Paytron Saint, Moon Bullet: The George and Dragon, Belper – live review

Feels like autumn still, but it’s the other end of winter. Warding fog and dank rain mooch down the dark side streets of Belper as I head towards The George and Dragon for Paytron Saint. It’s a pleasant and friendly little pub, condensed with its popularity, the band equipment is all set up through and to the right in a snug/stage area. For a pub venue the bands are actually quite viewable from every angle and I’m starting to see why so many play here. Tonight is one of The George and Dragon‘s Live Music Lock-up events, which are impressively booked up most, if not all, Saturdays from now until Christmas.

There are two bands on the roster tonight; Moon Bullet, and Paytron Saint, the latter of which have just released their rather impressive eponymous debut EP. It’s been almost a year since their first performance at Kunst Gallery so I’m intrigued as to how they’ve moved forward in a live capacity.

With a short twenty minute set, Moon Bullet start with an upbeat polka of sorts that would get Fruma-Sarah moving. Water Flows is next which has the same urgency but with more bite, akin to The Jam but with more erraticism and free jazz aspects. A bit of ska is thrown in as the set progresses, a bit more steady punk and the mixture is complete. Slightly eclectic in influences, but it works well. A minor element croon along to the closing anthems repeated ‘Fam-er-leeee’ and their efforts are appreciated.

A half hour break and Paytron Saint open up with Connected. They’re exceptionally tight from the off. Crisp, clear guitar tone from Nick, and spot on vocals. There’s slight hints of the better aspects of Placebo in there, vocally I can hear the turns and twists of Declan O’Shea of Cyclefly with the emotion of (bear with me) Alanis Morisette.

There’s a huge amount of confidence amongst them and for a majority of the set they don’t make eye contact with each other at all, no longer needing the reassurances and feeding off of the feel and groove instead of Joel’s percussive fill cues. Joel provides airily light harmonies whilst drumming, perfect posture, back straight, quiet self-assurance in his craft.

Fast fingered precision bass work from Dean does the RH bass the justice it deserves, fluently tearing up and down the fret board with punctuation and pulse. Nick’s showmanship sees him animating around the performance area , calmed by a chorus ridden new song, one of several that they tease ‘may be on the next recording’.

Buzzard is a strongly blues influenced rock pounder, moving into two part vocals and a final breakdown section of wave after wave of solos and drum feel changes, each more impressive than the last, which moves into Rabbit and its darker edge, semi tonal discords, The Smashing Pumpkins style phasing and lyrics that are sure to warn of something we’re about to do wrong.

The set finishes off with Main Thing which also closes the EP. A good effort overall. Go see.

Paytron Saint can be found;

The George and Dragon can be found;

Live Music Lock-up can be found;

 

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