The Dead Famous @ Underground 29.09.2012

Staffordshire Rocks 2011 winners Nuclear Safari open Saturdays Underground gig. Their distinctive pop rock sound is created with slow mature form of rock music harmonized with the subgenre of pop music. ‘Funky Joe’ was a song that caught the majority of the audience’s attention. The funk pop bass line and exciting guitar riffs got the singer – Emily and the audience grooving.  Emily’s soft gentle vocal surprisingly matches the heavy beats Luke creates. Her rapid voice wasn’t far off rapping but scraped the edge as the other members were creating a quick paced energetic melody. You can have a listen to their music on their Facebook and Soundcloud page.

With no sound check Neon Rouge smash the Underground. There was a new member which was the keyboard player and to be honest their performance live is more awesome then last time. This newly formed 5 piece have improved and it was beneficial. Taking a front row position for the first time was amazing, to be close to the band and really feel their music was something everyone should experience! When you see a band member looking proud of another band member it tells the crowd they are doing something right and they have a massive passion for what they’re doing. Neon Rouge earlier that day released their 3 track EP. They played all 3 tracks, ‘Not Good Enough’, ‘INIZO’ and Radicals Rising chart appearance, ‘Fisty Cuffs’, the complete sound was  intense and took possession of everyone’s attention with Kieran’s quality vocals. DORS saw the fresh new existence of the official Neon Rouge mosh pit which will in time grow. Big news for Neon Rouge, they will be playing at the Hippy Horror festival on Sunday, be there to catch them.

Rock mental influenced From Within grace the stage with their heavy sound that drowned the Underground. Their harsh drum beats mixed with pounding guitar riffs is what makes their sounds their own.  It was a shock to find that these guys are like 15/16. Lead vocalist sounds as if he’d be experienced by big musical names like Billie Joe Armstrong. If their music and personalities doesn’t scream passion I don’t know what does. They added humour and individuality to their set with an Aloe Blacc, Fat Boy Slim and Jay Z puzzle, the astonishing thing about it was that the crowd loved it. From Within have an EP which they worked on with famed producer Shawn Lowe and they finish their set with the EP titled track ‘All or Nothing’.

The Dead Famous all the way from London headlined tonight’s gig on their Hide Your Halo tour and they didn’t come alone, they brought a handful of fans too. With their pop image and pop sound they sure formed some Stoke fans predominantly girls. They informed us they were having an MTV video out next month with ‘Superstar’ appearing on it, even though this band may not be local, I and the fans they gathered wish them good luck in the rest of their tour and future events.

By Lucee Clarke

Sissy and the Blisters @ The Sugarmill 22.09.2012

The Black Mirrors open The Sugarmill to an unfortunately lack lustre crowd, but Mark Mason was born for the stage and the small crowd are immediately cast under his spell. Guitarist Paul has a slight technical problem during the first song but it is very quickly resolved and it’s business in the passion filled set. The bands’ second song is really eerie and haunting, as you come to expect from this beautifully talented, and still quite new band. Towards the end of the song the four piece go wild, with Paul jumping into the mosh pit area to viciously thrash his guitar in what already seems to be looking like the performance of the year here at The Sugarmill.

 The Black Mirrors make full use of vocals, with Mark being joined by both bass and guitar player on several occasions to form song showing strength in depth. Every time I see The Black Mirrors perform, I am taken over by a passionate reminiscence of joy division. Not in their sound, but in their absolute need to stand alone against the mainstream, to be unique and to become iconic to a generation. Mark only adds to this sensation as he stands alone at the front of the stage, gazing out at his audience which he knows is in the palms of his hands tonight.

Closing the set with yet another beautifully crafted, eerie song, Mark really lets himself go on the stage and on the mic, which, prior to the gig, informs me he is well impressed with because of the style of the mic stand being more suitable for a singer than a guitarist, a point well proved throughout the set. Mark throws himself about around the stage, bumping into bass player Stu Hannah and biting his neck as he does so, before falling to the floor on his knees and crying down the mic in a passionate and romanticised manner. What a great end to a great performance.

