Sunday, 23 August 2009

Wolfshit / Hanging Iscariot / Hudson @ The Sugarmill Hanley 21st August 2009

Review by Liam Kelly

Photo by Simon Bamford

The Sugarmill can be a dull, dark and dismal venue but tonight was lit up by three very contrasting acts. The first band to grace the stage to an average sized crowd were a relatively unknown band called Wolfshit. With all four members arriving on stage in wolf masks it was possibly the most unusual sight I have ever experienced at a gig. They soon drew the crowd down from the roof and straight to the front of the stage. Accompanied by only an electric drum kit and a laptop, Wolfshit kicked straight into their set with a song called ‘Sloppy shit.’ This song quickly demonstrated the bands intentions of putting on a memorable performance for the increasingly growing crowd. Their next two songs ‘Brain drain’ and ‘Lazertrash’ gave a clear indication of their electronic/dance/trip hop genre style. The vocals from the two front men were mainly heavy and powerful but both showed a melodic and tidy side to their performance.

Their most accomplished song of the night was ‘Porno Stop’. Not only did it further highlight the tribal vocals from this band, but was matched by the explosive drumming and the tight funk blasts from Sam O’Neil’s laptop. This band is like no other that I have ever seen and create a unique and heavy sound. Not only did the masks and costumes worn by the band members make it a great visual performance, but the energy and movement of the front men was also a joy to watch. Finishing the night with the final song ‘We are Wolfshit,’ this also happened to be the final line of the song. As if this crowd really needed reminding of whom this band were.

Next on stage were Screamo/Punk band Hanging Iscariot. With the Sugarmill holding a large crowd at this point, the band gave an outstanding show. Starting their performance with ‘Deus Ex Machina,’ the band soon got the crowd reaction they wanted and their loyal fanbase went wild. Their next track titled ‘September 28th’ expressed the power of lead singer Face’s vocals and was matched by the pitch perfect backing vocals of Davey and Mickey. ‘If this is Darwinism’ was a clear crowd favourite and sparked scenes of chaos in the middle of the floor much to the delight of the band, as well as members of their large audience screaming back the lyrics and clapping along to the instrumental solos. Face showed a range of heart warming melodies combined with gut wrenching screams to add to the versatile guitar riffs from Davey and Mickey, not too forget the exhilarating symbol crashing of Spam on the drums. The band interacted with the audience throughout the set and this paid off as it drew even more people to the stage. The final song of the night was their most well known song ‘A tequila to kill her.’ The backing vocals in this song played a vital role in creating a dynamic sound and showed this bands versatility. An impressive performance which captured the audience’s attention throughout.

Soon after, it was Hudson who arrived on stage for their farewell gig. They were greeted to rapturous applause and cheers. After thanking the large crowd for their presence they got straight into proceedings with their first song ‘Keep running.’ This caused mayhem in the crowd and the band grew in confidence because of this. Next track ‘On the words of others’ showed the quality guitar riffs Damo and Jack are capable of. What they lack in age they certainly make up for in stage presence and put on an unforgettable visual performance. This was backed by the powerful bass playing of front man Rick and the frantic drumming of Tim.

Hudsons last ever show was fuelled with energy and enthusiasm and they created a performance that will never be forgotten. ‘Reverie’ illustrated the passion of lead singer and bassist Rick and he belted out spot-on vocals throughout. As the set went on the crowd became wilder, and Hudson just found more energy. This was reflected in Damos onslaught of guitar riffs. The final song of the night, and the last ever song Hudson will perform live was ‘212, We’ll never know.’ This song lead to unforgettable scenes, every member of this large audience going wild and even lead to a stage invasion by a section of Hudson – lovers. As the song came to an end there was mixed emotions all around. Hugging, crying, clapping, cheering, no matter what any member of the crowd did at that moment they were all there too give Hudson the send off they deserved. An unforgettable night in which the band were superb. Hudson will be deeply missed by local music lovers and should be remembered for their passion and dedication. I feel privileged to have been able to witness the last ever Hudson show, and in my opinion, they will go down as one of the greatest bands to grace the Stoke music scene.

Hanging Iscariot

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