Sunday, 15 November 2009

Vellocet/Acid Sunshine/Screaming Lights @ The Sugarmill Hanley 11th November

Review by Liam Kelly
Photos by Leo Mazzocchio

First band to arrive on stage to a modest sized crowd were local band, Vellocet. Starting their set with a sublime instrumental solo and then kicking straight in with 'We are the Frontline.' Ryan Barker approaches the mic with a style similar to that of Liam Gallagher whilst screaming out a vocal performance with the passion and quality of influences such as Arctic Monkeys. This is supported by Jordan and Ash on guitars, Louis on Bass and Leigh on drums. Jordan’s soaring guitar riffs combined with the perfect delivery of Ryan’s vocals make Vellocet a must see band. A set packed with energy and enthusiasm on stage gives this band a great stepping stone to go on to big things in Stoke. Songs such as 'The one and only' and 'I am alive' make leaving the mill without humming the warms of Vellocets heart-warming choruses an impossible task.

The main support slot was taken by a new 5 piece from Stoke called Acid Sunshine. It’s fair to say that I have never been so impressed by a band on my first viewing of them as I was by Acid Sunshine. Front man Andy Character had one of the most demanding stage presences I have seen and he clearly knows how to entertain the bands loyal following. They are a group who put on a visual performance of real quality have a sound similar to that of Queen of the Stone Age and Tokyo Police Club. It’s the songs such as 'Black Star' and 'The Citizen' that have made this band so popular amongst their loyal fans, with the symbol crashing of Kev Jones on drums mixed with the fast and furious guitaring of Lee, Day and Jack. The bands most accomplished song of the set was 'Billy no mates' which has a chorus boasting that 'feel - good factor.' A band who are a must see and in particular for Andy’s humour and entertaining stage show.

The headliners tonight were a band who come from Liverpool, Screaming Lights. A band who are riding on a wave of success from an album release and Radio 1 airplays, it was clear tonight to see why this band are kicking up such a fuss in the music world at the moment. Starting the set with the popular 'Volts' shows how this band have become so popular and with the range in pitch from front man Jay Treadell, the band have a unique sound that could see them go to on to even bigger things. Liam Riley’s funky techno beats on keyboard is the benchmark for the band and throw in with this the raw and edgy bass playing of Alan, the aggressive and symbol thrashing of James on drums and the tight sounding guitar riffs of Max then the band have the quality to perform a track as 'GMN’; a song that will be rattling around your head for days after. Other noticeable tracks that continued to show Screaming Lights accomplished sound were 'Hello Tomorrow' and their most successful single to date 'Phenomena.' The variety of instruments used, including synthesisers and piano, give the band that edge over other up and coming guitar bands, and Jay in particular boasts a range of musical talents that make him the perfect front man. Unfortunately for the band, playing at The Sugarmill on a Thursday night doesn’t usually attract the biggest of crowds and tonight this was again evident. This had no effect on their performance and these are a band you should expect to see many more albums and festival performances through the next couple of years.

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