 “Hiya, we’re The Control and we’re gonna play some songs for you. This first one’s called Britain.” And so the show begins. Singer Joe’s simple introduction was powerful enough to mesmerise the still small yet appreciative crowd. The Control play a set as tight as ever, on superb form are these four lads tonight, in front of a crowd far too small compared to what the band deserves. The technical ability of The Control is outstanding, each member being brilliant artists, yet it seems to come so easily for the band, and the sound they give is on a completely new level to most other local bands. Playing in different times and still staying perfectly in time and sync with each other, an attribute very few bands can boast, and yet The Control seem to do it without effort.

Joe plays the set with his shoes off, and asks someone, anyone, in the crowd to get him a beer in. He even has the money on the stage waiting. He then belches, rather impressively down the mic and carries on with the great set.

Headliners Sissy and the Blisters, hailing from Guilford, come to the stage and immediately rip it up. The swagger, in particular from the front man, is not too unlike that of Stoke’s own Mark Mason of The Black Mirrors. Their set, quite unusual and unique, and full of energy was the reason local boys Electroshock Therapy turned up at The Sugarmill for the gig. The unfortunate lack of crowd did not interfere with the bands performance, as they thrashed their way through the set relentlessly full of passion. Certainly a band to keep an ear out for in 2013, Sissy and the Blisters will hopefully be causing more of a riot should Stoke be lucky enough to be visited by the four piece again.

Underground Heroes @ The Sugarmill 21.09.2012

The fans already begin to gather outside The Sugarmill a good half an hour before doors even open, stating immediately that this gig is going to be big. A quick chat with The Motives- with their newly Christened fans the Motivators hanging all around up on the roof- and the four piece are well up for the gig if not a little ‘scared’ as singer Alex Grocott asks his band mates Dylan Mellor and Will Plant, as Callum Tinsley still scurries about getting rid of the last few tickets.

Just before the band jump on stage and open the night for Underground Heroes, a big crowd gathers at the front of the stage- very impressive for an opening act. On girl asks “Is it gonna go crazy?” One has a feeling it just might, you know.  On stage the band seem quite relaxed and open their set seamlessly and seemingly without effort as the crowd immediately gets moshing to the bands hectic start. The girl asking if it’s going to go crazy has already lost herself in the mosh pit. Second song is a cover of Arctic Monkeys tune Brianstorm and the corwd really do go crazy now. The girl is now missing it’s kicking off so much. It’s uncanny how alike Alex sounds like Alex Turner in his vocals, yet he still somehow seems to keep his Stoke accent. The boys play through a few more of their own racey songs and the crowd is kept buzzing throughout the set until the set is ended with another Arctic Monkeys single, this time I Bet That You Look Good on the Dancefloor. Again the crowd go wil and The Motives leave the stage with Richard Buxton wondering whether he should have placed them higher on the bill of his forthcoming Hippy Horror Festival.

3’s A Riot take to the stage with the crowd seemingly unawares that the brilliant indie rockers are kicking off downstairs, but luckily they all rush down from the roof just after drummer Dan misplaces his cow bell during first full song You’re Not Going Home Tonight. The crowd quickly starts to build at the front of The Sugarmill and the riots chants soon get thrown boisterously around. Singer Joe is clearly a little anxious at the ‘lukewarm’ start to the set with fans not being there right from the start, but he needed have worried, the moshing soon got going and 3’s A Riot were up to their usual trick of ripping through an amazing set with talent whilst still causing the fans to go crazy.

Joe thrashed through the set with immense passion as always, Tonight The Sun Comes Up goes down well with the crowd, with Joe ripping through the chords on his new 1980’s Fender Strat, which “is a looker for sure” as he says himself. Loyal as ever, the fans are suddenly all over the place, losing themselves in the music of these great indie rockers and the Mill is now going insane in the mosh pit. At ease, Joe, at ease. And so he is. Thoroughly enjoying himself on stage now and making moves whilst strumming his guitar that could see him in time find trademarks like those of Pete Townsend. A Song For The People is met with a great reception, with the crowd, including myself, all secretly hoping that the bands final song will be current Hype Chart number one Lose Control. During the breakdown of Song For The People, Joe goes solo with his vocals and the crowd join in for what must be a very proud moment for Joe and the rest of the band.

