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


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