The Big Apple, Great Yarmouth NEIL JEFFRIES

BEING BILLED as ‘pop / rock’ and clashing with the Cup Final replay didn’t help the attendance on this cold Thursday night. But the lucky few present warmed to a band (most definitely rock!) who put in a most impressive performance on their first venture into the area.

The first two or three numbers were pretty sticky, though, and I began to wonder if the single and tape they’d passed to me for Armed & Ready (issue 39) hadn’t flattered them. But, to my relief and delight, they steadily overcame their teething troubles and won over their pub audience with e combination of power, ability and originality.

POWER they have in abundance, -the old “they make a big noise for a three-piece cliche is overworked, but it’ll have to put up with one more outing because in Pali Gap’s case it happens to be very true.

The ABILITY of the musicians is a treat too. Martyn Hawley’s bass provided the lifeblood of the band, pumping ceaselessly and adding to the impact with some jazzy runs, while drummer Terry Grantham has been playing since the age of and his solo tonight showed the value of that experience. I know such indulgences aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but Terry’s was special and won the admiration of all present. After it, the band couldn’t put a foot wrong (despite a last minute pedal failure that threatened to prevent guitarist Ian Ellis taking his Marino-esque solo spot!

That solo apart, Ian showed himself clever enough to match his talent with an ability to produce the unexpected from his Strat. He was entertaining and unpredictable- which sums up the whole band pretty well.

Finally, ORIGINALITY … I tried in vain to look for comparisons but found none that would stick. Pali Gap are Pali Gap and although this means heavy, gutsy, grinding songs the rest you’ I only know by seeing them.

They’re not anywhere near perfect yet-by their own admission they need to add a singer to the line-up because Ian’s vocals can’t match his six-string skills, and their presentation must improve too – but they do have something unusual and unique about them. Numbers like ‘Serpent’s Eye’, ‘Cities On Fire’, Three Miles High’ and the single ‘Under The Sun’ are strong enough to build upon, and even if they do weaken and slip in ‘Purple Haze’

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