Soldier On, March Of The Mods

Posted on Sunday 5th July 2015 00:00 by FreckFest

What a night on Friday night at the HAC! Soldier On played a blistering live set in front of a home crowd and, as if the planets had somehow aligned, we had just about the best Freckfest night on record. Going by previous gigs, this is no small claim. We’ve had 80s superstars fill the venue two nights running. We’ve had the hottest up and coming acts strut their stuff before going on to great success. We’ve had sell-out nights in the Magnum Theatre, a three day festival in the ice rink and all manner of brilliant music events, but none, NONE, come close to Friday night’s show.

 

        

This was the night when a local band grew up in public, the night when they finally realised their potential. The night when everyone present could see that the band are on the cusp of going stratospheric.

 

Whatever it is, Soldier On have always had it. Previously, they were all about the clothes and the hair and the vintage guitars. And the frontman. Good lord, the boy Jordan is a star in the making! He’s the focal point, the high-kicking ball of energy, the stick-thin vocalist, shaggy of hair, pointy of boot and skinny of perfectly cut trouser. He was born screaming “Look at me, world! Look at me!” and just took it from there. Actually, he’s a star already, is our Jordan, it’s just that the rest of the world is yet to catch up.

                                                                                  

In the past, there was more than a little emphasis placed on how Soldier On looked, rather than how they sounded. Anyone could see the potential was there, but up until now, the songs were a wee bit lacking. They’ve finally sorted that out, and then some.

 

The new tracks are meaty, muscular and swagger with a loose-limbed attitude worthy of a vintage 70s act. On record (the excellent ‘Between The Bricks’ ep) they’re fleshed out with keys and a brass section, a heady mix of Quadrophenia-era Who and Exile On Main Street Stones. Live, they are quite spectacular.

               

 

The attention to detail; the cut of the trouser, the vintage of guitar is still apparent, but the emphasis is now on the songs. The whole of the HAC at one point was on its feet, encouraged by Jordan to “have a wee dance”. Even at our rowdiest of gigs, this never happens. Perfectly sane folk were up and cutting a rug in any space they could find as riff upon riff followed chorus after chorus. Sparks flew off the twin guitars like sparks off a welder’s torch, proper fireworks in the HAC as these anthems in the making were casually fired off, one after another. It was sensational, a communal celebration. And everyone; band, crew, audience, knew it.

                        

Played almost like a final, farewell gig, this was the home-coming show that the band knew would never happen again. As you may have read already, we could have sold out this event three nights running. We’re extremely proud to be involved with Soldier On. They’ve been with Freckfest from the start and we’ve somewhat grown up together.

The band has outgrown the HAC and is more than ready to move up a level. Soldier On will bring their high octane, rock ‘n roll extravaganza to the plush surroundings of the Magnum Theatre next March. It’ll be their biggest headline show to date and testament to their popularity. You’d be a fool to miss it!

 

Before signing off we must give a special mention to Culann, another band who’ve played sold out gigs for Freckfest. While Soldier On were creating mass hysteria in the HAC, Culann were playing a sold out show upstairs in The Ship. Two sold out gigs, yards apart in a town where people moan that ‘nothing ever happens’. There’s a cracking local music scene happening right now, as the 200 folk who couldn’t get tickets to see Soldier On will tell you. If you haven’t done so already, get involved!

 

You can buy tickets for Soldier On’s big gig in March direct from here or via the HAC.

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