Monday, 25 May 2009

Love Music Hate Racism Final @ The Sugarmill 21st May 2009 One Horse Race / The People Involved / The Fears / Heart of the Sun / Bleached WAiL

Article by Chloe West
Photo's by Scott Sharman

In five words describe your band;
One Horse Race: Fresh and sharp indie-funk
The People Involved: Original, Rock, Dynamic, Appealing, Fresh
The Fears: Indie Dance Dark Light Lovely
Heart of the Sun: off kilter, alive, fresh and logical.
bleached WAiL: Quirky aggressive and completely rowdy

Do you think the Love Music Hate Racism festival is important for Stoke, and why?
The People Involved: Yes it is important, many reasons why but one of them is that bringing people together through music has a lasting effect and has the power to shout out, to those who oppose fighting racism, which is a valuable and worthy cause.
bleached WAiL: Yes definitely. I think a festival like this would be important wherever it was held. Racism is an issue which isn't often addressed, and in many areas just accepted. An event like this can help show people that there are thousands of people who are coming together to put a stop to racism. It will also help put Stoke on the map.

The Fears: It's definitely a good thing for Stoke. It's an important message and an amazing cause for Stoke to get involved with. It's a good way for the people of Stoke to show that there is more to us than obesity and unemployment.
Heart of the Sun: Apart from sending a very important message across our society, musically it is broadcasting what Stoke has to offer in terms of up and coming bands. It shows that Stoke has the potential to have a fantastic music scene. Its time for society in Stoke to make their stand on racism as well. Having an event like this is an opportunity not to waste and I’m glad its being taken.
One Horse Race: The LMHR festival is important to Stoke because Stoke needs it. There are people who want to vote out of anger, and certain parties have offered themselves up as a mainstream, respectable alternative. They are not. We want to expose racism in politics and help Stoke maintain a passionate, compassionate approach to its problems.

Who dead or alive would you have headline a festival?
The Fears: Radiohead
The People Involved: Probably - Foo Fighters but I speak for myself on that not sure what the other guys would say!
One Horse Race: The ultimate festival headliners will always, always be Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers
bleached WAiL: The Bhundu boys. A brilliant band who could make you smile even if you had just had your shoes stolen, you had missed your last bus and you had lost your wallet.
Heart of the Sun: Rod Stewart... because he’s Rod Stewart........just fantastic.

Why should you win the LMHR Road To Britannia competition?
Heart of the Sun: I feel answering this one is a danger. It would be awesome to win as we personally believe in our music. Win or lose though, we are there for the cause and the fans. Any prize is just an amazing bonus.
bleached WAiL: We are leaving that question for the judges.
The People Involved: Because we are different, and different stands out - it's what this event echoes and is about! Most of our songs are about believing in yourself, to break out from the constraints of ignorant and prejudice people. Our sound suits the stadium size and we will fill every corner of the stadium with a huge rock sound that people will stamp their feet to, a symbol of stamping out racism. Oh and there's soooo many indie bands about like Arctic Monkeys etc at the moment - I think our music appeals to all ages who appreciate rock!
One Horse Race: We should win the Road to Britannia competition because we truly care- we have put effort in our own time into aiding the anti-racist cause, and we display this in our music, both through anger and the love for our fellow humans. We reject the doctrine of nationalism, and imagine a world with no countries where all humans are our brothers and sisters. Besides that, we think we're a rather good band.
The Fears: Because we're the best band with the best songs and I think we'd be a good band to show what talent actually exists in Stoke.

And who, apart from yourselves, would you like to see win the final?
bleached WAiL: We know One Horse Race, so we would be happy if they won.
One Horse Race: We'd like to see bleached Wail do well, because they're friends of ours and we really enjoy listening to them.
The Fears: bleached Wail
Heart of the Sun: I’m a big fan of bleached Wail after seeing them in the heats but it would be unfair to comment as I have not seen the others.
The People Involved: I think The Fears are fresh too - have a Morrissey vibe going on which is fantastic!

Its not a regular occurrence to see the Mill graced with radio and TV presence, but the Love Music Hate Racism Final commanded just that attention. With sixteen bands whittled down to the last lucky five, the evening promised to display a handful of Stoke’s finest. Swarms of photographers scurried about the venue, film crew hung from the balcony, as LMHR’s draping banners surrounded a packed audience. Radio Stoke’s Subculture broadcast live from the roof top tiles, and even managed to give my dear Dad five minutes of air time. But what was all this in aid of? Luckily for us, as I’m sure many are aware, our city has been given the honour of hosting the LMHR Festival at the Britannia Stadium this Saturday (May 30th), and artists sweeping far across the musical spectrum are set to play. Tickets for the shindig are only a tenner, which in my mind, for such plitheroe of local and national is an absolute bargain!

It seems futile to repeat what the rest of the Stoke Sound team have already said about each of the performers tonight, but collectively it can not be said that any set lacked quality. One Horse Race delivered an arty broken down sound, very reminiscent of the genre linked to geeky Oxford band Foals, and frontman Rhys showed much enthusiasm for the evening’s cause. I’m sure if the LMHR team ever needed a new member this guy could fill the role spot on! The People Involved however, rearranged proceedings completely with their heavier, grungy style, yet in some respects this displayed a more accessible range of songs, and their professional, mature talent easily has the potential for mass appeal. Third band The Fears again swerved the night into another direction with dancier, Joy Divisionesque music, and their fan base was clear from the off set, with many a t-shirt bearing their name. One woman in particular really got things going. I can’t be certain whether this lady had spawned any of the band, but she definitely deserves a mention, simply for being the keenest audience member of the night. More mums raving down the front please. Heart of the Sun took us to the rockier side of indie, with singer James’ growling vocals complimenting the best performance I’ve personally seen them play. As in their heat the band twisted pop princess Kylie’s ‘Two Hearts’ into their own, a quirky extra to their own numbers. Not the only band to incorporate a cover, bleached WAiL quirkily jammed the Pink Panther theme into their set, a light hearted yet skilful addition to their tight set. They’ve created a minimal skaish style with a strong lyrical angle. Certainly one to look out for in the future.

After some deliberation, the judges gathered on stage to announce the ultimate winners, with first prize going to The Fears. The lucky lads will be opening the main stage at the Brit for the festival on the same bill as Reverend and the Makers, and Mr Peter Doherty. Lucky indeed. Quickly filing back into sequence to reperform ‘Victim’, it rounded off an evening of fine talent from start to finish. To quote from The Fears themselves, Stoke isn’t all about ‘obesity and unemployment’; the music speaks for itself.


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