Photos by Simon Bamford
A large and expectant crowd greeted The Decision as they took to the stage to begin the evening’s proceedings, and as usual they did not disappoint. Having reviewed them only recently, it is enough to say that they were even more confident than when I last saw them; and their fanbase seems to have grown considerably as well, judging by the screams and yells as they came on. Ben West displayed his impressive flair for soloing and drummer Liam Kaye and bassist Rob Melville more than adequately backed him up. Of all the Stoke bands, The Decision are well up there on the list of those showing the greatest promise.
The Imperfectionists also have a fine guitarist in Jaime (no surnames available on websites) and all in all, the whole band; bassist/singer Ellis, drummer Liam and later addition JJ on bass while Ellis just sung, gave a most creditable performance. Despite the audience appearing to intermittently lose interest, each number was very well received. Although their main influence comes from the classic rock school, the funky piece they played when JJ took the stage for the fifth number sounded very tasty and showed a different side to the band altogether. Finishing the set with some hard driving rock, they went off to great applause. As with the outfit before them, they showed great promise indeed.
Maybe This Friday are something else again. With a female vocalist and much more in the pop/rock vein, Maybe This Friday put me very much in mind of Blondie; the songwriting style included. Lois Stevenson has a fascinatingly similar voice and just as much power. From some angles, she even looks a tad like her (in her heyday, I might add). Shades of Clare Grogan and Altered Images shone through occasionally as well. All this isn’t to say they don’t sound original though, the songs I heard tonight had a definite character of their own. Looking like they are having the time of their lives, this very mobile outfit waste not an inch of the stage and put on a fine show - obviously, performance is something they pay much attention to. I loved the bass line in the opening number and overall the band has a set chock-full of fine compositions. I also enjoyed the nice acoustic work featured in some of them. I can’t help thinking that Lois and the rest of the band; Tyler Henry and Callum Barlow on guitars, Matt Forrester on bass and drummer Jack Watson may have a very big future in front of them. As with the previous bands, they have great, great, promise.
Maybe This Friday