“Free Recovery are the headliners of Grungecase tonight and rightly so; they wear their influences on their sleeves and in tonight’s case on their tees.
These guys literally have grunge running through their veins.
Lead singer Jimmy is wearing an Alice in Chains t-shirt in honour of the late great Layne Staley, and drummer Dan is wearing a Kurt Cobain tee, in tribute of the date – the 5th April – sadly a day when both of these important pioneering musical frontmen passed away, albeit years apart.
Free Recovery’s set list tonight
feels much more reflective, their new material really harnessing all the band members strengths. Having seeing Free Recovery on many occasions I have to say this is one of my favourite gigs of theirs; they are always tight but tonight
feels very fresh. New song “Leith Hill” highlights the fracking issues in the local area and the concern for current and future generations of the potential disappearance of this natural beauty spot. This is of course very important political stuff, but Free Recovery have also managed to turn this into a melodic banger, utilising vocals from both Jimmy and Dan, and with definite potential for audience sing along. I can definitely see this being more towards the end of the set list in the future as a firm favourite.
So yes, Free Recovery are more political and reflective this evening but the rock is still very much alive; Swamp Thing, one of the classics from their self-titled LP from 2015, is a stand out tonight. They mix it up well with old material, new and, appropriate for this evening, covers. Free Recovery are known for their fierce version of “Alive” by Pearl Jam. This is omitted this evening in favour of covers of Alice in Chains “Dirt” and Nirvana’s unplugged version of the Meat Puppets song “Oh Me”. Before “Dirt” Jimmy expresses concern of doing the song justice. He need not have worried. It works well.
The highlight for me however is their version of “Oh Me”, with perfectly pitched vocals and beautifully restrained and lovely guitar work from axeman Dave, paradoxically rocking frantic solos just a few songs later. On a Thursday night in Guildford it is a pleasure to hear this gorgeous song live and done with heart.
From Fire – Scream My Name, Burning
Free Recovery – Leith Hill, Swamp Thing, Oh Me, Dirt
Click here to read the full review of the Grungecase night.
Special thanks to:
Holly Wilcox for the lovely review – you rock \m/
Keith Woodhouse for underpinning local live music around our area, and beyond
Northbend Records for publishing