Youtha immediately live up to the high standard set for them from being given a support slot for All The Young, kicking in with a fiery, tight tune and racing through a set full of well arranged songs. Matt Jones on drums still has just as much energy as he did in the early days of Agent Blue, whilst Stuart, Mike and Darren holding the front line carry just as much experience and bring their qualities to the stage of The Sugarmill.
Easily the trademark song of the set is Black And Blue, available on Youtha’s debut E.P Empty Rooms. It is a song which, when heard live tonight, shows that Youtha have all the necessary elements to produce music destined for even bigger stages than that of the Midlands number one Small Venue. The songs on display from Youtha tonight create a collection not dissimilar from that of All The Young – powerful guitar based music with lyrics that will always give the nostalgic feel to listeners, and with the potential Youtha have, they are certainly one of the main bands to watch out for in 2013.
It would be quite easy to say that the second band of the night are the band of the moment in Stoke-on-Trent, but then, when aren’t The Ruby Dukes the band of the moment just lately? As far as tonight’s set goes, the stylish, charismatic five-piece prove why they are always talked about, throwing in songs from their debut E.P Bright Lights and Plastic Pints and giving the crowd a set full of energy and ladish arrogance.
Josh Hollingworth, fully clad in leopard print shirt, is like a puppy on stage, clearly full of excitement and loving every second, and his voice is on the verge of being beautiful and should definitely be used as much as possible on vocals, especially after his and front man Zak’s great partnership for the bands finale, which is becoming their fair well song for every set now. The outro of this song cunningly slips into Kasabian, which undoubtedly got the fans who had only come to see All The Young involved with The Ruby Dukes set, topping off a great night for the lads who are building up quite a C.V very quickly.
There is not all that much to say about the headline band. Simply because the music always says it for you with All The Young. A sell out crowd for a gig consisting of only local bands from Stoke-on-Trent is easily a defining moment in what has been a year of great success, and All The Young are not only flying the flag but they are the captain of the local music ship, ruthlessly taking the voyage to stages all across the world and standing up for al things music in our beloved Stoke.
Tonight’s homecoming sell-out a The Sugarmill was a celebration of this success for both All The Young and the rest of the local music scene, and The Mill was rammed to see our boys take to the stage in what was not quite fully clad All The Young attire, but opting to wear what could be seen as their ‘home strip’ – the suit jackets and shirts are still there, only in a more informal fashion. And it fits the night, as All The Young power through songs from Welcome Home, and include a full band version of The War, previously only ever heard as an acoustic until Thursday nights gig in Wrexham.
The ultimate crowd pleaser goes to The First Time, which see’s fans chanting the lyrics along with Ryan more than any other song during the set, with fans even getting on each others shoulders to get a better look at the local heroes. After an appearance at V Festival, a tour of Australia, and of course the release of debut album Welcome Home, selling out the Midlands Best Small Venue and playing in front of people they have grown up with and gigged with in the past is the icing on a very musically tasty cake for All The Young, as the manic crowd chant “We are All The Young, we are All The Young.”