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.