And then it was time. 3’s A Riot end their set – and it must be noted that tonight’s set has been incredibly tight, possibly the tightest I’ve seen the four piece perform – with the amazing Lose Control and that is exactly what the riotous fans do. To watch, it is an amazingly proud moment to see a local band have such an effect upon their local fans. With Sheffield Academy coming up in November, one hopes 3’s A Riot get the reception they deserve out of Stoke-on-Trent.

Underground Heroes, the true heroes of the music industry, doing it for themselves without any management what-so-ever, carry on from where the local bands had left off. The Sugarmill is now full to the brim downstairs and the hectic night gets even more hectic as the band eff and blind between songs and make full use of the stage during each brilliant tune. The great thing about seeing a big non-local band such as these at The Sugarmill is that it makes you realise that the local heroes such as The Motives, 3’s A Riot and all the other great acts in our city can share a stage with people like Underground Heroes and not only rise to the occasion, but fit right in.

Paper Tigers E.P ‘Safe In Words’ reviewed

‘Safe in Words’ straight away signals how ardent the lyrics are going to be and what the record will illustrate throughout the continuance of 16 minutes. With the first listen of the EP the initial image in your head are the wild fan girls at the front of a gig practically kissing front man Jim Carters feet. It’s a sophisticated version of Kids in Glass Houses, but louder, and heavier.

Paper Tigers storm into the EP with ‘Summer on Blossom Street’. Jim’s modern vocals and faint guitar melody makes this undeniably a hard track to follow. The repetition of, “How do I get you alone” alongside the back vocals, “na na na na na na naaa” marry as one with the air punching drum beat. Elongating, “woaaaah” and “yeeeeeah” beguile the loveable crowd in with the mesmeric lyrics.

The build up of guitar chords and soft vocals soon turn into powerful drum beats and beautiful harmonies like reminisce of Kids in Glass House combined with Metro Station. It’s goodbye to recycled post-pop and hello to refined five piece – Paper Tigers. ‘Back to You’ shines and the bright ray of sunlight is Jim’s vocal ability and uniqueness.

Just as you thought the tempo was lowered, the rapid, drilling melody in ‘Vignettes’ begins to infest your bodies, heads nod and maybe the cheeky, little catchy lyrics sings out. I never really thought rock and pop go together as a genre but with the brilliance of Paper Tigers musical creations I now believe in it.

Yet again a track that will easily loiter around in your head for another day so is, ‘The Whistleblower’. “Will we ever feel like this again” indicates the songwriter has had break up, make ups and moved on which has influenced them to write these stereotypical pop genre songs with the heavier melodies.

Hard work, effort and passion and style are the four main ingredients within the Paper Tigers recipe for success. And they will be successful.

 

