Monday, 25 February 2008

The Dirty Mundays/The Seconds/The its/The Blue Collars, in aid of The Ben Howard Appeal @ the Gardeners Retreat, Stoke. 22nd Feb.

Review and photo by guest reviewer Chloe West

Soon after nine o' clock, first act the Dirty Mundays kicked off the night’s proceedings. With the accompaniment of a powerful lead vocalist, a raucous display of high energy rock ensued, even including the odd political lyric; they proved a very tough act to follow.

Ironically, the next slot in the line-up was occupied by The Seconds, a four-piece band full of the enthusiasm that Stoke's music scene is brimming with at present. Demonstrating elements of the early Arctics and The Rifles, they provided a set of loud, guitar-heavy numbers, which, teamed along with singer Matt Walker's fiery lyrics, created a brilliant result.

After the excitement of a lucky lad winning a bottle of JD on the raffle, The its were handed the stage; their infectious pop/rock and catchy riffs an antidote to the fast paced bands beforehand. Fuelled by 15 years experience, The its deliver a fusion of rock and indie with a hint of blues; much appreciated by their eager audience

Last but not least, The Blue Collars took to the stage; oozing confidence as singer Rob Morris held the mike in one hand, his Magners in the other. From the upbeat ‘Girls & Tambourines’, to the heavy Oasis-esque overtones of ‘Eye of the Mind' - even showing snippets of 'The Music' in ‘The Dance One’ - a wide spectrum of styles are touched by The Blue Collars. With girls, boys, beer and even the odd stool flirting around the room, it was certainly a performance to remember, least not forgetting its true cause to raise funds for the Ben Howard Appeal.

Best of luck to all other events in aid of the Appeal, and to Ben’s mum Carol in organising them, particularly if they are as successful as this evening has been.

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