Hipflask Virgins, SAK & Greysha
Paradiddles , Worcester Friday 27th January 2023
A trio of bands hit the stage at Worcester venue Paradiddles at the end of January. First up was Greysha, a female artist from Shropshire who took to the stage with Dan Bradley, on his magical musical device which provided beats, music and backing vocals to the set.
After leaving college she began her music venture and has had numerous gigs around Shropshire and Birmingham. Starting her set with an original song, “Life Goes Fluently”, the night was off to a magical start, heart felt lyrics with angelic vocals singing a tale of love, her heart being undressed, a mesmerising performance that had the audience drawn in from the get go. As she played guitar with passion, the sound effects of the backing music created a layered audio experience. The vibe reminded me of Paramore mixed with Lana Del Ray.
Next up was a cover which I didn’t recognise until after the gig, as she completely and utterly made the track her own. “I Would Die 4 U” was slowed down and turned into a yearning ballad rather than the original upbeat track it once was. Vocals were harmonic, you had no choice but to pay attention and listen. Another original, “Gold Glaze” was another silky vocal performance before two more outstanding covers captivated the audience. “Locked out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars was also given the slowed down Greysha treatment, followed by a hauntingly beautiful cover of “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak. To end the set, it was another original track called “Stormy Weather”, showcasing the talent this young artist has. Greysha has released an EP and its definitely worth a listen.
Next up were the boys from SAK! This was a band I’d heard about but never seen or listened to, A 3 piece band hailing from Evesham, that describe themselves as punk/hard-core. Forming in 2020 as a duo, SAK were unable to perform live until winter of 2021 due to the pandemic. After a few months of gigging, Kai and Adam were joined by Jack too become the formidable trio they are today. These guys absolutely blew me away and had me signed up to (overgrown) fan girl status by the end of the evening.
Their first song of the evening was a cover of “Rise Above” by Black Flag, which gave a hint to the energy and enthusiasm we were in store for throughout the rest of their set. Every other track was a SAK original, and we were taken through energetic stories of Wild Boars, a Walrus, Spiders from Space and other tales. Each song title represented actually what you were about to hear. A track called “Pizza” even gave us instructions on how to cook one. This set showed 3 guys loving what they do, smashing what they do and engaging their audience along the way. Live music should be about giving the performance of a lifetime every time a band steps on a stage, and you could feel the passion and fun from SAK relentlessly. The music was loud, the vocals were loud, everyone in the room was there for it.
Final band of the night was Hipflask Virgins, two local guys who I’ve seen numerous times over the years and they never ever disappoint, but I’m always left in awe of how much noise a band with only 2 members can make. If you’ve been to live gigs in Worcester, the chances are you’ve seen them too. They are nothing short of phenomenal. Throughout their set we were treated to released tracks including “Dutch Courage”, “Thumbs Up” and “Unintentional”. Each track shows of the vocal range of singer Jay, who can softly deliver lines then immediately scream lyrics effortlessly,, his face always covered with his hair throughout. Will on drums however, wears every beat of the drum on his face, emotion plain to see for all of us.
The set was to honour the one year anniversary of the release of their EP “Electric Dinosaur”, each track rampaged through professional, polished riffs and beats, with grooving slower sections which heavily hinted to Nirvana inspiration. This duo always deserve a mosh pit and Paradiddles did not disappoint. Tracks are as angst ridden as to be expected from the volume and passion thrown into them. The band grows each time I see them, in performance and professionalism and are surely destined for bigger things. As they ended their set with CTRL , the crowd screamed for more. Unprepared, Jay and Will went into a cover of “School” by Nirvana at the audiences request.
A fantastic night of live music at one of Worcester’s most loved venues.
By: Kate Ford and Matt Fitzer