For more info on Paper Tigers go to http://www.facebook.com/wearepapertigers

Aaron Mobberley @ The Sugarmill 15.09.2012

As the home of local live music The Sugarmill has seen Aaron Mobberley take to the stage many a time but his headline slot on September 15 was a little different. The night saw the young singer songwriter, celebrate the release of his new single Unison Harmonies. This was actually the first time I have managed to see Mobberley on stage since he has moved away from the post punk stylings of the Clockwork Owls to embrace classic folk.
When the small crowd, including Mobberley, were presented with a huge screen playing the music video for aforementioned single the atmosphere was, at first exceptionally awkward. But as soon as we all got sucked into the well filmed video for a very involving song the awkwardness melted away. Once the screen went black Aaron stepped on stage to the sound of enthusiastic cheers.
We’re getting ahead of ourselves though, before the headliner punters were treated three highly enjoyable support acts. Samuel Astley warmed the crowd up with his Americana tinged acoustic sounds who was followed by Monster I Am. The duo who have a bigger sound than Astley rocked the venue up a little, with the a mix of original songs and covers the pair received a great response. The highlight of Monster I Am’s set was definitely their smooth folk take of The Killers Mr. Brightside which when trying to draw a sound comparison would have to be described as somewhere between hipster god Bon Iver and American indie punks Halos. The final support slot was filled by Irish singer songwriter Marc O’Reilly whose acoustic root style lulled the crowed into a quiet appreciation with his highly emotive vocals and delicate guitar work.
Speaking to the headliner before his set Aaron actually confided in me that he felt that O’Reilly was a hard act to follow, so did he manage to provide the performance of the night?
Of course he did! Tonight was Mobberley’s night. The night he unleashed his brand new single on his home town and the majority of the crowd were close friends and loyal fans who made the young musician feel instantly at home on the familiar stage. As soon as he had his guitar in place the small but visibly excited audience flocked to the front of the dance floor.
For the first few songs Aaron was alone on stage with just his guitar for company. Opening with his set with gentler songs allowing him to showcase his wonderfully husky toned vocal to perfection and giving him the chance to up the tempo midway through his set when he was joined on stage by his live band. On record all instruments are played by Aaron himself but live he needs a little help for his heavier sounding works. The talented trio who are the musical backdrop for Mobberley’s lead guitar and vocals with the occasional harmonica thrown in for good measure filled the Sugarmill with sound which the crowd responded to with severely enthusiastic dancing. As I glanced around I noticed that many people were singing along to every single word.
Bookending the night with the rawer but if anything seemingly more heartfelt live version of Unison Harmonies was the perfect finish and you could tell that as he descended from the stage Mobberley was insanely proud of his performance and that of his on stage musicians and the glint in his eye indicated that he simply can’t wait to get back up on stage. I have a strong suspicion that there will be much more to come from Aaron Mobberley in the years to come.

By Cerys Goff.

Sworn To Oath @ The Sugarmill 14.09.2012

Tonight Sworn To Oath return to their home town to play The Sugarmill on their Band of Brothers UK Tour, with support from fellow local unsigned bands Hate Behind The Veil, Deadset and Gravities.

Hate Behind The Veil, a local five-piece are first to take to the stage with the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme tune playing as their intro. Their heavy metal/metalcore sound, or to some just plain ‘noise’, is very much influenced by bands like Asking Alexandria and Parkway Drive. Their second song of the night is a cover of A Day To Remember and they are joined on-stage by one of their friends to assist with the vocals. Before playing their next song ‘Everything’, lead vocalist Steve Clowes admits: “We don’t know how to play this song but we’re going to anyway”. This song gives us a brief break from his growls and screams for a little taste of melodic vocals. Once the song finishes Steve says that their guitarist was apparently playing the wrong song. Hate Behind The Veil are currently working on and writing material for their first EP and currently looking for a new rhythm guitarist. The band played a lot of their new material during their set, a nervy thing to do when playing new music to new ears. One of the new songs is called ‘Weight of the World’ and vocalist Steve Clowes asks the crowd for some moshing, which some fans obliged to.

Next up are hardcore four-piece Deadset, who were formerly known as ‘No Time For Heroes’. A new line-up and slight style change has led to a much tighter sound since I last saw them play as NTFH last year supporting Adelaide at Harry’s Bar. The band boasts good guitar intro work and the melodic backing vocals from Alex Baskeyfield really enhances their songs. Their demo ‘Autumn Nights’ starts with the raspy shouts of vocalist Oliver Griffiths which leads into gang vocals of the lyrics: “There’s a coffin calling my name, there’s a grave calling for me”. Drummer Dan Cartlidge makes use of a sub which adds that extra oomph to each of their songs. As the floor of the Sugarmill gets fuller it’s clear this band has a strong local following with the crowd clapping along to their songs, two stepping and shouting back their lyrics. This is a band who have headlined The Underground as NTFH and played alongside the likes of Letlive and Heights and have more musical success yet to come. As they finish their set and leave the stage, the crowd show their appreciation and chant “Deadset! Deadset!” a fitting end to a solid performance.

