Review: Doe, Pale Angels and Bangers at The Cavern

Cavern photos

Kicking off the new term in Exeter’s best underground live music venue, The Cavern, were three killer indie rock bands; Doe, Pale Angels and Bangers. All three are signed to local record label, Specialist Subject Records, based on Gandy Street. This was the first night of their joint mini-tour which sees them play in Brighton, Sheffield, Swansea and Southampton before rounding it off with a gig at The Montague in London.

First to play were the London-based trio Doe. Full of energy for the first night of their tour, the threesome bounded on to stage and maintained that energy throughout their set. They kicked off the night with some of their more laid back tunes such as ‘Swings and Roundabouts’ before leading into some of their more punchy tunes like ‘Broken Souvenirs’ and ‘Nowhere Girl’. A pink-haired Nicola sang lead vocals for the band, which were complimented perfectly by the raw backing vocals of drummer Jake.

The band seemed at ease on The Cavern stage, chatting informally to the crowd in between songs and allowing the set to progress seamlessly from one tune to another. By the time they got to their penultimate song, ‘Julia Survived,’ the crowd were happily bopping to the catchy riffs and lyrics and were totally entranced by Nicola’s powerful vocals. Doe rounded off their set with their new release and crowd favourite ‘Let Me In’. This final song really showcased the talent of Doe. It began with slow-building riffs and dream-like vocals before hitting a punk rock chorus in which the band fully let rip, reminiscent of early No Doubt songs.

Next to play were transatlantic rock band Pale Angels; a band so dedicated to making rock music that they have overcome the small issue of a couple of hundred miles. With guitarist and singer Jamie living in Wales and Mike and Mikey residing in New Jersey it seemed that geography would keep them apart, but the band managed to overcome this and last year they released a nine-track album Primal Play.

Launching straight into their first song without any introduction, Pale Angels blew the crowd away with their tune ‘Just Faces’. Although I couldn’t make out any of the words it didn’t seem to matter as I found myself jumping up and down with the crowd. Their old school punk rock beat had the crowd entranced as they leapt from one song to another, showing off their head-banging guitar and drumming skills alongside some gritty vocals from Jamie and Mike. Before we knew it the half hour set was drawing to a close but not before Mike launched into a mean guitar solo, which finished with him smashing his guitar on the floor and storming off the stage. It was most definitely very rock and roll!

Last to play were Cornish punk rock band and headliners of the evening, Bangers. Over the past few years Bangers have made a name for themselves and have come to be considered as “one of the cornerstones of UK Punk” according to online magazine Irregular.

I had never come across the band before but was pleasantly surprised to be met with some killer tunes and a great live performance. Their mix of husky vocals and pounding drums were well received by the bouncing crowd, who screamed their lyrics back to them as they played their best known tracks, including the releases ‘Crazy Fucking Dreams’ and ‘Small Pleasures’.

Overall a thoroughly enjoyable evening filled with lots of jumping up and down and head banging. If you have any interest in punk or rock music I’d definitely suggest that you check out these three bands on Soundcloud, or maybe check them out when they next swing by Exeter – you won’t regret it!

Flora Bell

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