Perfect for Valentine’s Day; an acoustic showcase at Stoke’s best loved venue; The Sugarmill. Whether madly in love or living life single it was a night for everyone. The emotion set by every act thickened the lovey dovey atmosphere. With the stage decorated with 50 so balloons, red roses and Champagne; love was in the air.
First act; Autumn Lungs has only just entered my knowledge book of local music. I was informed he was formally in a heavy rock band called Greater Ghost; well Autumn Lungs is a transformation but still has the inherited aggressive rock feel. From rocker to an intense acoustic act; Autumn Lungs has a similar pathway as Frank Turner. There’s a debut EP out, The Long Way Round, I was luckily enough to grab one; https://autumnlungs.bandcamp.com/
Walking down the stairs from the roof I hear that song everyone now knows from the charts; Royals by Lorde. It was a cover no-one else could have topped, Maddy Gregory was joined by Ben Owen on backing vocals. Maddy has this unique twist to her personality and vocal which stands out from the rest; something quirky that people like. As it was Valentines Maddy played some covers such as Hey Ho, Lumineers, and a mash up of I’m Yours, Jason Mraz, Hey Soul Sister, Train and Can You Feel the Love Tonight, Elton John; which I must say played smoothly, there was a clever interchange between songs which got people wondering if the song actually changed. Maddy wrote a new song especially for this Valentines gig; it had a similar notation for R U Mine, Arctic Monkeys. On stage Maddy asked whether it was worth completing… well yeah it is.
Young singer, songwriting Greg Lawson has been working hard for the last couple of month producing and recording his EP Fly; finally Valentines was the release date. He covered; The 1975 with happy guitar hooks a real change from the original synth 80s nostalgia track. Greg put a somewhat delicately cute addition to the lovey dovey atmosphere; find his new EP here; https://www.facebook.com/GregLawsonacoustic
An artist I’ve been wanting to see live for a while now and that’s Stu Whiston. Originally from indie band Youtha. Stu still carries his indie vibes whilst solo, as well as carrying the indie vibes, he’s also carrying some of the original tracks like; Runaway. Stu played his single; There was a time, his dreamy pop vocals and mellow strumming led us all through a sweet journey for valentine’s night. Stu as well as playing so beautifully, succeeds as a lyricist. He completed his set with an Artic Monkeys cover; Why’d you only called me, when your high? It was interesting to listen to in such a striped back way. https://soundcloud.com/stuwhiston
A lad that can make acoustic music sound funky groovy and let so much emotion out through his vocals; Ben Owen headlines the Valentines special. His last single, You + Me has a cheery personality to it, the great thing about Ben is that he puts on a show. His rocker came out during this performance whilst covering; Don’t Stop Believing and Star Man, Sugarmill’s crowd loved every minute. My new favourite of Ben’s tracks is Be My Baby, it had vintage rock and roll twang and with lyrics that created imagery as well as a personality. Watch out for Ben in summer. http://www.benowenmusic.com