Gravities walk on stage to the Space Odyssey opening theme song, an alternative rock band, with no screaming vocals and no heavy metal riffs. Given tonight’s line-up of heavy bands, Gravities had the hard task of taming this audience that came to see much heavier sounding bands. Vocalist and Guitarist Adam Lowell’s looks and mannerisms on-stage remind me somewhat of Ricky Wilson, the lead singer from the hugely successful indie rock band The Kaiser Chiefs. Their songs are graced by the fantastic vocals of Adam Lowell, brilliant guitar work and epic guitar solos from Ben Forrester, who’s striking long-haired image stands out from the rest of the band members. Their set includes the song ‘Turn The Corner’ off their first EP but they choose to finish with a new song that Adam says has no name. He then asks the crowd if anyone has any name suggestions, and to email them to him, a good idea if you ask me.

The last band of the night are metallers Sworn To Oath, a much loved local band that over the past three years have been giving their fans energetic performances with every ounce of sweat they have to offer. They are currently writing material for the debut album which is due out sometime next year. As they kick off their set in traditional Sworn To Oath style vocalist Tom Shaw asks the crowd: “How the f**k we feeling tonight Stoke?” raising a cheer that resonates throughout the room. Deadset vocalist Oliver Griffiths joins the band on-stage to sing a cover of Pantera’s ‘I’m Broken’ and when the song finishes, in true rock-star fashion Oliver stage dives into the crowd. The crowd really liven up when they play ‘Last Call’, singing and head banging along. One thing is guaranteed during a STO gig is lots of head banging and hair flying from band members Tom Shaw and Dave Leese, as well as the crowd who follow suit. During their set guitarist Dave Leese says “This is the best crowd we’ve ever had in Stoke”. Their next song ‘One Split Second’ opens with “Hey, hey, hey!” which the crowd shout along to, punching their fists in the air. Saving the best to last they finish their set with the song ‘Leave You For Dead’ and the entire venue shouts back the lyrics “Leave you for dead!” Another great performance from the STO guys.

Becky Davis was at The Sugarmill 14.09.2012

The Ruby Dukes EP Review

Bright Lights and Plastic Pints is the EP released by The Ruby Dukes. Listening through all the songs without a stop shows off their mixed influence and likes. It’s hard not to sing along, nod your head or tap your feet to the simple, well textured sounds they create.

So beautiful like a black sheep, is the kind of lyrics The Ruby Dukes have created. With unique lyrics it shows the bands full potential of writing something as good as their lyrical influences – Pink Floyd. One genre of music that springs to mind whilst listening to ‘Cut the Shackles’ is psydelicia. With the sophisticated guitars, ambitious drum beat and precise bass line it ticks all the boxes.  “I don’t wanna be the one” is a great chorus line for the fans to sing along and enjoy.

Radicals Rising’s chart topper ‘Elephant Dance’ shows off bassist Mike’s song writing – “Out into the rain again there’s a sliver sky waiting to rise again.” It has that Brit-Pop 90’s echo towards it with the dancey component.

“Girls no Fun” kicks in with the simple drum beat then it builds up with the layering fuzzy guitar riffs which give it that contemporary rock and roll sound. Lead singer Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys creeps into mind with Zak’s high-speed vocals.

On the EP it’s called ‘The Secret Song’ but as I learnt from the lads it called ‘The Happy Song’. It’s recorded acoustic, I’m a big lover of acoustics’ and The Ruby Dukes have hit the nail on the head with it. The sweet guitar playing gives that impression of The Courteeners. The song writing is yet again unique. It sounds like these lads have had break-ups and gone upon them to write their lyrics – “But I think I’m over you”. For a full band to form an emotional yet charismatic track shows people their up for a challenge.

Throughout the EP each track has a distinct element to it. It’s adventurous for The Ruby Dukes to have so many different influences and likes but within their sound and personalities they do it effectively. By knowing which tracks are new you can see how far this 5 piece have come along. Their sound has matured and I, along with others can’t wait to hear more from them.

By Lucee Clarke

3’s A Riot @ Underground 01.09.2012

Arriving half an hour before doors open and already the underground wall was full of teens leaning against it waiting for the mental night ahead. The amount of times I’ve been to a 3’s A Riot gig its surprising I haven’t reviewed them before,  but this time I took a step back and stayed well clear of the mosh pit.  They were supported by new indie band The Ruby Dukes and the return of re-mastered four piece Vellocet.

