Monday, 22 February 2010

Talk is Cheap / False Pretense / Sold out Story @ The Sugarmill 20th February 2010

Review by Sian Eardley

Photo by Wayne Upton

It was a big night for local acts at The ‘Mill, with first support act ‘Talk is Cheap’ releasing their first EP, as did headliners: ‘Sold Out Story’; currently doing a circuit of gigs in the area to promote their tracks.

Much of a muchness, last night’s Saturday performance saw 3 punk-rock bands play fantastically well, but was overshadowed by the weakness of vocals (which cried out for some punch, maybe even an American tarnish to make this punk real!). This really was a shame as it’s so promising that Stoke is pushing out such good rock music once again: powerful drums, catchy riffs and generally strong material overall, but again, we needed the love from the vocals!

What particularly interested me was the performance given by the second support act: ‘False Pretence’, more so than top act ‘Sold Out Story’. They just had that ‘something different’ spark, to set them apart from a very average delivery from the subsequent bands, including a storming rendition of ‘Shinobi Vs. Dragon Ninja’, which certainly got the crowd going. They do have that twang of early Lost Prophets material, and obviously regard the Welsh rockers as a high influence as the main singer Adam Willden set to working the crowd, very much in the fashion of Ian Watkins.

Willden can definitely hold a note too. You had to give them a while to warm up, but by the time they reached the chorus, they’d built up that gusto and some beautiful voice notes flowed in the air, amongst songs ‘I Waited for a Sign’, and the finale: ‘Running Away’, featuring on their EP ‘Holding Me Down’, which they were also pushing.

It was a pretty decent night, with some pretty decent output. ‘Talk is Cheap’ showed something different (and did quite well considering their rhythm guitarist turned up halfway through the set), and ‘Sold out Story’ delivered to the audience, (note the Pantera-lookalike, guitarist enthusiastically thrashing about), for a night of upbeat pop-rock tunes.

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