Farewell Fools Paradise @ Full Moon 29/12/13

 It was good to see a decent turnout of usual faces for the lads last night as it being their last gig. Throughout their set you could see people dancing and singing their favourite tracks.

Devil in disguise, was a track that stood out as Rob introduced Jord Gifford, Vellocet frontman, to the stage. Jord took over the guitar and played the last 3 songs of the set. Fools Paradises latest and last single, The Night, was played for the first time and sadly the last. As the song gets to the chorus and the beat drops and it kicks in, I could see the enthusiasm in Robs stage presence. It showed pure quality! He was making sure that they were going out with a bang.

If that wasn’t enough to make it a night to remember then the last track must of been. A cover of Hush by Kula Shaker. This track showed off the quality of the band with the help of Jord Gifford which gave Fools the farewell they deserved. They will be missed by many people.



The Ruby Dukes Xmas Spectacular @ Sugarmill 22/12/13

Youngest band of the gig, The Personas kicked the night off with an indie bang. They got into the Christmas spirit with a Santa hat on the bass; it would have been quality if they’d covered a Christmas classic. The set was full of positively, cleverly crafted tunes. Throughout the gig Iwan and Will stood out with the brilliantly catchy riffs. Memories of the Night, has a Miles Kane twist to it; it started the fire of the night.  

A band who, in a personally opinion are high on the successful ladder is, The Kings Thieves. Opening with, Pretty Lady straightaway built up the structure of the, now, blazing fire that The Personas started. They describe themselves as, ‘indie pop loveliness’. The Kings Thief’s added a spark to this thriving fire that gave them a rock element, the grittiness in some track came from vocalist and drummer. Changing the sound every track, keeps the fire high and alive. Escape the recent single always gets the best reactions, the best reaction was this time, they threw in Santa Claus is Coming To Town, The Kings Thief’s kindly give their music away for free, check it all out; https://soundcloud.com/thekingsthieves

Lads in black, Jen centre stage, the appearance of the band got the fire burning wild, even before a note was played. With Pickering White being a female fronted band, the performance is a lot more intimate and sassy, especially when kicking the gig off covering, 1972 chart topper, Superstitious. This gig showed off the hard work Pickering White have being putting in over the last couple of months. New music has a slight rock, folky feel, a style which tapped your foot and swayed your hips. White Rabbit was a thriving flame to the fire; the marching beat and beautiful vocals make this a strong track to stay in the set list. Irons in the fire were the tracks from the EP, Bullet to the Sun; the catchiness everyone knows, people were singing back and dancing to the groove. Pickering White’s heat from the fire stayed strong after concluding the set with good old favourite Bye Bye Baby.  Lady Blue Sky, with such intelligence and talent, has a professional video, check it out http: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMJP4jgWimU

Headliners of the night, the band majority of the crowd were there to watch; The Ruby Dukes, as they enter with Angels with filthy souls from Home Alone, in the background; it put a Christmassy blanket of, orange and red to our reminding flames in the fire. Newest single Paper Sunset has been moved up in the set as they’ve been working on new tunes. New track like Sirens, it’s different from the normal indie sound, it takes on an atmospheric indie kick, changing the sound and personalities throughout the set keeps The Ruby Dukes fire alight; they gradually turn this fire into a roaring furnace. Some old favourite were thrown in the set such as Up the Dosage, Winning Smile and Never Thought I’d Know; the king of scrabble, Elliot Wilcox joined the lads on stage with an acoustic guitar. The contrast of Never Thought I’d Know starting acoustic then turning into a full band was a flame that rose higher than any other. As the heat from this fire gradually got hotter throughout, personally, this was the best Ruby Dukes gig I’ve attended, the echoes of music intoxicated the crowd, especially as Love is My Fame was mixed with All I Want for Christmas is You. The combination was smooth and The Ruby Dukes made it their own, better to be original than duplicating Mariah Carey. Talent is constantly on a high in The Ruby Dukes camp, cannot wait to see what happens in 2014. See if they can keep this fire intensifying.



