The Blue Collars – Cheater 

The opening moments of The Blue Collars latest song reminds me both of early noughties Indie and late 70s Punk….Why? The call and response Guitar intro, very reminiscent of the early Razorlight and The Libertines for more modern day listeners and yet it might bring back the Nostalgic feel of the early Clash records for the older listener with hints of Television put in for good measure.
However something that both sets of listeners will relate too is the swaggering vocals given to us by frontman Rob Morris, while Liam Gallagher is the obvious comparison, one can also tell a striking resemblance to the likes of Johnny Rotten and Henry Rollins.

The Track itself is a catchy one with a belter of a chorus, the more you listen to it the more you realise why The Blue Collars are fast becoming one of the strongest bands in the area.  

The band’s next stop is The Sugarmill on the 4th of April, if all Blue Collars fans enjoy the record as much as I have then I’m absolutely confident that it’s going to be anthem for all Blue Collars fans for ages! 

Ryan Evans – Amongt the Masses

From the first fifteen seconds of this brand new track from Ryan Evans, it’s clear that Amongst The Masses is a song for all fans of indie rock. One of my favourite parts about this song is the slight pause before the chorus, which holds you in the verse for just a second longer. From the guitar in the verses, it’s obvious that the chorus will pick you up and drop you in a nostalgic wave of indie inspired rock – and of course, it does. The bridge brings a whole new dimension to the song, yet still carries the rising feeling felt in the previous verses. Whether this was intentional or not, Evans has built the song up ready to be dropped instantly in the chorus. Simply put, the chorus is a big deal and I love it. Every bit of this song is strong, and has obviously been planned and thought out down to the last detail. Vocals from Evans are just as striking as the song itself. Yes, they carry the sound expected from an indie artist, but Ryan Evans manages to bring something new to the table.

This is definitely a song to blast in the summer sun, with friends or on a long drive out. For now though, it will have you dreaming of warmer weather and pressing repeat on this great track.


Moral Panics @ Sugarmill 13/02/15

The Hinds, Bonsai and Moral Panics – potentially some of the best indie rock bands Stoke has to offer. So I think it’s definitely fair to say the night looked to be pretty impressive, and despite the fact that unfortunately LIVES had to pull out due to illness, the show still went on.

The Hinds have really nailed their sound; a whirlwind of indie rock with a sprinkle of alternative country thrown in there. The result is pretty accomplished and one that appeals to everyone on some level, which made them perfect for opening the night. The mixture of pulsating melodies and the intuition of their material was a nice sight to behold, and you could see what genuine lads they were and that they were having a blast. Seeing their personality shine through made it that bit more personal which really paid off and everyone seemed to enjoy it. At this rate things are only going to continue on the up for The Hinds as they ooze potential and I’m looking forward to seeing what else they have lined up for this year.

It’s safe to say things are looking promising for Bonsai, who were next on. After their recent appearance on BBC Introducing from Stoke it seems that the spotlight has finally turned to the local 4 piece. They exerted just the right portion of classic indie rock influences and also drive as they stormed through their set, and the vocals held a nice edge that complimented the whole vibe they had going on. There’s something charming about their presence on stage, and their cover of Kings of Leon’s ‘Use Somebody’ promoted a frenzied stir within the crowd and everyone seemed to be in their element belting it out. As they finished they left behind a buzz of excitement and a spark of potential, and with a gig at the Underground next month I’d definitely suggest you get yourselves down there and check them out.

Moral Panics are always a band that is eagerly awaited for with their home shows at the Sugarmill. After an eventful past year being on tour around the UK and with the success of their EP ‘Wlvs’, it’s fair to say they have earnt their renowned place in local music. Having been to a fair few shows of theirs over the past year, the progression they have made is impressive. They possess the perfect amount of eccentricity, and with that comes the effortless cool quality that they are known so well for. The fast drumming and quirky riffs produce a Foal-esc sound which is constant throughout their set, and everyone seems to love it. And who can blame them? There’s nothing more exhilarating than hearing that hooking sound that many of us have grown to love. Despite the energetic and rhythmic pulse to their tracks it’s also worth appreciating the lyrical work that has gone into them which rounds them off to be something so alluring and meaningful. ‘February’ unleashed a state of madness into the crowd yet they also balanced this energy with more calming tracks, although it has to be said this didn’t stop the crowd from going mental at every opportunity. Moral Panics are a prime example of a band that always brings something new to the table and they have definitely grabbed everyone’s attention. With a Manchester show on the horizon it’s inspiring to see local talent go on to such impressive things and this is only the start.


Adam Shaw – I Like Dat

I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to be a house artist than the present. For the past few years house music has dominated the charts, with the likes of Skrillex and Calvin Harris both having top 10 hits.

That’s why when you hear Adam Shaw’s latest single, you know instantly that he’s created something good.

I Like Dat is definitely something you want to hear in a club on your nights out. Throughout every aspect this song delivers, a constant yet sometimes distant rhythm remains making it fun and catchy. The track rises and falls exactly where it should, taking you along with it. Whether you like to dance your heart out on a Friday Night, or sweat your socks off in the gym every week, this song has it covered.

Adam Shaw has managed to combine a range of samples, sounds and beats to create something great. I Like Dat is so ridiculously catchy, it will have you pressing repeat as soon as it finishes.


Pale Waves – The Tide

You might think you’ve heard everything that indie music has to offer, but when you listen to the new track from Pale Waves you’ll be proven wrong.

The Tide is instantly my new favourite song. Not only does it get you singing along almost straight away, but this track carries a real feel-good sound that leaves the song lingering on your lips for some time. The main aspect of this band that singles them out from the rest is vocalist Heather Baron-Gracie, who delivers each line with passion and a sound that when combined with the electrifying echo of the guitar, provides Pale Waves with a sure fire winner. A short breakdown in the middle of the song momentarily takes listeners to an eerie new level, leaving the guitar to paint a misty picture from somewhere deep within its core, yet gradually building the song back up to where listeners were originally left hanging on. A similarity could possibly be drawn between the four piece and The 1975, although there’s something about this band that really sets them aside from anything else I’ve heard.

It’s hard to explain how you know that a band have got something special just by listening to one track, but that is exactly how you’re left feeling as the final chords play. The Tide is definitely the start of a long list of high quality tracks that’s sure to come from Pale Waves. Personally, I can’t wait to hear them.


The Assist – In Your Ear – Single Review

Being labelled as the ‘next big thing’ these days can be a bit like a half price sticker in a supermarket, it can be less of a blessing but more of a warning. It might be too soon to give this tag to Walsall’s ‘The Assist’, but its definitely one step up rather then two steps back. The band have supported the likes of The 1975 and The Happy Mondays, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the band support even bigger names by the end of the year.
It maybe easy to guess who the bands influences are, but it’s hard to guess who the band would listen too prominently, the influence sounds like it ranges from mid 60s Garage Rock to modern day quirky indie like Jamie T, The Fratellis and early Arctic Monkeys. The intro riff is very comparable to the modern day bands mentioned, it’s an incredibly catchy riff that mixes well with the vocals. The song on a whole is both very catchy and very enjoyable and it leaves a lasting impression.
This isn’t your run of the mill indie band with catchy riffs and observant lyrics, this is a band moving up a level that their contemporaries couldn’t even reach with a metaphorical step ladder.
With a lot of bands you can listen to a track and forget about it later on in the day, However I find that this song gets better every time I listen to it.
Tom K