Hippy Hippy Shakes Company Present… Greg Griffin @ The Full Moon 22.06.2012

Fresh from the success of Easter Weekends Hippy Haze Festival, Richard Buxton returns to the local music gigging scene with another bang, hosting a spectacle of a night at the Full Moon in Newcastle. Hosting three local acts, each with very different and unique sounds, the headline act is supported with great local musicians. The headline himself, Greg Griffin, lead singer and front man of Proud Mary, is a headliner proving Richard’s mettle in the music industry isn’t limited to attracting local performers but also well established acts from the UK.

Opening the nights entertainment is local lad Emilio Pinchi, who plays a set consisting of both songs from his current EP ‘Kick Backs’ and songs which are to feature on the EP he is now working on, which he hopes to release around the end of July. The set Emilio gives the crowd is one which confirms it’s not mere luck that got him into LIPA, Sir Paul McCartney’s famous music education set up. Slow Down, a new song of Emilio’s, is full of emotion and beautiful guitar play, which tonight also sees a hint of huskiness join his soft voice, adding a special rawness to his set and making the youthful singer/songwriter even more unique. Emilio seems to lose himself in each song he plays for the gathering crowd, with a slight smile upon his face in knowledge of his own enjoyment and the crowds.

New song Invisible man is played with a deftness that indicates Emilio is an artist with talents too big for Stoke-on-Trent alone, and he then rolls into another new song, Sunday Night, which does nothing but prove this theory, using dynamics so professionally you might assume Emilio has already spent three years at LIPA. If tonight’s set was anything to go by, then Emilio Pinchi’s new EP is going to be one to cause an awful lot of excitement around Stoke-on-Trent.

Strutting onto the stage after Emilio is Twinkle and the Sl**ts, who look every bit the punk band that their explicit name suggests. Based in Stafford, Richard Buxton has again hand-picked another great band from the local scene of our neighbours, matching the quality of music and performance as those such as Sea Based Turtles and Platypus Duck who played at the Hippy Haze Festival. Radical, original and racey, lead singer Twinke has an outstanding voice, almost too good to front a punk band, but her angry lyrics and punk attitude more than fit the bill, and the sound the band creates is very powerful, with energetic drum beats and perfectly timed bass riffs, all being beefed up by well structured guitar play. To hear a real punk band these days is pretty hard, but to hear a real punk band with a female vocalist is even more so, but even if there was a plethora of female fronted punk bands in Staffordshire, I think you would be hard pressed at finding one to match the sounds of Twinkle and the Sl**ts.

Paper Tigers take to the stage with the confidence of a band that knows they are going places. Summer on Blossom Street, to be released in August on EP Safe In Words, has now hit perfection. Great use of harmonies and dynamics, it’s clear the band have nurtured this song like a budding rose, and the song now sits in the set as beautiful and attention-grabbing as the flowers attached to singer Jim Carter’s mic stand. Jim is enigmatic on stage, heel kicking and hair ruffling and leaning on the mic just like a true rock and roll star would. Old song Felt This Before seems to have modified and matured with the band, and now has a special place on their set list which accompanies their style complimentary, as does Killers cover When You Were Young, a song which has been mastered brilliantly by Paper Tigers, to the point where you could actually be tricked into thinking they’re just pretending to play the song whilst playing a recorded version of Mr Flowers’ great tune. Another EP which is destined to cause a big stir in Stoke-on-Trent, and especially after tonight’s performance at the Full Moon, Safe In Words could very well make Paper Tigers a band to hail from Stoke and push on forward to become well established in the UK

And now with the local acts setting up a great night, Proud Mary front man Greg Griffin takes to the stage with his lovely big hat and acoustic guitar. The crowd has now gathered very strongly. The Full Moon is Greg’s penultimate gig of his current solo tour, with Leicester on the morrow finishing off the musical jaunt. A quick chat before the gig tell me all I need to know; Greg really enjoyed the local acts and was particularly chuffed to hear a bit of punk from Twinkle and the Sl**ts. As for Greg’s set itself, the man plays with the cool laid back style you would only expect from a blues singer, and the professionalism portrayed in each song cannot not be denied by anyone in the crowd. Filled with amazing and well structured melodies and cracking vocals, Greg Griffin completes another brilliant night for Richard Buxton, who unfortunately could not actually attend the gig himself, which to me only shows that the work, time and effort he puts into his events are not merely for him; it is quite clear all the effort is for the music lovers of Stoke-on-Trent. Of course, Richard Buxton would have been there had he been able to, but he was certainly able to rest assured that his gig was in safe hands with great help from Ross White. With a Big Announcement to unleash on the local music scene on 1st July, a secret which Richard will reveal on Radical’s Rising’s show, you can’t help but wonder what magic Richard is keeping up his sleeve this time.

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