The Motives Xmas Spectacular @ Sugarmill 19/12/13

After being away for a long time, The Motives were back with a Christmas Spectacular along with support from Logical Drama, The Castaways and No Love Lost. There were new sounds, new members and a Christmas cover.

No Love Lost has this rebellious punk rock style along with Oasis attitude. The arrogance of the front man never changes; throughout the gig it becomes uncomfortable   to watch the set. Hands in pockets and no knowledge what’s next. No Love Lost have built up a punk rock sound that admittedly gets the crowd bouncing but with the added indie riffs and slight rapper vocal it doesn’t actually match. As it’s nearly Christmas, they covered 1973 hit Merry Christmas Everyone. Frontman hitting the high notes at the end concludes the set.

As I walked down the stairs I could hear ‘Are you ready yet?’ as I turned the corner, the crowd were absolutely ready for it. It was young lads The Castaways, as they cover Arctic Monkeys hit; I bet that you look good on the Dance Floor, fans were going mental, and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a mosh pit. Will, frontman is taken on the Alex Turner style of intelligent lyrics, from nights out, girls, love or general life, he writes it in a catchy way. The newly written track, I don’t care, have a strong indie vibe and from October, the first sight of these lads, they have grown confidence and taken on a professional stage presence. Everyone loves the Pigeon Detectives especially their single Take Her Back, for young lads, The Castaways has the talent to entertain. They must have felt a sense of achieve when people sang their single’s lyrics back at them.  Catch them 28th December at The Underground.

Something different from the indie rock genre, something different from anyone in the local music scene, it’s Logical Drama. The violinist adds a complete different element to set, whether it’s a soothing track or a heavier track, the talent is still there and shinning. Each member has a different personality, different stage presence and they each bring an influence to the sound. It’s been 5 weeks since I saw these last, they have become a lot heavier than usual. It’s a mellow Black Sabbath with an orchestra sound behind them.

Headliners of the night The Motives caused uproar. New sound, new attitudes and new member; yes, new member, Dan Aydon from previous band 3’s A Riot is the new bassist. From months of not gigging they’ve come back with a more matured and more firm, solid indie sound. The opening instrumental saw experimental riffs and elements of dance; the mix of tempo’s intrigued their fans. Good mates The Current created this choreographed mosh pit, I can say that The Motives succeeded in creating a buzzing atmosphere.  A cover of Arabella saw the simple, uncluttered arrangement from Artic Monkeys arise from The Motives; stage presence was precise to that of Alex Turner’s. Old favourite On the Ropes and Get out and Move your Feet saw the wild crowd singing back and bouncing the catchiness. The gig came to a sudden stop which got the crowd begging for an encore, same the lads didn’t.



Sherry Counsellors Xmas Gig @ Sugarmill 14/12/13

It’s the start of the Christmas gigs; 14th December commences a great month of local talent. This line showed of array of genres and talents.

Starting the night was The Carpet Lions. Wearing the exact same Santa suits I brought that very day they entertained the Sugarmill with a high level of comedy. To start the set a choreographed Christmas dub-step dance launched the rawr of laughter. This was The Carpet Lions first Christmas gig so they were pulling out all their talent; even performed an unplanned Christmas song then making it their own. The Carpet Lions definitely have the ability to freestyle and shape it Carpet Lions style.

Second on the line-up was Dirty Money No.5, the band that gathered the biggest crowd. They’ve had a jam packed year of gigging and releasing their single 4 Days, this Christmas gig was their only gig in Stoke this year. It was clear that the Stoke crowd have undoubtedly missed them. The uniqueness, creativity and all round witty melodies makes Dirty Money No.5, one of its very own. The mix of ska, reggae and house music is topped off by one of the best female vocalist I’ve heard in a very long time. Pack Your Bags, the funkiest scratchy ska track seems to be an old favourite. Dirty Money No.5 is without doubt a band to experience live, especially in the New Year when their album is released.

