Acoustic Showcase @ Sugarmill 09/07/14

Most commonly know from local legends The Control. Joe took to the stage with a very similar approach as everyone knew and loved. His lyrics so strong and opinionated, many would be left shocked however also very relatable to many working class people in Stoke on Trent like himself. Such a distinctive voice just left you speechless. Conversations were stopped just to admire the beautifully husky voice. Claiming he needed three songs to ‘hit peak’ ; many would disagree average Joe hit peak the second he opened his mouth. Despite the lack of people inside the Sugarmill, unlike the sweaty bouncy Sugarmill he was used to, Joe gave his absolute heart and soul into every word he sang leaving the place feeling the emotions. Sipping his Newcastle Brown in between every song, jokes would come out leaving people completely engaged and keen to hear his next witty line. The comfort on stage was shown as clearly as he wanted to be on there for as long as possibly, despite there being a tight schedule. Left hopeless from his band, average Joe proved to be more than average.

This was Peterr  A’s first gig, nerves put to one side, stage presence was displayed like Peterr A had been playing gigs for years, second song a cover by Train, Hey Soul Sister, left people in the crowd singing along to the delight of Peterr however some notes were sung that weren’t meant to be sung, despite this though Peterr A redeemed his mistakes with strong vocals coming through via another cover by Green Day. Original track I’m Leaving You saw Peterr fill with emotion as lyrics clearly meant a great deal to him. After this gig we hope to see a lot more from Peterr A only progressing into the stoke music scene even more.

Energetic covers throughout the set by Narn saw her with a very unique ukulele adding to the confident stage presence, awkwardly forgetting to plug her guitar in isn’t what you’d want before playing a song, but the way she covered the mistake up with a joke to her mum in the audience made everything alright. With her powerful stadium filling vocals, we could easily picture Narn playing much bigger venues. However the whole set appeared to all merge into one with no distinctive stand out song. The whole performance appeared to be very scripted and very rehearsed. This young talent has a lot to learn but come this time next year this girl will have only progressed and become a much better performer.

Soft melodic harmonies accompanied by an electric keyboard bought out complete potential of Emma Corbett Usher’s voice. Songs you could easily see in charts and played on the radio raved about by many. The Sugarmill isn’t quite a big enough venue for this young talent. Great use of a loop pedal allowed Emma to explore her range with the use of technology leaving those naive to the way music technology works amazed by the talent. A very modest character left confused by the great applause she received at the end of every song she played. This girl doesn’t know how good she is

Maddy Storm entered the stage full of confidence absolute buzzing off her opportunity of her first Sugarmill headline, accompanied by Nick Joyce on drums most well-known from his work with Bet It All and another friend of Maddy’s, Jake on guitar. Maddy Storm stepped out of her comfort zone of playing just her and guitar and explored more into the depths of what it would possibly be like if she were in a band. A great voice, none of the less, many would agree that Maddy needs a band to show off her true potential and allow her to achieve to goals she appears to have set herself. Very rapidly growing all the more popular within the local scene, Maddy gave supporters a great show to enjoy, with many more quality performances to come.

The night as a whole was very much stolen from the first act ‘Average Joe’ who was undeservedly the first to appear on stage. However all acts gave a great night for acoustic lovers to witness.



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