I need only a few words to describe Vessels. They are: No Vocals Required. When Vessels take to the stage, the first thing that you notice about them is the absence of a singer and you think to yourself, "Oh no, how am I supposed to enjoy music I can't sing along to?", but these guys change your mind as soon as they hit the first note.

One thing that hits you about this band is their sheer power and energy on the stage. Even if instrumentals aren't your thing, you'll still be left breathless at the energy their three guitarists-Tom Evans, Peter Wright and Lee J. Malcolm-put out. This combined with the sheer chest pounding power of their rhythm section makes for a superb live show rivalling that of many a bigger band.

Compliments have to go to drummer Tim Mitchell and bassist Martin Teff who when they locked in at Nottingham Rock City were rock solid, and laid one of the most technically brilliant and awe inspiring foundations of a band that I have ever witnessed.

On their website they describe themselves as psychedelic. They certainly live up to their own description, with the guitarists showcasing their skills as multi-instrumentalists with all three at some point altering their guitars with synthesizers and keyboards of different shapes and sizes. With the rhythm section also holding strong, it was very easy to get completely lost in the music.

One little trick that they had up their sleeve just to boggle the mind a little bit more was that Martin Teff and one of the guitarists swapped instruments during one section. It was just sheer brilliance, and a good showcase of this band’s amazing talents as multi-instrumentalists.

On the subject of getting lost in the music, photographer Alan Taylor-Shearer was told he had three songs to take his photos, but the way the band had structured their set list was such that all the songs melded into one, almost seamlessly and he ended up staying in the press pit for the entire set.

Vessels are a band who will shock you into listening to them. With their infectious rhythm section and the technical brilliance that the guitarists showcased with all their floor pedals and synthesizers, there was a lot to be learnt from this band.

The message I personally got from it is that you don't always need a singer to rile up the audience into a frenzy. Vessels had the audience begging for more. Shouts of "more" and "encore" rang throughout the crowd as they left the stage to make room for the main act of the night, Oceansize.

Looking for something new, something more, maybe a little shock to your system, then check out Vessels. They could just be what you are looking for. They certainly gave me a surprise and a lot to think about.

My final words... No Vocals Required for a experience which will leave you breathless.

Check them out at http://vesselsband.com. They won't disappoint.

The photographs that accompany this article were taken for Pennyblackmusic by Alan Taylor-Shearer

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Commenting On: Rock City, Nottingham, 5/2/2010 - Vessels

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