Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Hard Rock Cafe - Hard Rock Rising Battle of the Bands FINAL!

This was and still is the biggest gig that Purge have ever played to date, They had already won their heat to be entered into the final of the competition with one of the judges saying that, “Purge were tighter than a dolphin’s arsehole”. The night was full of anticipation I personally couldn’t wait, the full Purge fan base must have turned out for this gig as when the band were performing I could not move.
Up on the stage
Picture by Helen Gradwell
The band was up against two other bands, A Joker’s Rage and Boomin and they drew the end slot, they had to close the show, instead of this they opened a show of their own, for me Purge was the show. This was truly one of the best gigs of my life topped off with a full on mosh pit and a cracking performance from the mighty Purge.
What a great shot.
Picture by Helen Gradwell
All tricks and trades were pulled out by the band Haiden played out of his skin, the band was so tight it was almost like a pre recorded gig and it was all mimed on the stage, the sound wasn’t the best although from the way Purge played you wouldn’t have been able to tell. And throughout the full gig I don’t think I seen one single member of the band or the fan base without a smile on their face.
Purge's crowd
Unfortunately the band were runners up in the competition although they did gain a lot of notoriety through it, meaning they have secured a gig at Mockfest hosted by Real XS radio station, one of Manchesters biggest festivals this year. CRACKING NIGHT

Haiden the beast
Andrew Blair a huge Purge fan showing his support on the night

Penwortham Arts Centre Preston

This gig was a couple of days after the Ruby Lounge gig and it was exactly what the band needed, for one it was a youth gig meaning there was no alcohol available, well there was in the pub down the road which me and Andrew Blair (another avid gig goer) spent some time in. And two the sound in this amateur venue put Ruby Lounge’s to shame. The stage wasn’t bad either, a really professional set up which we were all impressed with.

A great venue, the youth of Preston is so lucky

The band headlined the night and the relaxed atmosphere of the crowd meant that they smashed it, there was a sense the young people in the audience were really looking up to the band members. It was a really chilled out and enjoyable gig, who needs beer eh.... well me.  

Ruby Lounge Manchester

Haiden Mchale has always wanted to play Ruby Lounge Manchester ever since I’ve known him he has always talked about playing this venue and Islington Mill. And unfortunately the term never meet your heroes can be applied to this venue. Ruby Lounge is one of the biggest venues for up and coming bands in and around Manchester but for me and the rest of the Purge group we found the sound engineers to be BAD. This was the worst sounding gig I have ever hear Purge play, and I don’t think this was down to the boys in any way, the whole set up seemed to be very unorganised.

Saying this though the boys do what they do best in these situations, they had a shit load of fun up on the stage. They were feeding back off the audience dancing around on the stage and at one point even throwing CD’s into the audience, they didn’t give a shit. This was a very drunken night for everyone and it was great.

Josh doesn't give a shit
Bob doesn't give a shit
Haiden doesn't give a shit
And this is a mint picture of Danny... Still doesn't give a shit though

Factory 251

Factory was yet another big gig for the band, held in Factory nightclub Manchester, in the building which used to house Factory Music headquarters (probably the biggest music label to come out of the Manchester area). Standing in the crowd you couldn’t help but feel that this was a real music venue if the walls could talk they would be able to tell you stories you could only imagine.

The gig it’s self was delayed as all bands were running late but when Purge came on I can honestly say that I was ripe with anticipation, and yet again the band delivered. For me this gig Haiden Mchale excelled himself he was so tight on this night it was unbelievable, I do have to say though that since the band had a kick up their arse from Wendy Smith (band manager) the guy have been getting tighter every gig.

All in all though a brilliant gig.

HAIDEN...Y, tight as fook on the night, left hand is a blur

Bamfest 2013

This gig was one of the lower profile gigs at the time for Purge it was between playing two of the biggest gigs they would have (academy and one gig I’ve yet to talk about) never the less the band but on a great performance. The crowd mainly consisted of quite young people not the usual age of the audience for Purge gigs. I know I felt very uncomfortable although I do have to say this gave the boys a very relaxed feeling during their set. It almost felt as though they weren’t trying to impress anyone.
Left to right Joshy Laa, Bob, and Mr Haiden Mchale
Moody lot :)
Danny boy for once not smiling
This gig they had a proper rock star attitude about them, almost moody and it worked the Purge regulars were treated to their usual enjoyable set. Whereas everyone else was left asking more about this moody, mysterious band. No mosh pit in this with the kiddies about although was still a very enjoyable gig.

Manchester Club Academy

This unfortunately is another one of the gigs my memory fails me on a little, yes I was plastered. From what I do remember of the gig though is the best sound I’ve heard this band play, the sound engineers really knew what they were doing. This again is one of the best gigs that band had played so far, yet again the crowd turned out for this one with over sixty of Purge’s own fans turning up on top of the other bands fans in the room.
Bob just doing what he does
This is the first gig that Purge fans also experienced a proper mosh pit, the last song in their set list which is always Machette is the perfect tempo to throw yourself into each other. I was right in the middle and enjoyed every second of it. A couple of thick lips later and the gig was over everyone was raving about it. And by the way the person who started the mosh pit ...... the guitarist from another band, he was loving it.

Joshuaaaaa, Danny in the background
Haiden looking very happy

Below is Purge performing Tattoo at the gig, can't help but love Bob's stage presence.

Whittles Rock Pub Battle of the Bands FINAL!

