Rock City Basement feels like a venue where growing bands put in the hours and the hard graft, on their way up the “gig ladder.” On the door there were lots of people buying tickets and, while I was waiting by the box office, a pizza delivery arrived for the band – the whole thing felt very old school rock and roll.
The Virginmarys had one or two hundred people waiting for them when they took to the stage, an audience comprising people in their mid-twenties and older. During the very first song the band’s monitors broke, but they continued playing like consummate professionals until the end of the track. Roadies rushed to the stage and tried to fix the problem as quickly as possible, they looked new to the game and unsure of themselves but whether this was down to inexperience or just the panic of a mid-gig tech problem I couldn’t tell.
Problem solved, The Virginmarys continued with “Halo In Her Silhouette”, “Portrait Of Red” and “I Wanna Take You Home”, from their 2013 and 2016 albums. The stand-out track of the set was “Running For My Life” – it began slow and steady with the crowd clapping in time as the drummer pounded the kit, and it built up with a powerful climbing bass line. Halfway through the gig a fight broke out in the mosh pit, and within seconds ten security guards had appeared out of thin air and descended on the crowd. One person was injured, but fortunately not badly. Again, the band showed class in their performance and checked on the crowd to make sure everyone was safe.
In my opinion their best songs have a lot of attack, otherwise, they risk becoming too similar sounding. However, given a bigger stage (which I have seen them on in the past) their energy really converts crowds into fans.