Sunday 27th August 2023
The Black Heart, Camden, London
Yorkshire based Heavy Punk/Pop rockers, Syteria, are back on the road promoting their third studio album, ‘Syteria World’, stopping off in North London tonight. The band was formed as a fun side project in 2015 by Jackie 'Jax' Chambers, lead guitarist with legendary Heavy rockers Girlschool. The idea was to make more Pop orientated Punk Rock. Joining Jackie for this project are the wonderful Julie Calvo on vocals, Julie's brother Pablo Calvo on drums and newbie Steph Dawson on bass.
Jackie Chambers originally joined Girlschool in 2000 as lead guitairst and chief songwriter. She features on the albums ‘21st Anniversary: Not That Innocent’ (2002), ‘Believe’ (2004), ‘Legacy’ (2008), ‘Hit and Run - Revisited’ (2011), ‘Guilty as Sin’ (2015) and the latest album ‘WTFortyfive?’ released on 28th July this year. The band continues to be active on the live circuit, and is set to tour with Alcatrazz again next year on their 'Heavy Metal Assault Tour'.
Syteria first appeared on to the scene through a YouTube video around Christmas 2015 called ‘Santa's Harley’, then in 2016 they kickstarted a campaign to self-release their EP 'Wake UP'. In 2017 after a successful Pledge campaign, they recorded their debut album ‘Rant-O-Bot’. In 2018 Syteria were nominated for an ‘Independent Music Award’, making the final five. A second album appeared in 2020 called ‘Reflection’, with their third ‘Syteria World’ being released on 11th August this year.
Bank Holiday Sunday is a tough gig for any band, but thankfully a handful of eager punters turned out tonight to witness Syteria rip it up! I would imagine that the band’s music might well be more suited to a younger audience than is present tonight, but with Jackie Chambers from Girlschool on guitar, no doubt attracted aging rockers such as myself to turn out to see them! Their music is a bit like The Bangles crossed with The Ramones.
The band wasted no time getting down to business with the confessional ‘Guilty’ from 2019 ’Reflection’ album, quickly followed by the razzle dazzle of ‘I’m All Woman’ from the 2017 ‘Rant-O-Bot’ album. Vocalist Julie Calvo is a force to be reckoned with! A total ball of energy, charisma oozing from every pore and a captivatingly alluring stage presence that has everyone hypnotised! Up next came three new bangers from the 2023 ‘Syteria World’ album, 'Breaking Through', ‘Chasing Dreams’ and ‘It Hit Me’. The pace was unrelenting, and the adrenaline was flowing! Back to the 2019 ’Reflection’ album for a couple more whoppers in the form of the humorously quirky ‘Plastic Fantastic’ and ‘Gossips’. Jackie's lead guitar lines were melodically fluid and mischievously sassy! She is clearly having a ball.
Keeping the momentum going came another three new songs from the latest studio album ‘Syteria World’ in the form of ‘Raise Your Glass’, ‘Remember Me’ and ‘Pause For Peace’. The title track of the 2019 album ‘Reflection’ hurtled in with conviction before ‘E.M.P.T.Y’ from ‘Syteria World’ gave our ears a good bashing! Time came for a call to arms with ‘Revolution’ from the 2017 ‘Rant-O-Bot’ album. The menacing ‘Monsters’ from 2023 ‘Syteria World’ album kept us on our toes! Julie then invited us to ‘Make Some Noise’, a track from the 2019 ’Reflection’ album, to which we duly obliged. The well-oiled audience were determined not let them go without an encore. Fortunately, they didn't disappoint, hitting us with the frantically satanic ‘Halloween’ from the 2019 ’Reflection’ album. “Scream, scream its Halloween!” It was a total blast to be in Syteria's world for the evening. Hope we can do it all again soon!
Steven C. Gilbert