Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Wrongpop 16 Presents: Here’s to the Atom Bomb/Sunset Cinema club/Sabotage Left/Morning Sparks @ The Glebe, Stoke. July 5th. 2008

Review and photo by Charlotte Lunt

Returning to the Glebe for its monthly soiree and boasting a very strong line up, Wrongpop again trundled into town last night. It was great to see the Glebe so full for this evening’s performances, especially with quite a few local bands being represented amongst the audience too.

The evening was opened by Here’s To The Atom Bomb, who proved to be real crowd pleasers. Melding various genres together and providing a slick set the five-piece raised the bar high from the outset. Lead by Phil Jones’s commanding vocals they race through their songs with a cracking pace, with an enthusiastic guitarist stumbling into the audience at one point. With such a strong performance it is difficult to isolate any one outstanding feature, suffice to say that the overall energy and ability of the band make them one not to miss, and a fantastic start to the evening.

Sunset Cinema Club took the venue by storm being powered along at speed by their drummer John whose purposeful playing steered them through the set. Delivering a rawer sound than their predecessors, with strong melodic hooks and funky bass lines, or as they describe them “vibes, styles and grooves”. The trio shared vocal duties and interchanged the front man responsibilities with ease providing contrast and an interesting dynamic to their music. At times there were clear jazz influences in their music especially through the driving bass lines and quirky vocals, as well as a much harder edge which provided a curious yet compelling contrast.

The venue filled again when Sabotage Left took to the stage, and presented a static charged half-hour. They have a more commercial edge than Sunset Cinema Club, and their instant appeal saw the audience bounding along to familiar songs like ‘Seventy Five Quid’ and ‘Walking on knives’. Driven by the solid drumming of Damon Cocko, and with the passionate vocals of Oliver Craddock their music evolved through out the evening making the most of the venue and truly bringing it to life. The amount of effort and passion that went into their performance was clearly appreciated by the audience and evidenced by the many camera flashes and nodding heads.

The final set of the night belonged to Morning Sparks. Having seen them play before I was not disappointed. Playing complex pieces that appeared to draw the band into a trance like state, they enticed the audience to do the closest thing to dancing that I’d seen all night. The first strains of ‘Mother Said’ drew the few remaining stragglers in from the damp evening to see a band thoroughly enjoying themselves judging by the grins. With such a slick performance by these musicians it was surprising to hear singer Chris Russell commenting that they “we’re just having a laugh tonight”. If this is their idea of a laugh then we should take this as a warning as their parting shot was an amazing soundscape fed by distortion and feedback hitting frequencies that should have razed the building.

Yet again, another superb night by Steve Clarke and Wrongpop.

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