Thursday, 21 February 2019


HEYROCCO seem to be a band having fun and keen on enjoying the ride. Miles from home and leaving little ones behind, I couldn't work out whether they were insulting the venue or enjoying it by describing it as a back yard gig. Lead singer Nathan Merli had a real younger brother charm who you could imagine getting away with murder and his big sister always forgiving him.

Turning to Big Jeff in the crowd (Bristol's finest gig-goer) he proclaims "I love you man" much to Jeff's and all of our delight. "I love you all" he follows it up with. Jeff now has another string to his bow, as well as moshing along at all venues and bands, he now draws. So there he stood in his big frame, a little bit moshing, a little bit singing along, all the while adding to his portrait of Nathan.

Back to HEYROCCO and as a three piece they were making a lot of noise, drummer Christopher Cool adding backing vocals as well as beats to Nathan's vocals. Cool didn't look like a drummer, he was too clean cut, wearing a suit jacket over his Iron Maiden T-shirt. It was quite refreshing. Like Sean Penn's character in Carlito's Way, he's the one you least expect to go nuts but you get the feeling he enjoys the afterparty just as much as the gig.

Cool hit the skins big time but I'm not sure his energy was quite matched with the songs and you had this weird contrast of a band giving their all but the tunes coming out a bit downbeat at times. Mom Jeans is a song that stuck with me after the gig and I enjoyed their set. At times it was grungey at other times the vocals were more Semisonic.

With their set finished, Nathan came in to the crowd to see Big Jeff's drawing, introducing himself and saying hello. I think HEYROCCO are further along their artistic journey than Jeff but they were perfect buddies as the band joined the crowd to enjoy The Lemonheads from the not so active mosh pit. They had charm and style and I look out with interest for their next album, if it's a progression fuelled by their energy and charisma it could be something special.

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