Words and photos by Phoebe Randall
Jason Bishop of Bristol-based rock newcomers Montroze rushes onto the stage at the 200-year-old Barley Sheaf. But despite the dated stone walls, wooden beams and unbelievably low ceilings, the band somehow makes their pop punk riffs feel completely at home.
Still managing to incorporate their signature liveliness into the show, Bishop climbs onto a strategically placed stool at the front of the stage. With one hand on the ceiling and a remarkable sense of balance, the power behind his vocals is extremely impressive considering the position he’s put himself into.
Gliding between powerful harsh and rustic vocals, over the four years this band has been together, Bishop’s range and techniques have drastically improved over recent months.
However, no matter the running amongst the crowd and climbing on equipment performed by Bishop, bassist Mike Yeatman is evidently the star of the show here. Back in his hometown for the first time since joining Montroze, dubbed ‘Miketroze’ for the evening, the sense of family and support for him amongst the crowd is rife.
In the pint-sized venue, the communication between the band members and the crowd is on going. With non-stop singing along and moshing, despite taking place in the tiny Cornish village, it’s clear that the band is extremely popular amongst the audience.
A band who can play such diverse venues is hard to find. From touring Canada to the tiny, historical pub in Liskeard, the band exercises every inch of the stage and any space that frontman Bishop can find between the crowd.
With a very rock’n’roll exit from the stage from Yeatman as he throws his bass to the ground, the crowd chants for an encore. The band quickly discusses a solution amongst themselves and, after calling him back, finish the night with a cover of My Chemical Romance’s ‘Teenagers’. After already having performed their entire discography, it’s surprising to hear that they’ve only ever practised this once before.
Having toured with other artists like Neck Deep and ROAM, it’s no doubt that these boys have so much potential. With new music coming out over the upcoming months, they are definitely ones to keep an eye on.
To find out more more from the South West boys, read our interview with them at The Joiners here.
Listen to Montroze here: