John at The Loft, Southsea REVIEW: 'Pop hooks hang on to every thrashy guitar chord'

John at The Loft in Southsea, October 18, 2019. Picture by Paul Windsor
John at The Loft in Southsea, October 18, 2019. Picture by Paul Windsor
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Three years ago Idles played a legendary show in Castle Road outside Pie and Vinyl for Record Store day. 

Within months they had opened the doors for the like of Fontaines DC, Murder Capital and many other new guitar-based bands.

The latest of which are John. The London-based duo, both aptly called John, are the latest hot ticket in town, for their incendiary live performances

Originally booked into the tiny upstairs room at The Festing pub, tonight’s show has moved up Albert Road to The Loft which also swiftly sold out.

These days when I see another guitar/drums combo I normally head for the nearest exit, but John have something different about the.  For a start the lead singer, John Keller, is the drummer. Quite how he does this is beyond me and most in the audience. He’s certainly not what they call in drumming circles a 'tapper'. He hits them more like Dave Grohl. In fact there is a hint of early Nirvana to the whole show tonight. Pop hooks hang on to every thrashy guitar chord.

Not surprisingly it's pretty lively in here tonight, the floor is literally shaking beneath my feet. Thoughts turned to a gig in Brighton which was called off after three numbers when cracks started to appear in the ceiling of the bar below. Thankfully that didn't happen tonight and the band steamrollered on.

All too soon it’s all over, no encore, just dripping with sweat, a quick towel down and both Johns are behind the merch stall. Onwards and upwards to the next show, which certainly won't be in a small room above a pub in Pompey.