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RIDDLES at The Union Bar

Saturday 6th December 2013

Written By Richard Anthony Lock


"And if I see you again it will be too soon!" is a polite way to express the conversation that started the end of one band , This Water Kills, and kicked into action the birth of a new adventure for the front man, guitarist and life liver James Reed.
Tonight James Reed, aka Jimi Riddle, took to the stage with his new band, RIDDLES. Jimi playing rhythm and lead, Ryan, the former baked potato salesman, on drums and Tom “which bedroom were you found in?” on bass guitar.
Before I talk of music, the performance and the night in general, a piece of history should be imparted first. The sentence that started this feature was expressed to a music manager. For reasons only the artist and management know, their creative imaginations did not coincide, and their aim for the bigger plan went off in polarised directions. Underground dodgy dealings and miscommunications were plenty and eventually ended up in a form of ending. The one thing that did not change throughout this was James Reed. JR knew what he wanted; his vision was clear, his understanding of peoples misunderstanding was the fuel to his fire. The artistic control over his own fate is what makes him him.
The period of time that passed between the death of This Water Kills and the birth of RIDDLES marked a time for him that would be hard, euphoric, educational and new.  The journey he went on to arrive at The Union Bar was viewed by many, commented on by the Hastings scene and lodged firmly in the minds of his followers.
This may explain the level of anticipation that was tangible on the night when the crowd started to arrive. What were they in store for? More rage? More drum kits blasted to smithereens with baseball bats? More blood and strobe lights?  
As the surge grew, they took a glimpse at the stage. Psychedelic colours and shapes projected on the walls and the ceiling, amps generating feedback. The 3 RIDDLES huddle together to have a pre gig team talk before they set to and begin.
The groove sets in. Ryan on the drums kicks in with a neat drum and bass rhythm, bass joins drums, guitar swells with flange and phasers. The backlit imagery casting our musicians into silhouette sends you somewhere else, when the battle cry of a native Indian punk androgynous puppy wolf rattles forth, "OOOOOOO YEEEAAAHHH!" and we’re in. 
RIDDLES is born, and it’s triplets.
Time seemed to have no part in this night. Throughout I was taken back to the days of The Doors, even though I wasn’t born then. Local band Gorilla had a part to play in this, and there were even hints of Adam Ant coming through.  
Music has a wonderful way of imprinting itself on the inner eye and coming forth in its own spirit. All I can say is RIDDLES make a good sound. They make you watch, and you leave feeling like you have just been to a gig. What more can you ask?  
Keep your ears and eyes close to the ground for these guys. 

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