Artist: Samantha Fish & Jesse Dayton, The Commoners
Venue: Bristol, SWX
Date: 22 October 2023
"It was a very good night’s worth of entertainment from them with tunes that had an excellent mixture of genres, ranging from Rock to Blues to Country to Punk. Both Fish and Dayton have great voices that also gel so well when they sing together."
The SWX is situated in the centre of Bristol. It holds around 1100 people, and tonight it is about two-thirds full after the doors had opened at 19.00. Warning to anybody coming to Bristol; there is a clean zone area around the City centre, so check your car's C02 rating before you visit. There is limited car parking near to the SWX, although I parked at Cabot’s Circus Car Park after 17.00 for £3 for the night and it was just a 10-minute walk to the SWX.
Tonight the support band are The Commoners who took to the stage at 20.00. Up until today, I had never heard anything by them, although I did hear a snippet of their latest single on Planet Rock earlier in the day. The opening song was very good, a full-on Rocker with a great riff that was well-received by the audience. The sound from where I was standing was excellent, and the vocals and the instruments on the stage could clearly be heard. The band are a five-piece from Canada and I was impressed by how good the vocalist Chris Medhurst was. The band performed several songs from their recent album ‘Find A Better Way’, plus a few new ones from a forthcoming album that also included the aforementioned single ‘Devil Teasin’ Me’. They played for around forty minutes, and the crowd enjoyed every song. All in all a very good set from them, and a band I will be watching out for in the future.
Samantha Fish, Jesse Dayton and their band came on stage at 21.00. They opened up with a cover of the MC5 song ‘Kick Out The Jams’. Fish’s vocals were set down in the mix, and it was about halfway through the song before that got rectified. They then played the title track from their latest album ‘Deathwish’ and the sound had improved a lot. There was a lot of energy coming from the stage and all the members of the band looked as if they were enjoying themselves. The evening continued with a mixture of covers, ‘Feels So Good’, ‘Brand New Cadillac’, ‘I’ll Be Here In The Morning’ and a few others. Every other song was a track from their current album. There were many fantastic moments throughout the set but these are some of the standout tunes; ‘I Put A Spell On You’ and ‘No Apology’, where Fish absolutely excelled both on guitar and vocals, ‘Settle For Less’ that sounded so powerful and strong live, the acoustic section where they harmonised, Fish’s ‘Bulletproof’ and ‘Hello Stranger’ that reminded the audience how good solo Fish’s songs are. After a ninety-five minute set they came back to encore with ‘You Know My Heart’ which segued into ‘Going Down South’.
It was a very good night’s worth of entertainment from them with tunes that had an excellent mixture of genres, ranging from Rock to Blues to Country to Punk. Both Fish and Dayton have great voices that also gel so well when they sing together. Both are also very accomplished guitarists. A special mention about the rest of the band who were also such great musicians, providing a perfect backing to two strong front people. I met Fish and Dayton after the show, and they were very pleasant and more than willing to chat and sign things for the members of the audience who had stayed around after the gig.
Review: Paul Gregory