Last weekend – only ever having heard their rehearsal tapes – I trotted off to the Foresters Arms over in Holywell, near Yeovil to see D-State perform live. The band consist of Ross Williams (vocals), Gary Bradley (guitar), Craig Thomas (guitar), Jumper Collins (Bass) and Colin Smith (drums) and are a covers band whose set consists mainly of rock, and some punk, music The Foresters Arms is a lovely pub with a GREAT back room – the perfect venue for a band, their kit and an enthusiastic audience of around 60 people. The set started at 9pm and kicked off with ‘Teenage Kicks’, a cover of The Undertones song. D-State certainly did the song justice – it was a great start to warm the crowd up. This was followed by a superb version of ‘Dakota’ by The Stereophonics. Already, you could see people in the audience starting to move to the music – especially with the next two songs ‘Take Me Out’ and ‘The Bucket’ – but I question the choice of ‘Pretty in Pink’, an old ’80’s song by Psychedelic Furs and the title track to a film starring Molly Ringwald. It is a bit of a nothing song, and I’m afraid 30 years has done nothing to change that. I could hear the audience around me starting to talk amongst themselves and everyone looked a bit puzzled when Ross quipped about Molly being at the bar! However, an excellent rendition of ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ brought the crowd right back, and was followed by a number of great tracks including ‘Hard to Handle’ – my absolute favourite. They also performed one of the best covers of ‘Use Somebody’ I’ve heard – I would go so far to say that I prefer it to the original – and rounded the first half off with ‘Bohemian Like You’ by which point the audience were up dancing and joining in. At times, I thought some of the poor band – especially Ross – were going to have their eyes poked out with all the pointing and dancing going on, but you can’t stop people having a great time! Kicking off the second half was ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’, quickly followed by a succession of great hits including Jake Bugg’s ‘Lightning Bolt’ which changed my opinion. I don’t really like the original, I loved this! By the middle of the second set, the audience was baying for one song in particular – ‘Sex on Fire’. Taunting the audience with the promise of that a bit later, they carried on and kept the audience dancing. When they did finally give the audience the song they wanted, the reaction was electric and only then intensified by superb versions of ‘I Predict a Riot’ and ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ to finish. Overall, D-State played a fabulous set with many of the songs being as good as, if not better, than the originals. There were a couple of songs out of place but,on the whole, the band had a great synchronicity going on. They were all in time with each other; the bassist, Jumper, has a good rapport with both Ross and the audience. The guitarists are both well into what they are doing and I was incredibly impressed with Colin’s drumming skills. Ross interacts well with the audience, not being afraid to interact with them. If you want to learn more about D-State then why not pop over to their Facebook page here. There is also a website and Twitter account to follow. Their next gig is this Saturday (16th November) at The Moby Dick in Weymouth…. and STOP THE PRESS…THEY HAVE BEEN ASKED TO HEADLINE AT THE YEOVIL BEER FESTIVAL NEXT APRIL!
Well done D-State!