The Crown and Anchor Hotel was cranking last night as local bands New Damage, Blonde Doctor and Jettison took to the stage to support the launch of Burning Bridges’ EP, Tune Sack. It’s always a thrill to watch up and coming bands live, but it’s even better when the mood is right and the crowd is ready to rock out—and they were.

New Damage got the crowd warmed up with a cool, calm and collected set with some surprises. The lead’s strong vocals and the band’s tight performance showed a well-rehearsed show that seemed natural to them. A little bit rock ‘n’ roll with a Led Zeppelin vibe, New Damage was a strong start all round. Their biggest let down was the sound balance given the venue’s small space—almost too small to hold the lead’s voice.

Blonde Doctor hit the stage fast and furiously, using some top-notch banter to warm the crowd to them. A pop/punk band with a set easy to dance to, they took me back to days as a 16 year old with my door slammed shut and Fall Out Boy turned up until the walls would shake. Their cover of Kasey Chamber’s ‘Not Pretty Enough’ was a particular highlight, but their original content was strong and I look forward to hearing more from the band.

Bringing the pace back was Jettison, who unfortunately suffered technical issues with their microphones and a guitar switch midway. That didn’t stop them though, with an incredibly engaging live presence on stage they managed to get the crowd (and I mean the whole room) down with the bridge and then back to a frenzy at the chorus. Stylistically varied, Jettison were a pleasure to watch, if somewhat disconnected with each other on stage.

Bringing it home was Burning Bridges, with a Paramore/Hayley Williams-esque sound to them. Unfortunately, Tammy Shields’ vocals seemed to wash out a bit with the band. However, the band members worked the stage well with an undeniable chemistry; each member looking to each other and keeping track to keep momentum and maintain an energetic vibe throughout the set. The alt-rock outfit should be proud of what they delivered—it’s a shame that this is not just the beginning for this EP, but an ending with Tammy deciding to leave the band.

An overall fantastic night at the Crown and Anchor with an engaging crowd. If you’re looking to get a taste of the action yourself, Burning Bridges EP Tune Sack can be found here.

Photos: Sara Cavaiuolo / Lux and Gloom Photography