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Cheshire Grimm - Gig Review: Cheshire Grimm @ Backbeat, Auckland - 2/12/2016

11 Dec 2016 // A review by Paul Goddard

There was always going to be a good crowd at this Cheshire Grimm single release party with support from Skinny Hobos, Armed in Advance and She Loves You. The room is already nearly full as She Loves You take the stage. It takes a few songs for the band to start to find their stride but when they do I am blown away. She Loves You are very, very cool in the same way the Queens of The Stone Age are cool or Nick Cave is cool. They have energy, swagger, attitude and are clearly having a great time. The songs get stronger as the set proceeds and the mix of indie alternative rock with real stage presence is a breath of fresh air.

Next up it's Armed In Advance and I have been wanting to see these guys since they released their first EP. It is all about the riff and luckily JP has a full armoury of riffs to choose from. The volume is upped a few hundred notches and they immediately have the crowd moving. AIA have a sound similar to bands like Chevelle or even Shihad and they deliver the songs with the energy and punch you would expect. 

Cheshire Grimm go on next but let's skip to Skinny Hobos. You get 2-4-1 at a Skinny Hobos gig; 2 people who sound like 4 and play together as one. What I love about Alex and Sam is they have done this the old school way and are one of the hardest working bands in NZ. Gig after gig after gig and now they are really gaining some traction. All that time on the road means they are completely on top of their set. How two people can make such a sound is amazing. They are never boring, have onstage banter that could actually be a show on its own and their cover of Supermassive by Muse sounds even more bombastic than the original and is something you have to see and hear (and I hate bands doing covers).

Ok it's Cheshire Grimm's party and Kat and Lora have been building a following over the past four years with gigs in NZ and Australia. They have also gone through a few line-up changes so tonight Texas Holdem is sitting in on drums along with a bass player whose name I forgot to ask but that doesn't matter he was outstanding. Like She Loves You it took Cheshire Grimm a couple of songs before the band finally found its feet but it soon became clear that Cheshire Grimm aren't a band that try to hook you in straight away.

They kind of creep up on you with the songs dark textures wrapping around creating a false sense of security before suddenly kicking you in the balls then smiling as they give you a kiss goodnight. There are moments that take you by surprise and I like that I can't pigeon-hole this band into a genre, I like that I don't know what's coming next. I wish Kat would turn her guitar up a few notches because she is playing some really interesting stuff.

Kat and Lora are onto something but I do feel there was something missing in the connection with the crowd tonight. I am sure a few more gigs will fix that and I hope they keep pushing the envelope and creating a sound that is unique. If they do then we could see something really special with Cheshire Grimm.


About Cheshire Grimm

Genre: Melancholic Wonder / Prog-Alt-Pop-Glitter
What do you see when you think of Cheshire Grimm?

The brainchild of Kat Waswo (vocals/bass) and Lora Thompson (guitar/vocals) has created a dark creature, twisting through the motions of light and dark, threading their bright colours into a warm blanket of melancholy.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Cheshire Grimm


Rain Or Shine
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Cheshire Grimm
Year: 2015
Type: EP

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