Starting the sell out gig off was The Ruby Dukes with their single ‘Elephant Dance’ it was Kasbian –esque. The instrumental gave us something to watch Zak was an energetic front man and Josh was like 2nd to front man it was just like Tom Meighan and Sergio Pizzorno. ‘This Town’ showed guitarist Rick what he’s made of. He did his own solo to begin which showed us the vigorous riffs that raised everyone’s energy levels in the room.  ‘Winning Smile’ straight away brought Liam Fray from The Courteeners in my head. With the silent gap in the middle really enhanced the ending. With only coming into the music scene at the start of the start of the year it’s surprising they have such an indie sound that will mature as they go on in music life. New track ‘Little Romance’ had an addictive melody which drummer Ollie pulled off. Each track throughout the night as I listened carefully told a story and they had those popular catchy choruses which people adored. ‘Cut The Shackles’ heard the repetitiveness of “I don’t wanna be the one” with the angular melodies and riffs. ‘Girls No Fun’ had a hint that maybe they like The View. Listening to The Ruby Dukes music it’s evident they have a lot of indie influences. Everyone was in The Ruby Dukes zone as they kicked into ‘In The Zone’, everyone caught on to how to sing the chorus! Another new track from the dukes was ‘Love Is My Fame’. It has that psychedelic indie rather that rock indie about it. The instrumental was awesome and highlights that their new songs are gonna be better as they progress. I kind of knew these were going to sneak some Kasbian song in this set, ‘LSF’ was the cover they performed. The Ruby Dukes are a great band to cover Kasbian as by the sound of them they are big big fans.

Vellocet’s new line up consists of Jordan Gifford – vocals, rhythm guitar, Ash Simpson – lead guitar, Leigh Dewey – drums and Louis Wilson –bass. Nimbus fired up Vellocet’s performance. People were standing and staring in amazement to hear the monstrous noise they can make. They are a top band for doing instrumentals. Jord says after first track ‘Black Widow’ “It’s good to be back”, I’m pretty sure everyone in the underground and the fans have missed them, they are glad Vellocet are back too. Dewey’s drum beats in the tracks were addictive in people’s heads and toes, with a band like Vellocet they have such unique lyrics that sound awesome with the melody “devils angels watching over me” is one example. New track ‘She Is The Sun’ is the most gentle song they’ve created. It starts with a bongo solo which is great because number one-  watching a band use a unique instrument is original and number  two –  listening to it sounds amazing. Vellocet have been hard at work, constantly in that recording studio getting songs written and practise completed, so to show it all off they play another new track – ‘New Horizon’. Seeing Jord as a front man for old fans maybe weird but for me as a new fan I found Jord ticked all the boxes– the attitude, the voice, the humour and the stage presence. Throughout Vellocet’s set the toe tapping gradually got heavier and turned in to foot stomping. The repeated vocals at the end of ‘New Horizon’ – “Can you feel it” is one of them where you just want to jump on stage with them and join in. Adding humour to the set Jord performed his ‘rehearsed’ backwards roll and quotes “that’s was part of it”. Personally I didn’t think they were going to play ‘Sahara’ as I found the week before it’s like a 50/50 chance for it to sound right. 6 mintues long, as a four piece and without keyboards Vellocet smashed it right in everyone’s faces that they CAN be a successful four piece.  Covering Fatboy Slim has been in the cards for Vellocet for years and finally they have performed it and personally watching it I was so zoned in to them with all the other people in the room. The build up of the drum beat drowned inside of everyone taking over and everyone was bouncing in unison. It’s time to step on board the Vellocet train and head towards success with them.