Sat down and cosy South Wall Corner Club launched in to their fine intricacy set. SWCC have this idiosyncratic style that builds up a thick warming atmosphere. Each smooth track has an in depth emotion and hidden meaning. Rise above the Ashes has three magnificent sugar sweet harmonies, the new tracks performs make the EP, to come out in the New Year, seem too hard to wait for.  It’s virtually impossible to make out individual lyrics as it’s beyond a general sense of melancholy and love, however occasionally lines leap out the audience, the lines that mean the most, the lines that relate to the audience leap out. Beauty In Fear has a lot of expectation in the New year.

Headliners of the night Sherry Counsellors put on a show as they always do. They walked on with their track Egyptian Way playing, a rock anthem track to signify Sherry Counsellors are on stage.  Arrogance and innocence was the feelings gathered on stage. Aveline my keen favourite, the first single from Sherry Counsellors  has a bouncing indie feel that was carried on all the way though the gig. Bouncing fans of all ages were wild for Sherry Counsellors. A switch of intriguing genres kept the audience attention up constantly. Majority of the tracks played were from their self-titled album, the album which has dance, ska, indie, rock and ballad tunes. New to the Sugarmill was the track Elixir it had a soft dance beat, an EP is to be release again in the New year, from the reaction of the crowd that night, the EP is going to be well listened to.  


The Get Alongs headline @ Underground 30/11/13

Gripping local 4 piece Rebel Attire were enthused in seizing the stage upon opening with the characteristic indie-rock sound of ‘Nostalgic Hangover’; with its initial suppressed and controlled guitar riffs which compile in anticipation of the tracks commendably forceful chorus, complemented by a poetic lyrical master class, a factor consistent in all of their music in which Politics assume a fundamental role, and in effect making their potential appeal widespread. Since forming earlier this year, Rebel Attire have established a continuously rising collection of music and one track from their set which exhibited their caliber particularly was ‘Paranoia’; its subdued but sublime melodic qualities extracted from various genres such as Blues and Alternative-Rock spring Craig Key’s raw vocal to the forefront and leave audiences enamored by its sheer exuberance. Rebel Attire has three forthcoming gigs this December and following the New Year in early January, so with plenty of chance, missing them would be a crime; ‘Rebellious’ even!

Astonishment transmitted throughout The Underground as a scramble of six accomplished musicians were compacted on stage, despite forming only this year they have swiftly developed into a pivotal asset to Stoke-on-Trent’s local music scene. Logical Drama infuse and integrate numerous tiers of sound and influences from genres; resulting in a diverse compound of atmospherically psychedelic rock with a twist. Logical Drama’s music is ever more compellingly intensified through their cover of ‘Heaven’ by Emeli Sandé, flourishing their trademark enchanting and eerie sound and further demonstrating their dynamic ability to transform the complexion of any song with their use of rhythmic guitars combined with an impassioned violin. This signature style is conveyed in their own music, and from the vast extent offered my highlight from the bunch was single ‘Escape from Reality’ which overwhelmed the venue in captivation, making a real statement concerning their musical prowess. If you’re hunting for something different, Logical Drama has got to be on your list and with a gig coming up on the 19th of December at the Sugarmill; there are no excuses!

Readily awaited headliners The Get Alongs sprightly stormed into their set with ‘Around my Town’ fuelling the crowds already rife vigor with its robust punk elements, harmonized with shades of indie-rock; a sound that enhances and intensifies their pulsating performance and emphasizes their stage persona’s, forming an surreal bond between the audience and artist that further impacts the dominance of their music with pure conviction. Soon into the set was ‘Hooligan Blues’ made up of a blend of sounds reminiscent of the likes of The Libertines or Sex Pistols. ‘Hooligan Blues’ brings the distinctive vocals a degree of vibrancy and the overall song an injection of melody led by a combination of rhythmic guitar riffs and exhilarating drum loops, forcing your attention to their animated on stage display, provoking positive reaction unanimously within their local fan base. The Get Alongs appear throughout Stoke regularly so keep an eye out on their Facebook page for updates on their whereabouts for when you can see them next!