Canterbury at Bodega

A celebration of modern British rock graced The Bodega in a near-three hour whirlwind of guitars, drums and vocals, spearheaded by Surrey quartet Canterbury.


Support from Buckinghamshire’s Big Sixes started quietly and the crowd responded in an equally tame manner.

However, as the band got into the swing of things, the atmosphere picked up, arms swaying to the particularly impressive two- and three-part vocal harmonies.

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Ending with a whimper? Never a good sound for a guy who has just finished

Unfortunately, whether it was due to people not knowing them well, or if it was because a few too many of their songs ended with a whimper, the applause always felt a tad delayed and awkward.

Then came Blitz Kids. Still fresh from their European tour with All Time Low, and riding the wave that is ‘The Good Youth’, vocalist Joe James’ first task was to get everybody onto the dance floor and moving.

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Rammed but rather pedestrian

Soon enough, it was rammed but rather pedestrian – the crowd remained static despite the band playing track after track of anthemic rock.

There were plenty of opportunities to sing along – encouraged even by Joe James, straddling a bizarre yet somehow fitting light-up microphone stand – but it was the instrumentation that sang out loudest, a particular highlight being Jono Yates’ deft guitar playing.

Canterbury exploded onto the stage.

Whereas Big Sixes’ vocals were phenomenal and Blitz Kids had technically brilliant instrumentation, they were equally as amazing in both disciplines.

Canterbury: Furious strumming

Canterbury: Furious strumming

Given that vocalist Luke Sparks looks like he could be everyone’s little brother, it was a little surprising that Canterbury had such an extensive and varied discography to call upon.

Even in the quieter, softer songs, they managed to produce a magnetism that reached above the stage and extended to the audience, drawing everybody in to sing, jump and dance along.

The highlight of the entire gig was Canterbury’s ‘Calm Down’, where everyone simply lost it and surrendered themselves to the music: perhaps the British Rock scene is truly alive after all.