Lymelight 2013.

Lymelight – organised on a Bank Holiday. The weekend people except rain, one thing that shocked us all, the sun was out. Lucky for Lymelight the sun stayed out. It was full steam ahead for Sir Richard Buxton in the positive warm atmosphere. Lee Barber starts the tunes, I start the dancing. Everyone was in for a quality weekend with the handpicked, outstanding local acts and finest milkshakes.

Friday 4th May

Phil Madocks kicks Limelight off. An acoustic artist inspired with folk and a reflection of pop, Phil was joined by another guitarist, Nick Baynes. He added a deep acoustic vibe for the morning.  For a weekend full of sun; Phil beautiful charmed the crowd with a chilling bluesy twang.

Nicola Jayne with her amusing sense of humour and character displays this through her performance. Lyrics wise, Nicola Jayne takes a book from The Smiths, witty and catchy but yet emotive.  She impresses Lymelight, cleverly with her simple guitar riffs and harmonica brace.

Adam French hits Lymelight with pure emotion. The gentle guitar yet gritty polished vocal intrigues the shoppers surrounding Newcastle. On his own with a virtual kick, shows that Adam, even live, wants to show off his platform of influences; for example, Back Where I Belong has an upbeat tone whereas Just Another Day with a blues tone.

Gaz Powell despite being late played array of different covers. Covers from Elvis, Alex Clare, Jason Mraz and Pink Floyd; covering songs can get restless to the crowd but as for a town centre festival it was much appreciated. There were people dancing and singing along, however covering Pink Floyd he put his own take on the track, showing his creativity.

As for David Jiminez-Hughes his talent is incredible. His talent had a Spanish take on guitar playing. People walking past were mesmerized; it gives a unique difference to the morning.

Coming back from Liverpool after doing a midnight studio session, Emilio Pinchi still played his wonderful set. Playing songs from his past EP, Popular Myth and Conflict as well as the track he’s written and composed whilst in Liverpool. I personally, can’t wait when (if) he comes back to Stoke to see what LIPA has done to change the gifted songwriter.

Sea Based Turtles were minus a guitarist but a guitar is just one of the musical instruments and skills Sea Based Turtles have; saxophone, drums, bass and rapping.  On a perfectly sunny afternoon in Newcastle, a bit of reggae didn’t go a miss with the shoppers and crowd.

With only two thirds of Ghost Trains able to performing they still created a rock acoustic sound. Ghost trains have a clever balance of different eras and different genres. For example they have a 60s pop vibe yet a powerful folksy feel too.

I said Ghost Trains had a powerful take, but my goodness so have Troops of Mafeking. Josh Jones being the hardest drummer in Stoke on Trent makes Troops one of the loudest. Everything within the band is clear and to the point which makes them who they say they are – ‘loud’. Tracks such as, Broken and Chugg Norris, got the town of Newcastle shaking.

An uncommon sound to come from the Stoke on Trent music scene, is Dirty Money No.5. A reggae twang, twisted with all different influences. A new women vocalists added power to the band. They clearly have a lot of musical talent indiuvally. A mention of a free CD, people from every angle of the stage were throwing themselves at the band, just shows that people at Lymelight were fully enjoying it.

Having every CD designed in a different way and all handmade, Psyence just doesn’t stop with the wild ideas and doings. It was a set consisting of new tracks especially Zebra. Zebra is Psyence’s new single which is totally mesmerizing yet only a short amount of time. However Psyence with their incredible talent deserve more recognition. Watch out for the Psychedelic Loons.

Mod quartet, Fool’s Paradise, brought along their crowd as usual and performed a genuine musical set. Set Me Free an older track has been enhanced into a memorable Fools tune. New tracks such as Lost In Time and Get It On has a more mature melody, but nevertheless Fool’s Paradise created a storm in Lymelight with their music, like everywhere else they go.

Through the 20 minute change over, Iron Market was soon flooding with people. Vellocet pleased everyone with the psychedelic rock and roll madness. The intense build of Nimbus is like a warm up then to end it a cover of Fat Boy Slim, Right Here Right Now. Who cares if it’s an Ibiza rave tune, Vellocet but their magical ways around it and they could easily get away with it being their own.

Facebook only names three people in this band, yet they have so many different talents on stage when performing. It was the first headline of Lymelight – The Rivalry. It all starts with a voice over from the well known film Quadrophenia. Influences from The Charlatans comes from the 90s effects keyboard and Stone Roses influenced vocals and riffs. It’s quite unbelievable with the sound they create and they way they look how they pull it off live, every time.

Sunday 5th May

The coldest day of the weekend but the sun was still shinning. Helena Raby chills everyone out with her soothing vocal and gentle guitar playing. Shy in person but on stage her voice is confidently divine. Covering track from Daughter and Laura Marling showed her influences off beautifully with no sight in completely replicating them.

