Featuring: Kate Channer Band
The Eastside Bar
This past Saturday December 1st, 2018 I went down to check out my dear friend Kate Channer’s new band at The Eastside Bar. The Eastside Bar is quite familiar to me as I ran the Allstage Jam there for 5 years and have played there with my band Bender numerous times over the years, as well as attended more shows there than I could even guess at. The venue is an excellent venue for live music of all genres with a large stage including drum riser, in-house PA and lighting rig from side to side of stage. Soundman is supplied as well.
To me the real asset to this venue aside from the above-mentioned stage and lights is the serving staff. Jenn, Deb, Debbie, Ruth Buzzy McCormick and all the other servers and bar tenders are great quality people who are absolute pros at their jobs no matter how large the crowd – they are giving 100% to make sure the customers are getting served. House security is supplied by Andy and a couple of other gentlemen and they do an amazing job keeping all the patrons safe while being courteous and respectful of the customers.
The food is fantastic and again if you show your Allstage app on your cell you will get 20% off your food (not including daily specials).
Kate Channer Band
Kate Channer is one of my favorite bands in the indie world here in London.
The band consists of Kate Channer- Vocals and Guitar, Jesse Nestor - Vocals, Guitar (pretty much any music instrument known to man this guy can play), Matt Cleeve - Lead Guitar, Caleb Heddle – Bass, Merwan Hassan – Drums.
Kate has remarkable stage presence and has an amazing voice which her cover and original material perfectly meshes with. She sings lead vocals and plays guitar but can also play keyboards when needed thus giving her an insight into writing music from different perspectives. Her voice is powerful but not overwhelming and like I stated, she picks the perfect songs to tackle.
Jesse Nestor – ha, ha, ha….there is not enough room in this blog to say what I think of Jesse as a musician and as a human being. His Dad James Nestor has a jaw dropping musical history and Jesse has carried on the family legacy. Jesse like a few other elite level friends of mine in this city, is the one you call for either a big show or that incredibly difficult musical passage in the studio that demands someone being a multi-instrumentalist – and for all his god given talent you will not meet a more humble and down to earth human being anywhere.
Matt Cleeve on Lead Guitar really impressed me on Saturday night. I’ve seen him play before, but the man has seriously elevated his game since the last time – and he was no slouch then either. Him and Jesse are the perfect guitarists in this band – they allow each other to flex their muscle while at the same time being a perfect tandem onstage live.
Caleb Heddle on Bass I’ve never met before, but his playing so impressed me that I was compelled to go up to the stage between sets and commend him on his set. Complicated, straight forward, up and down the fret board, bass solo, solid as a rock – Caleb had all the styles nailed down tight. Kate got herself a winner when she hired him.
Merwan Hassan on Drums, now Merwan is one of the nicest people you will meet in this business. Every time I see him, he has a million-watt smile and a handshake to greet you. If you were having a bad day, Merwan will make you forget about it in an instant. On drums I LOVE his style of playing. Merwan “hits shit” and does it very well. He drives this band with his energetic playing and solid hitting – he is the spark plug behind the band and a perfect fit for Caleb on bass. Again, he doesn’t invest a whole bunch of time into Neil Peart fills nor does he fall into the trap of attempting stuff that maybe he shouldn’t live – instead – he puts his hard hat on, puts his head down and gets to work for the band by powering it along on 12 cylinders like a Jaguar.
When I arrived for their first set, they already as a band, had people on the dance floor – that stayed until I left halfway through their third set. And for a bar owner that is the perfect scenario as the drinks were flowing freely around the bar.
Great songs, excellent musicianship, great stage presence (Kate made the trip around the bar with her wireless mic), they look good onstage and high energy – wins all the way around.