It’s amazing where the promise of a free diet coke will take you on Tuesday evening. In this case I ended up taking in some live music somewhere called The Secret Venue. A venue so secret that, despite having lived in the area all my life, I didn’t even know existed.
Because of the structure of the night and the number of acts this was far from a regular gig. The set for The Dark Eyes was split into 3 parts. The 1st 2 parts were almost used as tasters, in part 1 the band did a couple of covers, and in part 2 they did a couple of originals. Part 3 was the main part of the set and the band played for just under half an hour.
The first couple of songs we got to hear early on in the night were Queen covers with a high energy ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ running straight into ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love.’ Getting things going with a couple of crowd-pleasing covers was a good move, the audience totally brought into it and there was a healthy buzz around the room, a good night was in prospect.
When the band returned to the stage what followed was a polished, hard hitting array original songs and unlikely cover versions, which reverberated around the small intimate venue. The band threw straight into a version of 20th Century Boy, killer riffs and all. It seems the performance I saw a few months ago was no fluke. I also got to hear my favourite original track ‘The Ringleader.’ It’s heavier than a lot of their other songs but personally I think that sound really suits them. As the set rattled towards a conclusion bassist Luke switched to lead vocal duties for ‘I Predict A Riot.’
Since I last saw the band they have definitely grown. As you would expect they are now a lot tighter, everyone perfectly in sync, with drummer Jak holding everything together perfectly. Luke was still Luke, big bass riffs and even bigger hair. It was also evident that Jordan has now really grown into his role as frontman, and is now taking charge on stage and driving the band forward. But the biggest improvement has been in keyboard player and backing vocalist Charlotte, she has an increased level of confidence and is starting to develop a much bigger stage presence and this I think is starting to pay dividends for the band as a whole.
It may have been a stop/start night but we were treated to some brilliant music from some young talented Black Country based artists. Joe Parks will be one to keep an eye on for the future, and look out for my link up with heavy rock band Face Of A Stranger coming soon. But the night belonged to The Dark Eyes. They showed they are definitely a band on the move, and with a bit of luck big things could lie ahead.