This weekend Coventry were treated to the first gig of 2018 for technopop punk band Republica.
Huge during the nineties the four piece, fronted by Saffron Sprackling, brought a blast from the past to The Empire on Gosford Street. I for one was excited to see the return of one of my favourite bands as a teenager and I clearly wasn’t alone. There were definitely some hardcore fans from back in the day in the audience but it was nice to see a really good mixture of people in front of the stage.
The local music scene was well represented in the support line up with indie rock band Mara Falls getting the night started and followed by The Strays, who describe themselves as a raucous Garage Rock n Roll band, hailing from Cheltenham. Both bands really livened the crowd up ready for the main event and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for them on future billings.
Kicking off with Bloke, from their number 4 chart topping self-titled album, the intimate crowd were treated to an energetic set from the off.
The band clearly still love what they do and it came across in the performance. For me, to see their most famous hits, Drop Dead Gorgeous and Ready to Go, performed live, was the highlight, but we were treated to several new numbers which indicates that we may be hearing more from them in the future!
Look out in particular for Rollerskate, a number that was written in collaboration with Gary Numan and has been a real earworm for me ever since.
The energy levels never dropped and Saffron’s chemistry with the crowd really made the night for me. Even staying behind after the gig to chat and have her photo taken with fans.
More than anything it is encouraging to see that Coventry has another decent sized music venue who are really making the effort to put Coventry’s music scene back on the map. They have some great nights lined up for the rest of the year including legendary punk rock band The Damned just announced for November.
Photos by Tara Rutledge