Tonight is the first ever Metalmania night presented by Staffs Uni RAMS (Rock Alt. Metal Society). With a superhero/super villain theme, Scuzz TV on in the background and local metallers Sworn To Oath performing live the night is set for high hopes. But unfortunately there is a severe lack of attendance at tonight’s Metalmania gig and even in the very small room that is The Verve, there is still a huge gap in front of the stage.
Stafford five-piece Blunderbuster kick-start the night and open their set to a very empty floor, but they show that they are not at all phased by the lack of people and the bassist and guitarist take advantage of the floor space in front of them by jumping down from the stage and running round. Their music is incredibly energetic and there is a euphoric energy about them, their catchy riffs and fun upbeat sound engages with a few members of the crowd who move to the middle of the floor to start dancing along to their upbeat Celtic punk tunes. Their sound is a mixture of metal and punk with a folky edge created by their fiddle player and at times sounds very piratey, a similar sound to that of the Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly. During their set Blunderbuster even play an interesting cover of the Rolling Stones ‘Paint It Black’ which the crowd loves.
A great start to a night of drunken dancing and head banging to along to heavy rock, punk metal music. Amongst the crowd are a few people who have made the effort to dress up, including the Hulk and characters from Final Fantasy.
Headliners of the Metalmania live performances tonight are Sworn To Oath, a metal trio band from Stoke-on-Trent who have fast gained a name for themselves not only around Stoke but across the Midlands. They open with ‘Last Call’ and instantly the speakers fill with their trademark heavy guitars and powerful drumming which resonates around the room. Sworn To Oath seem a bit disheartened at the turnout tonight and this is probably one of the smallest crowds that they have played to in Stoke for a while, as they often headline at the Sugarmill performing to a full room. They play the songs: ‘Reminds Me Of You’ and ‘False Promise’ and encourage the crowd come forward and bang their heads along and to punch their fists in the air and shout “hey!” They end their set with the song ‘Leave You For Dead’ and try their hardest to get the crowd to shout back the four simple lyrics: “leave you for dead” and let people know that they can buy some Sworn To Oath merch around the corner in the seating area of the main LRV room.
Metalmania was a great night and could have incredible potential, if only more people had actually turned up to watch the live bands.
Becky Davis, Radical’s Rising