative first impression go lightly. I commented to Uncle Rock after their opening song that Gaz reminded me a great deal of Joe Bonamassa.
I realise that that needs some explanation. Gaz is in no way like Joe Bonamassa, but as usual there is a story behind this. The first time I saw Joe Bonamassa was in Edinburgh. He was lingering back stage while the support act was playing (Sandi Thom, don’t dare doubt my memory) and when he made his entrance to the stage I was very aware that this was a man who loved himself. In under a minute I knew why, it was completely justified. That was the way I felt about Gaz. He may be extremely confident in himself, but that is for good reason. He is one of the few that is actually as good as he thinks he is, if not marginally better.
Paris Dancer had apologised from the stage during their set because of the small crowd in the bar, explaining that Big Foot and Fozzy were also playing in Newcastle that night and had significantly split the bar regulars. Myself and Rock did a head count at the beginning of the set – there were 20 people in the bar.
Why the head count? That is a good question reader, we did the head count because it was very clear to us that it would not be long until thousands of people would be claiming that they were in Trillians that night to see Killit lay waste to the current generation of rock bands and the vast majority of the old guard.
I was stunned, as was everyone else, and looking round the room there was a stillness in everyone present that pointed to something very unusual coming from the stage. Rock and I have travelled all over the world watching bands, big and small and experiencing as much live music as possible. I honestly believe I have never seen a better live band. Rock, wide eyed by the absurdity of seeing a band of this quality in the local bar with no entry fee, remarked while shaking his head that “we have paid hundreds of pounds to see bands much much worse than this”.
I am very rarely lost for words, but from the perfect timing of the band, the incredible vocal performance of Gaz, and all of whom were playing their balls off as though they were in a packed stadium, despite a crowd that is so much smaller than they deserve, that this must go down in the rock history books as one of the biggest travesties of all time, to the Guns and Roses/ Velvet Revolver influenced guitar work. I can not make the point clearly enough, you will not see a tighter band performance than Killit provided. I am now faced with a stern and deathly serious choice. To never see this band again for fear that this (no other word for it) perfect performance was a fluke or cannot be matched, or to give up on life and be a full time Killit disciple, religiously following this band to a creepy level.
The only reason that this band is not supporting huge, huge bands on their world stadium tours is because they would blow the headliners off the stage. It would be like the time Van Halen were openers for Black Sabbath, but without the sneaky back room plotting by the record execs, this would be for real and it would definitely be for the betterment of the rock scene in general.
There has long been a debate among my friends as to who the next crop of festival headliners are going to be, and where are the up and coming bands that will take over the rock landscape. I have no doubt that Killit are the answer to that question. I am also very aware that it is very unlike me to be so over the top with positivity and praise for anyone. I cannot overstate the quality of this band and the desperate need from the audiences of the rock world crying out for new talent, how much they are needed; and very much like Gaz’s confidence in himself and the band around him, it is completely fucking justified.