Review by Steve Dean
Photo by Simon Bamford
It appears there were four bands on the bill this evening, but unfortunately we missed the first one as proceedings began a little earlier than normal. I didn’t get their name and I offer apologies. Anyway…
We Dream of Discovery are one of those young bands that make you sit up and take notice, so to speak. I was impressed with the maturity of their playing and the incessant nature of their opening number’s main riff gripped me from the start. In fact, there wasn’t a dud song in their whole six number set. They seemed to have brought a sizeable fan club with them and the place was packed with appreciative teenagers throwing themselves about wildly to the beat. All I can say at this stage is that they can only get better and better and maybe their dream of discovery may well be more of a reality before too long.
Whilst listening to Tribal Brides of the Amazon’s first song, it struck me that if Elvis Costello and the Attractions, who rode in on the back of the punk revolution some thirty years ago, actually had been punk rockers, this band is what they would have sounded like. Composition-wise they have some very interesting ideas and a listen to the songs on their myspace profile demonstrates this well. Vocalist Jim Mycock sings with a certain frenzied energy and his efforts on ‘Jaws Four’, which incidently is about the number’s only lyric, but a very enjoyable song nonetheless, had him hollering fit to burst. For me, highlights of their set were ‘Better Days’ and the closing number ‘Dim Hills’ had them rocking out to a juddering wall of feedback as Jim and lead guitarist Jake Morgan applied pick-ups to speakers with raging gusto whilst drummer Michael Walsh and Bassist Jon Cole wound the song down accordingly. I must add that Tribal Brides of the Amazon, as their title well suggests, have an intrinsic sense of fun that reflects well in their numbers. A fine and well-played half-hour show.
There was a sense of high anticipation as headliners The Control took the stage and once they kicked in, I understood why. Beginning with a new number, the title of which I didn’t quite catch, but lyric-wise referred in the main to the seeing of no ships, The Control more or less had the whole audience springing around in wild joy as they struck the very first note. Their overall sound is somewhere between ska and indie/punk and their enormous potential is much in evidence. Their second number, the beaty ‘Crimes of Lovedance’ has immediate bouncing appeal and it was during this number that cracking bassist (no pun intended) John split the neck of his EB3 bass straight down the middle, adding the rueful comment “don’t buy Epiphones, they break too easy”, before hastily borrowing a replacement. They have a solid frontman in vocalist Joe (yet another band with no surnames on their myspace profiles) and their third song, ‘The Wings Have Fallen Off’, with its chanted verse and slow and beautifully-chorded middle eight grabbed me right from the start, as would all the compositions to come. It was then I realised that with the right direction, this band has one big future. They also boast a fine guitarist in Rich, who kept knocking out snatches of Hendrix’s ‘Little Wing’ in the short intervals, and a powerful man behind the kit in drummer Greg. Being another young band, I just hope they stick together. They have a big future; of that I’m certain.
Congrats to the Band Stand for putting on yet another great night. This really is becoming one of the most popular venues in Hanley, and quite rightly so!