We supported KRIS BARRAS BAND!
We were invited to open for Kris Barras Band. Find out how it went...
No one: "So what did you do on Mon 21st March 2022?"
Us: "Oh you know, not much. Dragged ourselves out of bed, had some breakfast, worked a little, then thought we'd take a trip to Newcastle to support KRIS BARRAS BAND"
Sounds like an average Monday right?
Where do we even begin? Perhaps with our last blog (read here) where we told you about Kris putting out the call to local bands for four of his biggest shows on his recent headline UK tour? Well we were one of said fortunate bands who were given the opportunity to open one of his shows and boy did we get a hell of a show to open!
Let's roll back a couple of weeks to when we got the email from Kris' manager informing us that we were the band Kris had personally chosen for his show at Boiler Shop. Knowing that a couple hundred bands applied for these four shows and we got a slot, well you can imagine the smiles on our faces that night! From then on the communication with the venue was superb. Having never played a venue of this size or calibre before we didn't know exactly what to expect but thanks to the abundance of information and experience of others out there we had some ideas of how things might be handled. Luckily that information is pretty solid and there were no surprises. It was clear what we had to do to help make the night a success and we were provided with all the details we needed to simply roll up, set up and play.
From arriving at the venue to leaving, the whole experience was just amazing. We arrived just as Kris Barras Band were sound checking and damn did they sound awesome! Having been shown to our dressing room (still sounds so cool saying that) we were greeted by a fridge full of beverages, tea/coffee, crisps, a sofa, bathroom complete with shower and more space than an average 1 bed flat! It was cool, like really cool. Sound check came around earlier than planned due to the slick workings of everyone and thanks to Florence Black being the gents they are by sharing some of their backline, we were done and dusted with plenty of time to spare.
Choosing a set for this gig was pretty easy given the 30min time slot we had, which in the gigging circuit is a very standard set length. However, that doesn't mean get on stage, mess about for 5 minutes, play for 30 and then take your time getting off. It's very much on, play, and get off as quick as you can so the next band can set up ready to start on time. With music venues, these timings are even more critical due to noise and licensing curfews so it's in everyone's interests to be on time.Taking all this into account we knew the 6 songs that would fit perfectly into the 30mins. We had been playing them in a particular order for the last few gigs and following a debrief we decided to switch them up so that everything ran smoother with fewer changes. We're happy to report back that it worked swimmingly! The whole experience of performing on a stage of that calibre was just mind blowing. The sound was just spot on thanks to John (front of house) and our stage monitor mix from Kim, we just felt completely relaxed and in the moment. Also playing to such a large crowd (definitely our biggest to date) that had really come to see the other bands was such a pleasure and we are incredibly grateful to all those that showed up early for our set including some of our fans and friends. It’s really not lost on us, thank you so much.
Image: Philep Robertos Photography (Facebook)
Watch our video for highlights of the night!
Post performance we were understandably buzzing, very sweaty and very hungry. We’ve somewhat become regular visitors to Newcastle over the last couple of months for antics both inside and outside of the band and we’ve discovered a favourite place to eat. If you don’t know it then we strongly suggest you visit due it’s sheer great value for money and incredible food. That place is Chickalicious and now the official unofficial supplier of food for Coral Snake. After wolfing copious amounts of chicken down it was time to catch some Florence Black!
If you haven’t heard of these guys by now then seriously what rock have you been living under? There isn’t a rock festival these guys don’t appear to be a part of at the moment and there is a good reason why. For a 3 piece band they pack some serious punch! Having first had the pleasure of seeing them when we supported Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons back in November, we knew we were in for a treat. They have a cracking fanbase and from the moment they went on stage they had the crowd in the palm of their hands. They are a top bunch of lads too and it was great to see the familiar faces in their crew that we’d previously seen in Sunderland. They absolutely smashed it and definitely left the crowd wanting more. We certainly hope to be sharing many more stages with the guys in the future, that’s for sure!
Florence Black are a hard act to follow at the best of times, but after that pure belter of a set we were glad we’d already played. But when your headline act is Kris Barras Band you can rest assured that the night will just keep getting better. Chris and Jamie had seen Kris Barras support Black Stone Cherry back in September 2021 (and had commented how amazing it would be to share a stage with them!) so we knew what was about to come. Chris decided to watch the entire set from the side of the stage because… well, quite frankly the novelty of being at the side of the stage for the amazing Kris Barras Band just didn’t wear off! Here’s Chris describing what it was like….
"If you haven’t seen Kris Barras before then let me describe what you can expect. Firstly, the dude can sing. Like really sing. Secondly, the dude can play. Like really play. Thirdly, the band are tight. Like really tight. Fourthly, they write belters. Like absolute belters. And finally, the music is authentic. There really is nothing not to like about the band and this show was no different. I’ve seen lots of really good bands in my time but what separates the good from the great is charisma, stage presence and performance, on top of a foundation of great music. And the Kris Barras Band have this in spades. The set was well balanced, they got the crowd warmed up pretty quickly with tracks old and new and kept the momentum going nicely - having a pretty decent catalog of really great songs helps! About two thirds into the set the band left the stage leaving just Kris and guitarist Josiah to show us the softer side of their palette with a superb acoustic segment. With the triumphant return of the band to close the set with the energy it started with, we were treated to more heavy blues-rock bangers with blistering guitar solos before being left simply wanting more. My take home from the set has to be the infuriatingly catchy yet undeniably excellent tune ‘My Parade’, which is still living rent free in my head right now. It has bought itself a chaise lounge and a cafetiere so I don’t think it’s planning on moving out any time soon. I loved it when I heard it the first time when they supported Black Stone Cherry, but seeing it again cemented what a genuinely brilliant song it really is.
As a guitar player you don’t really want to be the worst player on the bill. But when the bill includes Music Radar’s ‘Best New Guitarist of 2021’ Tristan Thomas from Florence Black, and the world renowned Kris Barras, it’s actually a pleasure. We’re not the type of band with an ego that thinks they’re bigger than they are, and I can speak for us all when I say that being a part of something like this gig is such an amazing opportunity to learn and reflect on how we can improve as a band. It was an honour to share a stage with these guys and who better to learn from than probably two of the best bands in the business right now? Cheers guys, until next time."
Well there you have it, we couldn’t have put it any better than Chris has. A truly incredible experience that we will never forget and an opportunity given to us that we will forever be grateful for. We couldn’t sign off this blog without thanking a few special people who helped us through the night. Robin for being our videographer, Phil for being our photographer, Jade for helping out on merch, Sam for playing bass & providing backing vocals and Jaz for filming the whole set from right bang in the middle of the front row, general helping & being amazing as always. Thank you again to all our friends, family and fans that made the trip to see us and the other bands and to all those that came as strangers and left as fans, welcome to the family!
See you at the next one.
Jamie, Chris & Joe