The gig has been on countdown since it was announced and it’s finally here and what a treat it was. The bands were incredible; Manchurians – The Portlands who grabbed some Stokies into their following, impressive live performers – The Dirty Cheats, the new and no longer unknown –The Clique and of course the stunning Six Towns.
Kicking the night off was The Portlands. It was their first gig in Stoke and considering the amazing feedback they were getting it won’t be there only one. Their compelling riffs and powerful vocals intrigued the audience to move forward. “Every Word I Sing Is A Lie” is off their EP Nocutilucent. It has a real heavy sound too. This is a band that you can play full blast and it’s not going to hurt your ears. “Three Spaniards” the 2011 single really shows off their magnificent folk rock talent. It’s now understandable why they have so many likes on facebook. Their performance was electric, the bass player Dave Isherwood was head banging and waving his long locks of hair, Max Winnington on drums smashing furiously away and the bounciness of the front man Dook Dootson was immense. Six Towns gave them a thanking shout out, which was well deserved as they started the night of awesomely.
It’s understandable why The Dirty Cheats were runners up in Live & Unsigned 2012. Their energy was indescribable. They began with ‘Make Believe’ the pop, indie style sound hypnotising the audience to move closer. Not just great performers, The Dirty Cheats did a clever cover of Cameo ‘Word Up’ mixed with one of their own. It gave that sense of uniqueness and individuality instead of doing karaoke. Amy Collins on keyboard gave their sound a more techno modern feel. Within each track they had essentials which were catchy melodies and captivating choruses. People may think there too cheesy but I think they just missed the too cheesy line, whether the crowd thought this or not they were enthusiastic about them and enjoyed their performance.
Members of The Clique have been in bands previously and gigged but this was their first gig together as newly formed The Clique. It was apparent that this not so unknown band have a massive following, people were shoulder touching and there was no space for movement. All four members were introduced throughout the week as their gig was up and coming, and The Clique are; Gaz Clay – vocals, Luke Potter – guitarist, Arron Darlington – bass and backing vocals, Ash Clay – drums and back vocals. Entering in complete darkness created the atmosphere that they were anonymous before now. ‘Rhythm Is A Dancer’ by Snap was in the background, everyone was bouncing in unison. ‘Do you believe’ gave a real indie vibe to the night and it was evidently the audience’s favourite. With it being their first gig they wanted it to feel intimate so they showed us how they start practise, with a little acoustic set ‘Keep You Waiting’. Showing off what sounds they are capable of producing is a great start for a first gig. It wasn’t staying acoustic for long as they brought their unbelievable dirty, indie, dance talent back which people adored. The set was ended with massive energy and each person was given the heads up that they were staying and the crowd were under no illusion that they were here to stay.
With a slow, heart beating sound behind them rock and rollers Six Towns take to the stage. Screams echo whilst we see Liam on the keyboard and they start off with ‘Ride’ from their EP ‘Too Young to Die’. A massive energetic track to start, the repetition of “away” in the chorus makes it a great track for the audience to love and get involved with. Automatically from that track with the solid strong guitar riffs, powerful drum beats and distinctive vocals it was obvious the rest of the night was going to be full of endless talent and enthusiasm. ‘KIA’ showed clearly that they were influenced by past and present musicians; there was an essence of Oasis and Kasabian. With the impressive chorus you are without doubt not going to forget this rock and roll perfection track, ‘Wasting Away’. Led Zeppelin was an influence that shone for them as they covered ‘Rock’n’roll’. Liam’s front man attitude stood out whilst performing as well as the other lively members. For years Six Towns have been growing in strength each track they have brought out has matured in some way and wowed their fans. ‘Jack the Ripper’ was a little teaser that will be released next year so kept up to date with them. It is sounding like a promising successful single with mesmerizing vocals, massive power and a phenomenal melody. This could be the next rock band to come from Stoke. With the first notes of ‘For the People’ shouts and screams erupt. You think the track sounds good recorded you want to witness it live, it’s exceptional. The melody is one to obsess over, especially with the unique violin sound added to it. The 10 second silence enhances a massive impact for the remainder of the track. This is why they deserved to top the Radicals Rising Hype Chart, not only with ‘For The People’ but for their two previous singles as well.