A bit louder than beautiful Helena, a side project to Friends of Ken – it’s Jub Jub. Ben and Sven with two guitars and a drum machine pulled this early morning slot off.  Jub Jub consists of catchy choruses and clever riffs, so clever in fact Ben got carried away and forgot to sing. It was a warming set as Ben interacts with the audience with pointless yet humours stories in-between songs. Brilliant.

Venn Goodwin, new on the scene in my eyes put on a lovely acoustic set with a mash up of covers thrown in. Mixing Michael Buble and Aloe Blacc was somewhat clever, a ballad soul track with a pop soul track worked great.

If you want a boogie or a sing song, The Alucinors are the duet to see. On a slightly sunny day, they pulled people in with the perfect harmonies. Key features from these lads is; sound is their imagination, persistence of a tuneful melody, close coordination between words and music; it represents a new category more sophisticated than pop … and uniquely innovative. Amazing.

Chasing Traits didn’t play as a full band but half of them, Brad and Luke, kept the interest with an acoustic version. Luke’s lead vocals had that ray of confidence which made people watched and stared. As an acoustic duet Chasing Traits still brought that twinkly atmospheric vibe to Lymelight.

Lymelight upped the antic when Staghouse appeared. Energy was bouncing from Hippy Hippy Shake and back. Adam’s stage presence is makes Staghouse, as well as the funk rock melody. The distortion and the over drive of fuzz from the guitar, highlights an influence from Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Youngest of the line up, The Current perform with new songs and a cover. Hints of a funky bass, psychedelic riffs and bouncing beats gets excitement running around the Lymelight crowd. The Current are the typical indie band that everyone has a soft spot for. Next stop for the lads; supporting Catfish and The Bottlemen.

With a new bassist and new songs, The English storm into Lymelight and gather a crowd. The English create a solid passionate 80s era style music. They called themselves ‘proper indie’; they have aspects of indie with the simple structure and heartfelt lyrics.

If Jak Lancett couldn’t get enough attention in The English he’s plays again with Kadence; with still a fag in his mouth on stage.  The hard hitting drums, thrashing guitar and screaming vocals certainly drew attention.

So, The Ruby Dukes perform again. Adding in a walk on song for front man Zak shows everyone at their best talent. These indie rockers get Lymelight packed, the catchy riffs and energy intrigues anyone and everyone. Paper Sunset will be the next single for The Ruby Dukes in July, seeing it live tops their awesome set off. Next Stop; supporting Catfish and The Bottlemen.

T-shirts were floating around as were the lads for most of the day. The Clique put on their dirty indie dance performance. These are worthy to be seen live, Gary, Arron and Luke all have the movement and energy whilst Ash continues that addictive beat. Mixing Rhythm is a Dancer and Lady Gaga gathered a varied crowd. The Clique were definitely loved by Lymelight, everyone wanted a top.

It was the last gig for Neon Rouge for a couple of months. They left people hanging in a perfect way till they come back on the scene with new tracks and new recordings. Still fresh in the band, Jamie adds a mega bass solo in the set. The people of Lymelight were fascinated by the experimented track, Venus flytrap. I’m confident to see what Neon Rouge come up with next.

Creating a 60’s laid back vibe, Alfa 9 entertain Lymelight with new track and some good old ones too. Old Man Blues will always be my favourite, the rockabilly blues riffs and gritty vocals intrigued people to boogie. Harmonies everyone loved from these guys, Seedless shows this brilliantly!

Second headline of the weekend is Six Towns. Songs from their new EP (not yet released) Welcome to Asylum were performed. Stop the World gave Liam his piece of fame whilst walking (with swag) on stage. The crowd moved further towards, which means they must be doing something right. Having to blink twice when Liam grabbed the guitar came to a shock, it may have been simple but it added extra rock and roll depth to their natural sound.

Monday 6th May

Sunniest morning of Lymelight and Simon Evans stunningly starts Monday off. Joined by himself, guitar another guitar and a bongo drum it was looking interesting. Simon’s music was the sort you relax to with a cold drink in the sun, it was perfect for the setting at Lymelight.

After busking the day before, Ben Owen delights the main stage with his folk, rock, pop style. Ben has this tendency to, wherever he goes people like him; it’s either his loveable friendly stage presence and personality or the catchiness of his songs, whatever it is Lymelight enjoyed it. Covering Gun N Roses shows that Ben doesn’t stick to the typical folk tracks but goes afield and experiments.

Brains for Breakfast, I was very much looking forward to see, as it was my first time. I liked it. It’s just one man and his guitar or ukulele. Andy’s voice seemed somewhat too good to be on top of acoustic. His humorous lyrics give away a sense of punk pop influences. Playing at Lymelight, people enjoyed the happy humour and cheery melodies.

