Sunday, 8 November 2009

The Nanateas / The Only Alternatives / Skinny Pigs @ The Underground, Hanley

Review by Liam Kelly

Photo by Simon Bamford

Tonight’s opening band were the local trio, The Nanateas. A band that clearly aren’t too keen on following the indie rock and roll genre that is evident with most upcoming bands at the moment, The Nanateas played an acoustic indie pop sound throughout their set, and their unique sound surprised the crowd. A group heavily influenced by bands such as The Beatles and The Pixies gave a tight sounding performance, and in particular lead singer Andy showed a melodic and tuneful vocal performance. Dan on Bass and Ang on drums backed Andy and the songs that stood out best during this act were opening track ‘Street Lamp life’ and ‘Enthusiastic Dave.’ Upon first listening the bands style seems simple but as their set went on their performance became one of infection and exuberance. The crowd seemed to be enjoying the memorable melodies of The Nanateas and they kicked of the night in style. A band I will certainly be looking out for in the future.

The second support band for Skinny Pigs were young 5 piece, 'The Only Alternatives.' What this band lacks in age and experience they certainly make up for in stage presence and confidence. The band kicked straight into their set with the catchy and upbeat track which unfortunately I didn’t catch the name of. Lead singer Cam Conway found his vocals in the next track ‘Have you seen it?’ and he belted out a powerful vocal performance of which we’d expect from band a lot older than him. The audience seemed to be particularly impressed with the bands versatility too pull of a cheeky cover of Arctic Monkeys ‘Still Take you Home.’ Charles Steele’s fast and furious drumming set the platform for the band and add to this the neat guitar riffs of Jordan and Paddy and the powerful bass playing of Jack and you sense that these lads could go onto big things. Songs such as ‘Keep the Heat’ and ‘Robot’ reminded me of the sound of early Arctic Monkeys and its clear to see they are heavily influenced by bands such as The Enemy and The Stone Roses. With a few fine tunings and more chances to play live, the future could hold big things for The Only Alternatives and I will be one of many following this band all the way.

Tonight’s headliners were the ever increasingly popular Skinny Pigs. Unfortunately tonight’s gig had not been very well advertised and after some confusion with dates, their usual large crowd was not present. This had no affect on their performance though and as ever, they put on a memorable show. Frontman Craig Paterson has a rock and roll attitude that puts Liam Gallagher to shame and the lad’s appearance suits the Indie Rock genre like no other bands. The track ‘I’ve got a fever’ has the potential to be one day released as a single and showed the bands qualities all around from the powerful vocals of Craig, the frantic drumming of Wez, the authoritive bass playing of Ben Nixon to the tight sounding guitar riffs of Lee and Sam. Skinny Pigs have a gritty sound that stands out from other bands in Stoke at the moment and was best shown in crowd favourite ‘It’s all about the Rock and Roll.’ The band continued their fast tempo in tracks ‘You never listen’ and ‘Wait for nothing’ and Craig was superbly supported by the backing vocals on Lee and Sam. The band weren’t at all effected by the crowd size and ‘drink it up’ saw the audience screaming back the chorus. Ending the night with ‘Wish you were here,’ the band ended the night in style with a excellent instrumental solo for the final few minutes and left the stage to rapturous applause and chants of ‘Skinny Pigs na na na.’

The Nanateas
The Only Alternatives
Skinny Pigs

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