Circus Junkie Rebels @ Underground 15/12/14

Excitement oozed from The Underground on Saturday as a night of classic rock n roll waited to be unravelled.

First to take the stage was Sons of Andal, an energetic rock band who showed everyone how it was done. With loud, thumping guitar riffs and fast paced drumming, they crafted a rebellious and upbeat atmosphere that got everyone ready for the night to come.

Next was female fronted band Silverchild, who showed that women can do rock just as well. You could see the chemistry that the members had on stage together, and this added with a brilliantly executed set only highlighted the powerful impact of their music.

Finally Circus Junkie Rebels made their way on to the stage, giving everyone a taste of the classic old school rock n roll. Possessing both charisma and style, especially from Corey on bass pulling off some shades, they looked perfectly at ease as they belted out their own tracks and also a great Led Zeppelin cover. Guitarist Joseph played with both passion and skill, and the mix between ballads and upbeat tracks allowed Dani to showcase his vocal abilities. The use of a keyboard was nice to see and illustrated the extent of their skill and intuition. Chris demonstrated superb drumming also, particularly in his solo, which broke up the set nicely and I was glad to finally see a band with such confidence grace the stage.

Overall, the night allowed that spark of rock n roll to be ignited again and definitely washed out the cold with the extent of the energy and enthusiasm from all the bands.

Alisha

Moral Panics @ Sugarmill 08/12/14

Moral Panics returned to Stoke Saturday night to fill the Sugarmill with their well polished modern sound.The band of 4 produce music as cool as their outfits and have clearly struck the right chord to fill the Sugarmill with fans who’ve anticipated their return for a while. And they certainly delivered! Entertaining the crowd with energy and still professional elegance, these boys have the mix of eccentricity and an engaging presence down to a T.

They weren’t alone on their return, accompanied by The Personas, a young local indie rock band who’s performance was crazy and yet brilliantly executed. They were also supported by new alternative band Release, who played a mix of their own music and well known covers including Buzzcocks’ Ever fallen in Love and Joy Divisions Transmission.

The last to support were 3 piece alternative rock band from Manchester, Man Made. The trio played a variety of their own music including their new single TV Broke my Brain which is out now. It’s no surprise that cool deep feel down to a T after also performing at Reading and Leeds this year.

Each band killed it and the combination of the 4 was total genius, I hope to see more of each and I’m sure everyone there would agree.

Holly.

Jonny Brown, Rinse, Pickering White and Bonamalis @ Exchange 01/12/14

Saturday night saw the return of Jonny Brown to Stoke, what a welcome he had too. Luckily for him he has three top notch local band supporting, still fresh on the scene Bonamalis, duo Pickering White and another newish band Rinse.

The night was kicked off my new, energised 4 piece, Bonamalis. The cross over between 60s rock and roll and 90s rock and roll, sometimes people find boring, however Bonamalis are laying it clean with simple melodies, chunky chords and drum flourishes. These elements make up the background of the delicate song writing. Despite mistakes on stage, they happen to the best of people but how you control those mistakes, controls the mood and atmosphere of the set, luckily Bonamalis still kept it strong.

Regardless of losing band members, Pickering White are tight as ever as a duo. The musical talent is still growing stronger. Obviously all tracks have be stripped back to an acoustic vibe which still has that significant rock and roll, 60 RnB sound with a solid melodic speed with actual excitement. Nice to see something retro brought into modern times with so much passion, if they manage to keep this up, 2015 could possibly be the year for Pickering White.

Main support act, Rinse is a band I’d recommend everyone to go a catch very soon. The mellow psychedelic indie vibes is highly addictive. Rinse captivate with tight guitar riffs, potent bass and torrential drums, there’s just no stopping with the talent. The honest, heartfelt lyrics make it hard to resistant singing along. They have left Radicals Rising hungry for more new music!

Don’t really have much to say about Jonny Brown, literally speechless. He just shows that no matter how bad you feel and how terrible you play, people are still gonna love you for what you do.

