Press to MECO put on their guest reviewing hats (we’re assuming there were hats involved) as they support Slot Machine at London’s Under The Bridge.
Here’s what drummer and vocalist, Lewis Williams made of the gig…
“Last month our manager emailed asking if we wanted to support a Thai rock band called Slot Machine, they’ve written an English album and are coming over to do a few shows to promote it. A quick Facebook search shows that they are pretty huge over in Thailand and that their regular venues are either stadiums or TV appearances. You never know how these types of gigs will go, or what opportunities might arise from playing them, besides, it’s not the weirdest thing we’ve done… Obviously we jumped at the offer in hopes of winning over a few more fans and having a bit of fun.
We arrived at Under the Bridge in Chelsea, crammed in our three seater van and feeling a little haggard after just finishing our album release tour. The venue is situated right under a portion of the Chelsea FC stadium with a barrier and a mean looking man for security. As we carried our gear in, Slot Machine were already sound checking and sounding pretty big.
We set up and sound checked on one of the nicest indoor stages we’ve ever seen, a good size and packed with nice gear. After sound check we put our merch up next to the Singha beer promoters; one old Thai dude and three beautiful Thai women. Everyone was really friendly, including Slot Machine who didn’t display any big egos throughout our time together. The language barrier made interactions a bit difficult, which is disappointing when you want to get to know each other. However, we overcame this difficulty and obviously, as bands do, ended up at the d**k jokes.
As the doors opened the venue was flooded with the areas Thai community (which we were told is quite prevalent). We jumped on stage and played our first number to a fairly unsure crowd who were standing at the edges of the room. This was a stark contrast to the tour we’d just finished; really vibey shows in smaller packed out venues, where the crowd are right in your face singing along. As the set went on we won over the crowd, who were receptive once they’d gotten over the surprise of a loud and raucous band playing before their favourite sharply dressed, pop-rock crooners.
Slot Machine came on and played a flawless hour and a half set. They were well polished and their six albums worth of experience was clearly on display. The crowd seemed to hold a lot of nostalgia for Thailand so the band interacted mainly in Thai and leaned heavily on their Thai songs. Front man Foet made the girls swoon and had some of the most polished live vocals I’ve heard. His control and range were flawless as well as being comfortable singing in such a high register, that there was no sacrifice in tone when hitting the high notes. The bassist Gak rocked out as if he were alone in his room which was cool to see, he wouldn’t have been out of place on stage with Lamb of God. He added a lot of energy to the show which would have been sorely missed without him. Not that the band were lacklustre in any way, but some things don’t have the same effectiveness on a small stripped back stage that would seem epic at the bigger shows they are used to. They played my personal favourite Kloem twice, which surprisingly went down really well and they ended on the epic Goodbye which builds up to a massive crescendo and is a perfect end to the set.
We were happy to be offered this opportunity and had a lot of fun over all the dates. Hopefully we’ll be seeing a few more Thai fans at our shows!”