I HAD barely recovered from the musical marathon that was Basingstoke Live before I found myself heading to the coast on a sweltering day.

I was not, however, taking swimming trucks and a towel, instead I was sporting my assorted cameras and note book for a rather interesting show.

First up were Arx (below), a female duo from Wiltshire, who I have never seen before. They started bang on time and were really great. Powerful vocals, grungy guitar and driving beats kept things going at a fantastic pace. Excellent opening band.

Basingstoke Gazette:

Next up and from just down the coast was Maid of Ace - the all-girl all-sister punk band that has put Hastings firmly on the musical map.

Although they have been round for a few years, it's only in the last couple that they have started to up their game and impressed the hell out of everyone.

Maid of Ace - 

Basingstoke Gazette:

This is real contemporary punk, fast and abrasive, fired out into the audience with snarling vocals and some really catchy choruses. The crowd had grown a little and it had gotten a whole lot hotter.

The headline band were Basingstoke's own Pussycat & the Dirty Johnsons with stand in drummer Kate from the Ramonas.

I may have recently seen these guys headline the Creative Stage on the Saturday of Basingstoke Live, but a different town is a whole new experience.

They were a big hit from the word go - it was a fantastic venue, with a good crowd and excellent acoustics. The band themselves were on top form and faced an irresistible cheer for an encore, which they duly obliged.

It was an excellent show, so thanks to all the bands, the promoter and venue for an awesome night. (Between you and me, the high point was when I stepped outside afterwards into the cool night air!)