Lucee

Introducing Rinse 16/11/14

Recently formed, local up-and-coming band Rinse’s trio of demos inflict nothing less of an auspicious introductory impression, riveted in potential prosperity. Evidently the sound is something of a variable in these precursory stages of musical identity; within each track elements are alternated, mangled and transposed – which is anything but a negative. I’d oppose any opinions which convey that experimentation signifies a scarcity in creative direction; what Rinse have done to commendable effect is established three contrasting, but elegant sounds.

Undoubtedly it’s trademark indie, but on the same note hard to characterise; there’s sprinkled embers of Peace in the psychedelic ‘Going Under’, a rhythmic lingering Foals influence oozing from ‘Stick Around’, perhaps a miniscule dash of The Maccabees within the pace and vigour of ‘Drown’. However even then the influence is exceptionally minute and immensely subjective to respective tastes, creditably this can only act as a tribute to the way Rinse maintain a bold, statuesque individuality throughout every track. Another asset to the local scene… eager to hear more!

Finn

Psyence – Phoenix- Single Review 09/11/2014

Once again Psyence take us on a psychedelic rock n roll journey into a world of entrancing talent, this time with their new single Phoenix.

The spine tingling intro catapults you into an exquisite guitar riff and a pounding drum beat, both giving this song that memorable and die-hard rock n roll sound. The chorus brings with it a sensational sense of chaos and freedom and definitely does not disappoint. Near its end the song briefly calms and then launches into a superb guitar solo which rounds the track off to its top potential.

Psyence never fail to impress me and they always deliver that electrical experience you get when you listen to them, live or recorded. A magical and euphoric track which without a doubt will drown out those winter blues.

Alisha

Psyence, Two Skies, Rinse, James Biddulph Jnr @ Underground 08/11/2014

What a night to end an 8 day tour, Psyence complete the wild week in their hometown, where they are very well loved, along with excellent support.

James Biddulph Jnr, big fan of Psyence and cracking opener to the night. Originally known as the front guy of The Noise he occasionally performs solo. It’s nice to hear something so old and soulfully sounding coming from modern day performers. The melodies touch borders of, late 60’s, old Rnb, bluesy, folky and a warming Britpop lyrical style.  James played tracks from The Blues Man EP which you can find on the soundcloud page; https://soundcloud.com/james-biddulph

A band with a sound everyone wants to hear this year, it’s Rinse. Musically have they have it, they’re an appetising cocktail with a  velvety vocal, heart melting lyrics, riffs that fizz like sherbet then the hammered kick of the drum and bass is like a shot of Sambuca. They have 4 demos out on Soundcloud and on CD, which range massively in influences; https://soundcloud.com/rinseuk

As well as Psyence on tour for 8 days, they were joined by Two Skies from Sheffield. The bond between them seems unbreakable after the last week. Bands that support each other like these do are a big inspiration for the music scene. As a three piece sounding like a five piece, Two Skies fall into the hard rock groovy psych scene. The vibrant energy in the music and attitude creates a QOTSA, BRMC atmosphere. Looking forward to seeing these coming back to Stoke.

What an entrance and welcome. Psyence love it and so do the audience, the atmosphere from when they walked on was electric to when they finished. It all started with a howling scream from Jamie, the new single Phoenix was smoking. Closing my eyes whilst watching Psyence is like hearing musicians with years and years’ experience, their something edgy, something fresh and something unreal. Won’t be long till these are the next biggest ground-breaking band of the year, national.
Lucee

Bonamalis, Cold Committee and Adam Atkinson @ The Full Moon 08/11/2014

Opening the night was solo artist Adam Atkinson, with a set list full of good, old, indie, rock and roll covers the audience couldn’t help but sing along. Adam’s been in the local music scene, in bands and solo, for a while now, he’s slowly getting better with confidence and writing his own material. He goes down the path of a Kasibian/Oasis influence in his performance.