It started like an Ibiza nightclub as 3’s A Riot enter with a dance tune and throwing beach balls out to the audience. Without further ado they were away, energy levels were soaring, imagine the mosh pits at mainstream festivals it was somewhat near to that. Front man Joe Tomasso persistently gave out commands of “Jump” and everyone listened and took notice and jumped. ‘Not Going Home Tonight’ puts Joe at the near top of the vocal pinnacle with Dan keeping the bouncing beat. The first chords of ‘The Wanted Man’ and arms, lighters and phones were in the air. It was familiar to Oasis, nonchalant drum beat; well composed guitar riffs the vocals that remind me of Gallagher’s. Popular track “Tonight The Sun Comes Up” began with the ‘famous’ chant the fans created. Throughout 3’s A Riot gigs it’s like a rollercoaster ride, they are clever at bringing the tempo down but bring right back up for the hardcore moshers. The powerful guitars riffs matches the harsh drum beat faultlessly. 3’s A Riot have been a busy band recently creating new track for their EP. One of their new tracks is, ‘You say. It’s gone. Its over’. It made Joe’s front man attitude shine. By the sound of things 3’s A Riot have been working their little socks off to get these new songs loved and they’ve hit the jackpot, the crowd were immense for it. There has been a buzz around for a while of whom or what was their special guest  to appear on stage with him and finally it was revealed. Local rapper Lance Phillips was brought on stage and performed a new track with the four lads – ‘In The City’. It was different, the crowd admired it but personally it’s not to my liking. Lance overpowered Tomasso’s unique vocal which was a risk they took, its either you love it or hate it. I think 3’s A Riot have that creative edge about them which is adored and will be forever adored. Their music is going to be ever changing but still listen to and brought by present fans and additional fans. Back the normal 3’s A Riot now and ‘I Don’t Like Your Tune’ see’s Toby adding captivating backing vocals and even though each member were by now drowned in sweat they  gave the rapid melodic track a right bang. The Pigeon Detectives indicated an influence for the four piece as they covered 2007 track ‘Take Her Back’. The audience were screaming the lyrics back at them and Tomasso working the crowd extremely well. ‘Lose Control’ describes the atmosphere if you ever attend one of their gigs. It was obvious that 3’s a riot themselves and every single human being in the underground had lost control throughout the song at some point. 3’s a riot are one of them bands that absolutely adore their fans and as Toby says after the gig on facebook “I’m lost for words honestly, you lot mean the world to us, I wish I could stand on the door and kiss every single one of you on the way out”.

Lucee Clarke interviews Vellocet

Six piece into four piece band, I join Vellocet in their self styled practise room for a catch up on what they have been up too. Here’s the new line up of newly formed psychedelic trip and rock n roll band; Jordan Gifford – vocals & rhythm guitar, Ash Simpson – lead guitar, Leigh Dewey – drums and Louis Wilson – bass.
Recently turned front man Jord said, “it feels more natural being a four piece” and Leigh said, “it was tough with being a six piece, recording and having to go back on the songs making them sound perfect”.  Their well known track Sahara is like a 50/50 chance for them at a gig as they’re missing the key board player – which they still want, so if you’re into the sound of Vellocet and can play the keyboard get in touch! Rehearsals for them are on the cards most days and sometimes Fridays, Leigh adds “too old getting f***ed every weekend” but they joke and say “that doesn’t stop us”.

Their most enjoyable and important gig was Camden Town in London a venue called Purple Turtle. Ryan the previously vocalist quit the night before but this didn’t stop them showing London what they’re made of. The gig at The Full Moon in Newcastle was their first play as a four piece it gave that light at the end of the tunnel feeling that it was going to work.  They have that excitement of a new band again. The gig where they will be supporting popular indie rock band, 3’s A Riot is the big test for them, the test of playing as a four piece successfully in front of a new crowd; hopefully grabbing more fans. Jord said, “I like playing to unknown people it gives a humbling honest reaction”.  Plus playing at the Underground they seem to have a buzz about it Louis says, “We used to sell out the Underground all the time”. It seems to me the venue holds alot of good memories for these lads and alot of good gigs especially ones with good mates like The Rivalry. The biggest gig as this new four piece will be Keele Uni 22nd December with The Rivalry. Translucid, Jet Set Cadet, The English, Vellocet and Six Towns. When they first arrived on to the Stoke-On-Trent music scene “it took off” says Leigh. They supported The Blue Collars who were massive at the time and the week after supported The Control. They just need to find the gigs and the fans again and Vellocet will be back on the scene.
One thing that Vellocet are looking forward to is Hippy Horror 2012. They are the main support for The Rivalry on Sunday. Playing outdoors and playing with friends is a “good charm” for them. In 2011 they played Rugfest 2011 and by the stories that I was told and the enuastism in their body language they really enjoyed it.  They attended a dance fest one year so I asked if they found that an influence, Jord said, “They have a good layering system” which basically means they have different genres they like and pick pieces and add it to their unique sound or as Jord comically adds, “Were Vellocet and we do French Dubstep” he finds coming a front man challenging and says “have to get some jokes” so he can entertain.

