Tuesday, 11 March 2008

The Blue Collars/The Title/The Rebounds/The Cazals @ The Sugarmill, Hanley. 9th March

Review and photo by Chloe West

On a night of cold and blustery weather, it seems that many took refuge in The Sugarmill, which saw a fine turnout right from the first note played.

Having recently seen them perform at the Gardeners Retreat, opening band The Blue Collars were true to form and did not disappoint. Personal favourite ‘The Dance One’ certainly got the crowd started, or in singer Rob’s words, ‘put a cat among the pigeons’. Their final song introduced a new number, ‘Possibilities’, which received a hearty response from their eager fans. For their first appearance at the Mill, The Collars definitely made an impression and I’m sure we shall see them gracing its stage more often in future.

The Title followed with a set of high tempo tunes, entwined with jangling guitar riffs, accompanied by lyrics belted out by vocalist Beef. Signed to local record label SONS Ltd, listening to the Title is like being briefly escorted back to the Sixties MOD scene, with comparisons to the Kinks or even the Who. Despite this older style, they did not cease to appeal to the audience, and it look as though new single ‘Madman’ could make an impression on the indie charts, as did its predecessor, ‘Slippin’ and Slidin’’.

Next we are greeted by The Rebounds, and to try to describe their enthusiasm will always be a difficult task. Lead singer Cappy’s confidence shone through, sporting his trademark fringe and manly swagger, as he constantly danced to the beats of his band. He even managed to look graceful when falling flat on the floor after a jump went wrong. Describing themselves as ‘iconic funk makers’ they pound energy into every number, most notably ‘Opportunity’ and finisher ‘Dealers dealer’, which cement the fact that there are big things on the horizon for The Rebounds.

Final act, the London based Cazals, surely had a high standard to maintain following some of Stoke’s finest. They produce rock and roll laced with lively electro synth, and the remixes showcased on their Myspace site demonstrate a delightful fusion of the two genres. Recent release, ‘Life Is Boring’, is lyrically poignant to those ‘who cant stand getting up in the morning’, which I am assured is not just myself! That along with their cover of Spandau Ballet’s ‘To Cut A Long Story Short’, added a pleasant element of pop to the evening.

Overall, tonight was a clear example of how local talent easily has the potential to match, if not better, bands on a national scale.

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