They finally made it to Stoke-on-Trent, Cold Committee from North Wales didn’t disappoint. All four lads have the look, have the personality and most importantly have the music that mesmerised the audience. Still only young the experience they have is incredible, touring with Beady Eye and Miles Kane, as well as their own tours. The set is hung up with catchy hooks, fierce melodies and slick vocals. Ending the set with Masquerade certainly set the bar high, the connection on stage is electric, and it was an explosive ending.

First headline for another yet huge sound band. It’s been a long time since I’ve watched a new band sounding so tight and musically, naturally raw. Bonamalis make each tune with a different vibe, the tempo of the whole set kept the attention of The Full Moon as they ripped through some audience favourites. They have been working with an experienced producer to get some recorded tunes out, we look forward to hearing the final result.

Lucee

Bare John Track Reviews – 07/11/14

Bare John describe themselves as “Female fronted noise from the Midlands” and I couldn’t have put it better myself. Their new LP Routine Kiss is out very soon and from the two tracks I’ve heard so far I’d say any fans of alternative rock are in for a treat.

Birds Teeth has a classic rock intro which bursts into a thrashing guitar riff and empowering lead vocals, which together carry the song along with intensity and force.

Slight Rebellion is another powerful track which showcases wonderful vocal ability and is executed masterfully throughout with fantastic guitar playing and drumming.

Anyone who loves a bit of rock will certainly get a kick from this new record.

Alisha

Halloween @ Full Moon 01/11/14

Personally I’m not one for celebrating Halloween but I got myself dressed up and headed to The Full Moon. I wasn’t disappointed.

It was a great mix of local talent. The Taskers started the spectacular night off with their grungy rock sound. Performing as a duo is a popular trend in the music industry at the moment, Jack and SBT have being rocking the look for 2 nearly 3 years now. Jack has this gritty vocal which contrasts with SBT soulful voice. The avalanche of fuzz that they create flowed into every ferocious riff perfectly. Next gig will be 7th November in Birmingham at Victoria.

With some spooky happenings as an interval, the only guy who can pull golden cuban heels off, Ben Owen was next to perform at Venombase’s Halloween Ball. His overall performance was solid, solid for again, another duo. The rock and roll groove was something refreshing in the Halloween line up. The newly written songs have an influence of glam rock for definite, his stage persona is exciting and puts a real edge and personality to the music. The mash up of Thriller and Ghostbusters got the crown interaction going wild, great choice! His new single Dirty Little Secret is currently number 1 on the Hype Chart and can be found on ITunes – http://benowenmusic.com/

Just before Sea Based Turtles entertained there was a costume competition. It was amazing to see how many people actually dressed up, it came down to a Jacko and Frank-N-Furter the winner was Frank-N-Furter which in fact was the saxophone player from SBT – well deserved winner! They are one of the best experimental bands I’ve seen live – Sea Based Turtles have such a wide range of talent as a 6 piece. The combination of sounds, styles and personalities make the set enjoyable, they always gather the biggest crowd, due to their originality. It amazing to see a band have so much fun on stage – https://seabased-turtles.squarespace.com/

Chainsaws, spooky noises and projections built up the tension ready for Halloween headliners – Circus Junkie Rebels. It was fresh to hear a raw, dirty, rock and roll band with genuine, hard life lyrics. There’s a single out now Take Me Out which screams a Led Zep influence. There’s so much energy on the stage, it fed off into the audience and gave the whole venue a buzz. They finalised their set with a stage invasion performing MJ cover Beat It. Overall after this performance I can’t wait for the release of the Sleeping in Vegas EP!

LC

Adam French – Ivory – Single Review

Ivory is the intensely beautiful and entrancing new single from local singer/songwriter Adam French.

The delicate guitar in the intro glides you effortlessly into what can only be described as 4 minutes of pure serenity, despite the emotion channelled into the song. The lyrics are crafted excellently and the raw talent that shines through really sets this track apart. The song as a whole is faultlessly executed and has a calming, hypnotic quality which completely immerses you in another world.

This single has huge support and has even been playlisted on BBC Radio 1, and if that doesn’t show potential and a flare of genius then I don’t know what does and I’m certain even more great things are to come from Adam French.

Alisha