“Kiss the sky with the guitar” signals an influence of the musical legends. Vellocet have a thing for the good old boys, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd for two. The man at the minute is Jack White, whose man isn’t he? He makes such good music. Jord talks about Jack White, “I look at them and think if I could get anywhere close to what they’ve done”.  I saw in the distance on the wall they had numerous NME covers of a mixture of artists and bands and one that caught my eye was Noel Gallagher. I asked who they’d prefer Liam or Noel and it was Noel hands down. Jord says, “Noel is one of THE best songwriters” but Leigh adds “Oasis would have been nothing without Liam” which is very very true. Artists and bands like Paul Weller and Primal Scream that are forever changing their sound are a massive influence for Vellocet.”We don’t sound like our influences more taking something from them”. I asked who they would tour with and where, they replied with Jack White with the Dead Weather project which is everyone favourite, “America would be the one down route 66”. They would like to tour with Queens of Stone Age because they like the heavier sound they make. As the conversation went on it made out as if they were a secret heavy metal band and Jord added, “Heavy as you can go without being metal”. They all agreed Primal Scream would be “quality” to tour with.

Vellocet admit as a band they are really bad at promoting and creating a crowd outside of Stoke. They focus mainly on writing and sounding good. The material for Utopian Skies is gradually getting their and here’s a sneak peak on what you’re going to be seeing on the EP; Nimbus, She Is the Sun and they’re going to re-work Sahara with Jord’s vocals and add that too. Leigh mentioned they created a music video for Nimbus. They performed it in their very own practise room with flashing images and Vietnam shooting too, it looks dark and sinister. Louis added, “It looks like an anti government thing but it’s not it’s a good video”.  I asked if they thought any track could hit Radicals Risings Hype Chart and they seemed pretty confident as Sahara hit no.1 straight away but the first track they mentioned was New Horizon so keep your ears open to hear that! They have a cover of Florence and The Machine – You’ve Got the Love to play at their gigs which is a pretty original cover for a band like Vellocet so I can’t wait to hear that!

With Hippy Horror fast approaching I asked them if there were any surprises they had planned. Previously they have done Velloween at The Full Moon and Jord says, “Normally we go as the clockwork orange gang” but they all agreed that them in tight white jeans is not happening again. Richard Buxton – organising of Hippy Horror asked Vellocet what song they would like to enter on, Jord said, “Were a bit like tongue and cheek because we like taking the p***” they were thinking of Imperial March from Star Mars whilst dressed as Jedi’s. It came clear as the conversation got funnier their band motto is ‘Not Too Old To Party’.

When I asked if there was any competition with bands their answer straight away was, no. If there is any it’s friendly banter and in no malicious way, they help each other out as much as possible. Jord helped Fools Paradise out one gig and radio appearance and they have a little idea of getting Dan Bailey (drummer from Fools Paradise) to collaborate with them. They are fond fans of Translucid, Psyence, Electroshock Therapy, Fools Paradise, The Rivalry and every band that does well in Stoke really.

Their set at the moment is kind of stepping stones; there are 4 songs that they feel super comfortable with. Excitement fills the room when they speak about the hard work their going to be putting in to making this April/May next year EP shine. Summer 2013 is Vellocet time.

Vellocet want to get back to selling venues out, creating an awesome atmosphere and getting back to their success with the “mammoth sound”.

Thanks lads for an entertaining night. If you want to catch these playing head over to http://www.facebook.com/pages/VELLOCET/106890402399 and keep up to date! It was confirmed today that Vellocet also have a shake at Hippy Hippy Shake Company so head down there to taste it – one month only!

By Lucee Clarke
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