Gig Review: A night of psychedelia, space travel and good old-fashioned rock n roll at The Chintz Bar

Words and photos by: Alex Blaby

Sweat pouring from the ceiling, woolly socks and stilettos, double denim and maniacal drummers. Just another casual Thursday night in Fal featuring a jam-packed lineup of some of the highly-anticipated acts this wild and eclectic town has to offer! 

Shoes Off

It’s a bold move to start a set with a song you wrote the day before, it’s a bold move to even play a song you wrote the day before! But it’s a testament to a band that just celebrated their one-year anniversary how confident they are in their performance skills.

A slow burner of a performance, from the start you are wowed by the synergy resounding from the girls up front. They have a fantastic ability to lull you in with powerful harmony and then switch to a punk rock attitude. If you are going to stand at the front of one of their gigs, I will warn you to beware that you will fall victim to such trickery!

Sharing the position of lead vocals can often lead to power struggles but Aisha and Caitlyn have a sweet balance set between melody and fury. The absence of a rhythm guitarist was more than sufficiently propped up by Izzie filling the space with a solid dose of fuzz. Izzie & Luke are a well-timed unit, An explosive energy behind the kit paired with Izzie’s licks is reminiscent of a late 70’s punk rock show. They complement each other nicely and combined with the dynamic range of Aisha and Caitlyn up front, these four really are a solid force to be reckoned with.

What I think I love most about a Shoes Off show is how much outright fun they all seem to be having. In between singing Aisha and Caitlyn glance smiles of pure elation at each other and that positive energy resonates in their sound. But be warned, that joy can turn to angst at any moment, and if you find yourself close by, you could be the one they take it out on. 

You have been warned!


So you might be wondering about the name, “Where is the powerhouse in this band?” I hear you ask. Well, I can categorically tell you that the power lies in their drummer Sam Matthews. I honestly feel sorry for his kit. He wails on that thing like he’s playing whack-a-mole! That being said he does it with such precision he never misses a bit, and I mean never. Poor moles. 

His preciseness is some achievement when you tune into how many different time signatures are being played, I don’t mean throughout the set, I mean in each song. I swear during some of their tunes I had to borrow fingers to try and keep up with how many transitions there were.

But what’s crazy is amongst all this technical wizardry you have a straight down-the-line, groovy as hell rock n’ roll band. If you were watching these guys with the sound turned off you’d be forgiven for mistaking them for a Springsteen tribute act as there is so much double denim floating around.

I kept trying to look for a wire or a hidden communication method between bassist Tom Carr and Matthews, they just had to be connected in some way beyond comprehension to be so synched up.

Frontman Tarn seems to be set on changing the preconceived notion of a rock star being all swagger (move over Jagger!) by humbly thanking the crowd in between songs and flashing his ‘you got a friend in me’ smile at us all. Did I mention already about the double denim? 

Seriously, it’s a packed-out room, the sweats falling like rain but this band clearly have an image to maintain at all costs! Only on the last song did the Paisley shirt get a show-off. Ah, that’s where the visual representation of all of those melodic changes in tempo and signature was hiding.

To level with you completely, if you see these guys appear on a lineup anytime soon, go check them out. They are simultaneously easy to dance to and complex as hell to listen to, but without falling down any kind of cosmic rabbit hole, that honour is saved for the next act…


I’m afraid I can’t leave a review for KLEN. You see, I was present for the first song, in which for eight solid minutes the guys up front repeatedly asked, “Is there anyone there who can help?” (Spoiler, there wasn’t.)

After that, I seemed to fall off the face of the earth and into another dimension where for around half an hour my ears were invaded by a cosmic serpent. It sounds like this would be horrific and invasive, but in truth, it was quite pleasant!

It didn’t feel like my feet landed on the ground for a minute as each song seamlessly blurred into the other, not to say it was monotonous for a single moment, quite the opposite, you were constantly wondering what was going to happen next.

Let’s talk visuals, their outfits, my goodness, their outfits, who knew heels and woolly socks would make such a fetching combo. You know the old expression ‘Did they get dressed in the dark?’ Well, it appears this lot got dressed inside the vast nothingness of space! A British Telecoms boiler suit paired with a pair of shades that would instantly get you put on some kind of register if you walked past a playground.

Of course, I say this all in jest, the whole visual show, paired with the well-polished sounds of perpetually inclining chaos, made for a performance of interstellar proportions. This is all considering that the group was missing a member, Rough Skin, due to pesky ear troubles (Interdimensional travel takes its toll on even the hardiest of cosmonauts!).

Next time you hear of KLEN visiting a solar system near you, be absolutely sure to check them out. But be sure to take a bottle of Buckfast Tonic Wine as a bargaining tool. Apparently, it takes a whole bottle to make their jet propulsion system function smoothly.

Mothman, The Man

A mate of mine at a recent gig, upon hearing Mothman, the Man for the first time, told me he thought they sounded ‘like a love child between Black Sabbath and the B52’s’ and, quite frankly, I don’t think I could sum them up any better myself.

Where the headbanging doom-bringing riffs end, the fuzzy psychedelic surfer dude-iness (new word courtesy of me) picks up. Within minutes of the band kicking off the crowd was off on a hair-swirling rampage. Speaking of kicking off, can someone advise Lewis (keys) to bring some sandbags along to the next show? He needed a firm line of defence playing in such a vulnerable spot front row and centre, inches from the crowd which ceased to distinguish the boundary between stage and dance floor. Every heave brought his Keyboard lurching, which to my amazement did not seem to bother him one bit. Just another day in the office I guess!

If you need an example of the aforementioned Sabbath/B52’s hellspawn I would firmly suggest giving their two newest singles a listen to back to back. Especially live. Too Long had everyone slip-sliding around an infectious hook of a chorus, then right at the end punched us all right in the unmentionables for the last minute. Before anyone was given a chance to recover, Mother Leeds 13th Child, Pts.1 & 2 (Thanks for helping bump up the word count guys) fired a subtle unrelenting bass goodness courtesy of the in-demand Charlie (I have no idea what her current band count is but it must be in three figures by now!). 

Thankfully there were momentary atmospheric breaks to catch a breath because honestly,  years of flailing my luscious mop around means my neck isn’t what it used to be. You see MTM are the kind of band that you HAVE to move to. You can punch your fist in the air in time with Billy’s slamming drum breaks just as much as you can shamelessly air guitar with Finley and Connor’s combined efforts.

If someone asked me to recommend a band to represent Falmouth (or should I say FalMoth? On second thoughts. No.) and showcase the talent that resides within this eclectic, wild and downright weird town it would hands down be Mothman, the Man. Their live shows allow for the freaks, the punks, the goodtimers and the headbangers to all gather and share their love, their personal space and, whether they like it or not, their sweat.