The Underground opened its doors to display three great acts, firstly being solo warrior Monster I am. He takes to the stage with grace and a humbleness you don’t usually find in artists. During his set – in front of a very small crowd unfortunately, but nonetheless a crowd which can be heard muttering how amazing Daniel Hodgkinson’s set is – Monster I am throws in a brilliantly emotion cover of a Katy Perry tune, which is stripped completely of its pop persona and giving an acoustic beauty possibly only Monster I Am can create in it. Sat alone in the middle of the stage, the gig feel s extremely intimate and the passion put into the set by this artist is visible throughout. Ending his set with great tune You And Me, Monster I Am has followed up his great performances with Aaron Mobberley and The Rat Race to further put his talents onto the music scene once more.
Chasing Traits have a soft, sweet opening to their set before bursting into a range of Sigur Ros-esque sounds. A few technical difficulties going into the second song leaves the fans patiently waiting for a few minutes but the matter is resolved before any worry of the crowd becoming disgruntled. The third song is introduced by bass player James Taylor as a new song which is yet without name. He also says that the band have not gigged for some time, and, although this is shown with hints of rustiness here and there, it is clear throughout the set that the quality of the band is very much still there.
Chasing Traits are certainly a good, strong band with great technical abilities, but one worry is that the bands best songs seem to be the instrumentals, with the band playing some amazingly tight sequences and extraordinary guitar moves. This is a band that have plenty of potential, and, while there are numerous things that can be improved, there is no doubt that 2013 will be a good year for Chasing Traits should they continue down the road they are currently travelling on. The band end their set with a good, catchy song, which is seamless throughout but for one slight error during the kick-in. Chasing Traits will definitely be one to watch at The Hippy Horror Festival this Hallowe’en having had a couple more gigs under their belt in its run up.
Faux Feet open their headline set with a very tight intro and sneak straight into Down, track two of their intelligent debut EP. Sian is, as always, a joy to watch on stage as she loses herself in each song, but then, Faux Feet really are a joy to watch. They stroll on stage and seem to glide through their set like a ship through a calm sea. Modest as ever, Faux Feet tell the crowd how great it is to be playing, even though the crowd is not anywhere near the capacity the music deserves.
Third song of the night, Sleep Paralysis, is a contender for song of the year in Stoke-on-Trent. Even live, it still contains the progressive, artistic sound which you have to expect from Faux Feet. On second thoughts, scratch that. Handlebars could be song of the year. It exquisite in its guitar work and the vocal effect is carried by great reverb. It is an all-round mystifying song, while Battleships see’s vocalist Sian take up her guitar. The Fender Strat/Telecaster combination in this song works fantastically, whilst closing, coasting song Tribes see’s yet another hard hitting tune with seamless individual work throughout. Faux Feet are without doubt one of the most intelligent bands to cross the music scene in Stoke-on-Trent, and, as long as they can keep their passion and have a drive to push forward, there’s no end to the success that could be awaiting them.