Goteki, Inertia and Covenant – The Exchange, Bristol – 18 Sept 2022

The night opened with Goteki, a local electronic bleepy stuff duo who don’t take themselves too seriously (there’s a refrain of “don’t listen to Goteki”) but have a ton of fun on stage and provide good entertainment value. Not my cup of tea but they have a dedicated following.

I’ve seen Inertia a few times over the years and while they’re not a band I ever listen to at home, they always put on a riveting show. Reza is a terrific, dynamic front man. Their songs have an angry punk-y energy but they are clearly having a great time on stage. A high point for me was their wonderful cover of Games Without Frontiers.

Covenant are one of those band that I say are not my thing, but I’ve definitely been guilty of dancing to their tunes over the years. (If you’ve been on the scene at all for the past few decades, you know more Covenant songs than you think). But I’d heard they put on a great live show, so I turned up.

And they do! The show starts with the two synth players creating a multi-layered soundscape, and then the singer comes on stage and hangs his jacket on the mike stand, a class move I need to remember and borrow. I didn’t expect that three guys, two synths and a snare drum who you can hardly see through the fog and dark lighting (these pictures aren’t terrible, they’re what the audience actually see) could be so intense and dramatic. I found I was literally entranced through a lot of the set, which while great from the enjoyment of the show point of view, is less conductive to writing an effective review. It’s also not necessarily a great look when you are front and centre and the singer pulls a dramatic poses right in front of you and you fail to notice. The performance was unexpectedly emotional at times, particularly Ships to Port. To say they have a dedicated following is an understatement.

In short, if you’re on the fence about Covenant and think they’re just one of those background scene bands that are always there, definitely make the effort to catch the live show. It’s worth it.

Feet = wrecked.

Always the sign of a quality show.