It is the night before payday, and The Verse is at The Hope for the first night of Monkey Garbage; a new night showcasing a range of young and talented bands who like their rock with a bit of an edge. To kick things off, we are greeted by a range of atmospheric alterna-rock bands, tinged with a hint of stoner groove. And what a greeting it is. Deaf From Behind  begin the night with such electricity that the lead guitarists blows his amp after the first song; to which, with true class, the boys from Shoreham jam in the interim. After the technical difficulties, these groove-influenced stoner-rockers throw down some serious riffs. Engineers by day, desert rockers by night, DFB slice through the opening-crowd-blues with a combination of QOTSA-esque jams and exemplary showmanship. A potent mix of sludge-rock (reminiscent of Red Fang) and dynamic melodies (likened to the Strokes), these boys are definitely a band to watch out for.
Swiftly moving on to Observing the Ghost , a seemingly innovative band, that doesn’t hit the mark. For a young band from Portsmouth with a ‘we love playing shows no matter what’ ethos, the performance was disappointingly dry. Whilst the band themselves seemed musically capable, their sound was relatively uninventive and stale. Sighting the Mars Volta as a key influence, the entire performance was severely lacking in energy, sounding more like a rehashed derivative of the Volta’s more ambient work than the original esoteric sound-scape we all know and loved.
But not to worry, NEKO  won’t let this night end without a serious punch to the teeth, in a good way. Within thirty seconds of the first song everyone’s feet are stomping to the beat. The atmosphere is tangible and the ground is shaking (which its not surprising considering we are later told that the lead singer, at the tender age of thirteen, blew his school’s PA system belting a rendition of Smells Like Teen Spirit). It’s very rare that you see a band in a small venue that are truly the business, but NEKO are just that. Producing a unique brand of melodic hard rock, sounds reminiscent of early Muse and grooves as sweet Josh Homme himself, NEKO’s show is a powerful mixture of soaring vocals, mighty hooks and solid rock n roll. And all of this from a 3-piece band, NEKO are definitely the nosiest guys at the party tonight. The Verse had the opportunity to catch up with the entire band after the gig, to see the full interview check out the article at theverse.co.uk.
In short, Monkey Garbage’s first night was a complete success, showcasing a fine array of young bands that deserve the attention.
Written by Tom Cairns & Matthew Iredale
Photo’s by Gabriel Swinton Stott at G-Sharp Creative