Doom Service, Shepherd’s Pie, and Rough Francis At ArtsRiot August 29, 2014

Words by Tim Lewis.

I had a good time seeing music last night. I got out of work at 6:30 and stopped home for a bit, but quickly headed out the door. I took the long walk down to ArtsRiot, including a swing by Marble ave. I have wanted to check out the Friday night truck stop thing they do, where there are a bunch of food vendors and various activities. The alley behind the old Cheese Outlet was full of people and a dozen or so food options. I found some delicious food, then waited for the show. 

The show was inside the former store, now rock venue. Around 9pm Doom Service hit the stage with the steady building song they opened with when I saw them a few weeks back at 242 Main. With a low slung bass, two fast and nimble electric guitars and a driving drummer, the played a set of fast melodic indie rock punk songs. The sound reminded me of some of the best indie rock of the ’90’s but all the songs sounded like their own. I recognized a few from the last show, and can’t wait to get to know them better. Their set was short but fun. Nathan Curtis and Eric from work showed up for the last two songs and were favorably impressed too. They played a fun version of Monsters then wrapped the night with the song about Mulder and Scully.

It was a bit warm inside the room, so for the break we headed outside to see the truck stop carts and tents packing up. After a bit it sounded loud inside so we headed in to catch Shepherd’s Pie. They played some classic ’70’s punk. With a woman playing a bass slung high so she could really get at it, Lily Sickles playing a monster guitar, Frank on drums and an engaging front man/singer, they kicked out a fast fun set. I was thinking the music was kind of Ramones-like so I was not at all surprised when they kicked out a cover of I Just Wanna Have Something To Do. Their set was short and sweet and fast and loud and nothing but fun. The bass player was great. She had the same look whether the song slowed down a bit or was a full speed. Lily prowled the stage and it was great to see her powerhouse guitar playing. Frank kept it all together, at full speed, and the singer found a way to use a blue tarp to great visual effect, a lot. I had a great time and would go see them again in a heartbeat. 

After the set, the room was still pretty warm so we wandered outside for a bit. It seemed like we just started talking then a loud noise came from the venue. ROUGH FRANCIS were on stage and rocking a song I’ve heard a couple of times. The set seemed to be mixed between songs from Maximum Soul Power, and what I think are new ones. Either way, they rocked hard and sounded great. The room was mostly full, but the audience was a little sedate. Most people were just standing and listening, which is a bit unusual. I took a chance and hung close to the stage, knowing I could back up a bit when the moshing broke out. Around the 4th song or so, Paul tried to rev us up by exploding off the stage and playing in the crowd. Unfortunately, he pulled his rig apart a bit and spent the next song or two getting it back together. Aah, rock and roll. Bobby Hackney Jr. was good, and only gave him a little bit of crap for it. They were soon back in high from and played killer songs like Back and Red, Staring Out The Window, and a smoking cover of New Rose. Late in the set they pulled out Not A Nice Guy, but even then there was no mosh response from the audience. It was very odd, since the band were hitting it as hard as ever. They wrapped the night with a song I did not know and that was that. It was a bit odd with a mellow audience and no Comm To Space to close the show, but it didn’t matter. They played a fun and commanding rock show and that is all that mattered.

This post was originally published by Tim Lewis at his personal blog,