This gig is one of the highlights of the bands career so far; they had up to now battled their way through two rounds and had found themselves in the final of the 2012 Whittles Rock Pub Battle of the Bands. The first heat the band sat on a table in the corner of the pub eyeing up other bands discussing how they thought they were all better musicians, I also recall some members of the band saying, “If we go out tonight at least it’s a venue we can say we have gigged”. Shock horror surprise, they went through.
Round two I heard the same, “If we go out tonight at least we’ve come this far”. Surprise horror shock they went through.
THE FINAL, Purge played to a great turn out from their fans, and to a pretty packed pub with six band and all their fans cramming into the building on the night. This may just be me being biased but I think that they absolutely brought the house down, Bob’s on stage presence ripe with the crowd hanging on his every hip movement and every roll of an R. Haiden smashing every solo he was faultless in his technical ability that night, Danny didn’t stop smiling all the way through the gig and Josh headbanging like there was no tomorrow. What a truly electrifying gig.
For me it was only ever going to be between two bands, Purge and a great band named thirteen stars, and this was the exact perfect result Thirteen stars second and Purge in first place the place erupted. 
Check out the video below for the full title winning gig.

Friday, 5 April 2013

St Gregory's Bolton (Naaahhh Phoenix Club is better)

The gig at St Gregory’s Club in Bolton (I prefer The Phoenix Club where the hit Peter Kay series Phoenix nights was filmed) was one of my favourite gigs to attend, this was partly because I was hammered but mainly it was because when Purge got up onto the stage in a packed room, they were not nervous or shy but they were the life and soul of the room. 
Bunch of puddins
Picture by TOMOGRAPHY.
 This was one of the gigs you could look at them and they would all be having immense fun on the stage. This is also one of the first gigs the Purge hip sway was put in to motion if I remember correctly, all the fans gyrate their hips in unison with the band to a riff in a certain song called Song for George (a Purge classic). It makes for a right laugh at every gig. This was also the first time I heard their most successful song in my opinion up to date, Machette.
Go on Joshy La



Gulliver's Manchester (Bob's Jekyll & Hyde moment)

Bob nearly collapsed on stage

The gig at Gulliver’s Manchester was one of the first gigs I went to after establishing myself as a follower of the band, this was the gig I discovered the mad front man which was coming out in Mr Bob Hunter. The band played a half hour set to a fairly average audience but this was for me when Bob Hunter started moulding his on stage persona he has today. He was swaying his hips and rolling his r’s at the end of lyrics. This is something Purge fans have come to know and love about the way Bob performs, and so they should as it’s a really unique stage presence. He had to even have a break as he was literally playing himself into a state when he near enough collapsed on the stage.

Haiden McHale (lead guitar)
Break over the band came back and all put on a blistering show the crowd enjoyed as did the band themselves, fusing funky riffs with grunge to do what they do best. Make shit hot music, what a great night they made of an average crowd.
Josh warming up in green room.

Bob looking like a cool bastard and Danny going for it in the background.

My Personal Gig

Unfortunately the first Purge gig that I ever went to I didn’t document that well or remember that much of, due to being completely off my face blind drunk (ahh well,). What I did remember though as I woke up for work the next morning with a thumping headache and a mouth as dry as the Sahara was one riff, all the way through work that day I couldn’t stop humming it. For the life of me I couldn’t remember the lyrics or the title.
Danny Boy
A week later I was invited to sit in on one of their practice sessions at a pub named The Hare and Hounds (Purge’s home), so in more ways than one this was my first real Purge gig. It consisted of a room with three lads I’d known barely a week and one of my mates Haiden (lead guitar, he’s the one who invited me), three guitars with their amps, a drum set, two microphones and me trying not to act like a giddy little teenager in the corner.

 Watching the four of them play facing each other in this dark and dingy pub cellar there was a real sense of fun not only in the relationship they have together but in the songs they were practicing. I recently read a review on their songs which states you don’t know where they are going and they always keep you guessing and this really sums up my own personal initial opinion of the songs.. There was also a relaxed feeling to the “gig” which allowed the four of them to mess around with the music as they wouldn’t have been able to do on a stage. I loved every minute of it!

Haiden (left) and Bob

Bob (left) and Josh

By the way the riff I couldn't get out of my head belonged to a song called Club Diarama, click the link at the bottom of this post and find it, wait for it to kick in and you'll see what I mean.

Intro to the Band!

Right then this is my first time as a blogger so let us hope I don’t bore you to death. I will be trying to get you interested in gig going experiences, the experiences of one band in particular named PURGE! They are a four piece band made up of Bob Hunter (lead vocals and accompany guitar), Haiden Mchale (lead guitar), Josh Wirth (bass guitar and backing vocals) and last but not least Danny Smith (yeah the drums well done you guessed correct). They hail from the greater Manchester region and will split your ear drums with some lovely funk grunge rock.  They’ve been going for around about nearly two years now (if I’m not mistaken). Their achievements up to date are as follows, winners of the Whittles Rock Pub Battle of the bands 2012, Runners up of the Hard Rock Cafe Manchester Battle of the Bands 2013 (was either second or third place the buggers wouldn’t tell us) and are currently competing in the Castle rock Studios Battle of the Bands 2013 having secured a semi final position. They have played venues across Greater Manchester such as Manchester Club Academy, Ruby Lounge Manchester, Factory Manchester and Blind Tiger Bolton; they have also secured a spot in Mockfest a festival hosted by Real XS radio station. I am an avid gig goer for this band and have witnessed some truly amazing nights and performances. In the following posts I will be taking you through the gigs these guys have had and hopefully you might even come along to one after reading this blog (miracle). Everybody meet Purge.
From left to right: Haiden, Danny, Bob and Joshy Lad.