A slight piece of alternative rock; its Monster I Am joined by Brad from Chasing Traits. The deep, dark kinda mysterious tone of Dan’s lyrics intrigues Lymelight to stand and watch his emotive performance. Tracks give away a hint of personally experiences that some people can enjoy and relate too, covering Katy Perry in such a gentle ingenious way saw Monster I am out for the sunny day.

The sun was at its best as the stage was being decorating for the funk rockers Nuclear Safari. Funk was at its max with the 6-string bass and Emily vocals got people in the groove. Common Attraction has a vein of reggae streaming though the solo. Nuclear Safari being female fronted is high up there for uniqueness; it wraps the music together in a bundle of rare talent.

2nd to last gig before they go off into their separate projects, The Rat Race bring a reasonable crowd to Lymelight. If Emily Law was good enough in Nuclear Safari, she joins The Rat Race for One More Day.

From distorted punk to electronic house music, Tiffany Lunn appears on stage. With three albums already and plenty of experience Tiffany Lunn is new in my eyes. Track such as; Our Existence included a vocal too, it has a late 80s rave type style. Whereas other tracks seem to create a calming, chill out vibe, especially at Lymelight as people were sitting on the floor soaking the sun in.

Another act new in my eyes is Son of Shinobi. This 5 piece rock band, certainly gathered a few hard rock fans at Lymelight. Strong influences such as; Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam run firmly through Son of Shinobi’s original music. Next stop, The Brunswick in Crewe.

Roots To Nowhere put Lymelight behind schedule but they pulled the crowd in with their distinctive style nevertheless. Next stop, July 28th Bidstock at the Commercial Hotel in Wheelock.

After listening to their music and meeting them, it was my first time actually watching them live. Pickering White originally a duet, performs at Lymelight as a full band. Influences from many different genres come together to create the uniqueness of Pickering White. Harmonies with Jen and Matt show off their 60s influences; for a fairly new band, they have the professionism to get further.

This band have immense talent individually and together, this band with a genuine passion for music; it’s Dirty Rotten Souls. Just coming from tour in April and a release of a single ‘I Am Alive’ Dirty Rotten Soul didn’t half impress Lymelight. There raw bluesy rock style fascinated people to put down their beer and watch close up.

Lymelight just keep throwing these new bands at me – Headsticks. After tasting their delicious milkshake from Hippy Hippy Shake, I was looking forward to watching them. They had a punk vibe about them with strong passionate, politically lyrics yet a soft touch in melody.  Headsticks have an up and coming album in August.

Just as you thought Lymelight was coming to an end, it was actually the end. Sound Casino polished the weekend off with a real rock and roll attitude. Sound Casino played a set full of new tunes, new tunes that have an indie rock approach with added arrogance from front man Sweeny. The recent single Dirty Dusty Stereogram gets Lymelight singing back at them with the loud and genuine rock and roll choruses.



The Pigeon Detectives @ Sugarmill 28.04.13

I purchased my ticket weeks in advance, as straight away from the announcement I knew it was going to be a sell out. As Pigeon Detective told me, Stoke always kicks off, I trusted them and took a safe option by staying on the balcony; they were right, Stoke no doubt welcomed them again and will in future times. Supported by London band, MUST and The Black Sea.

The Black Sea began with a hard drum intro followed by killer riffs and 80s synth. From this I knew they were gonna be cool. From the pop 80’s sound to tinkling psychedelic cymbals then to rock n roll Rolling Stones-est. The Black Sea covered genres together that suit their mellow yet hard personality. To end the set the lads looked proud that they won over a sell out crowd.

MUST, put together a competition on Twitter to win tickets and it happened to be,  Neon Rouge, Joe Tomasso from the Stoke local music scene which was pretty awesome. MUST, have that typical indie rock sound with the driven beats and repetitive choruses. Harmonies in the backing vocal give a diverse approach to the brash main vocalist. The debut EP can be found here;

They need no fancy, flamboyant performance to deserve a chorus of cheers; all they need is the energy and talent. That’s right; I’m on about The Pigeon Detectives. From the first step on stage Matt was bouncing from corner to corner and edge to edge. I must say from a personally insight Pigeon Detectives don’t make the best music around but what they do, they do it exceptional well – colossal sing-along choruses and melodies that erupt the Sugarmill floor. With a jam packed set to please the night, it was full of old tracks like Take Her Back and new tracks like Animal woven together. Pigeon Detective from new to old have a trademark sound which will be damned upon them if they change, but in all fairness the maturity of this band has grown.  Salutes were thrown in the crowd along with the bottles of water; Stoke crowd must be doing something right. The buzz and excitement in Matt’s stage presence soon brushed off on the crowd hence countless bodies been carried over the barriers due to crowd surfing. It ended on a much wanted encore with I’m not Sorry of the new album ‘We Met At Sea’. The admiration from the band to the crowd made this intimate gig hard to walk away from, people just didn’t want to leave. Unquestionably the best band to see live. 


Lee Barber earlier in the day on 6 Towns Radio interviewing Matt and Ryan: