Monday, 1 March 2010

Faux Feet/The Fortunas/Vellocet @ The Underground Hanley, 26th February 2009

Review by Liam Kelly

Photo by Leo Mazzocchio

Tonight was my first viewing of support band Faux Feet and I must say I was pretty impressed. It seems that female vocalists seem to be on the rise in Stoke on Trent and Sian Matthews is the most talented I have come across so far. Not only did her melodic voice carry the band throughout the set but she had the stage presence and confidence of an artist twice her age. This is to take nothing away from guitarist Ben Finney, bassist Carl Howe and drummer Jamie O’Neill who support her superbly. On listening to the way Sian belts out her vocals its easy to forget that you are watching such a young band and with the quality to pull of a cover of the Cold War Kids track, ‘Hospital beds,’ expect big things from them.

Next to take stage were the increasingly popular lads from The Fortunas. Since first seeing these back in September last year it seems that the band’s fan base has increased tremendously and it’s easy to see why! Frontman Elliot Wilcox has the confidence and vocal style similar to that of Alex Turner to add to his display of neat guitar riffs. The band were clearly up for it from the off and tracks such as ‘For our eyes only’ and ‘Mister Bagguely’ sent the large crowd into a frenzy much to the delight of fellow guitarist Addison Brown who demonstrated some furious playing throughout. The band pulled off possibly the best cover I have witnessed from any band in Stoke in ‘Not nineteen forever’ by The Courteeners which saw every member of the crowd bouncing and screaming back the lyrics to Elliot. Finishing their set with the melodically delightful ‘Will you?’ the band may have just added a few more fans to their ever increasing support.

Headliners Vellocet took to the stage minus front man Ryan Barker. After a powerful and striking instrumental from the other band member, Ryan took to the stage with the confidence and rock & roll attitude you would expect to see from the likes of Liam Gallagher. The band is clearly popular and brought a near sell-out crowd to witness their first headline gig; they were not to disappoint. Starting with ‘Messiah,’ the song has the kind of hooky chorus you are sure to be singing for days after. Jordan on rhythm guitar pulled off some of the most impressive and thriving guitar riffs I have seen in some time.

These lads are band with serious confidence and it paid off with a frantic crowd reaction to each song and in particular ‘Be my fight’ which saw a number of lighters held in the air. Vellocet know just how to put on a show! The ferocious drumming of Leigh Dewey is the platform for the band and their sound is unique combining Oasis style guitar riffs to the vocal energy of The Stone Roses. The boisterous chorus of ‘One and only’ made leaving the Underground tonight without humming the words to each Vellocet track an impossible task. Crowd favourite ‘Hallucination’ shows a slower and more tuneful side to these boys. But Vellocet clearly saved their best till last and with the final track of their set ‘We are the frontline,’ the crowd really responded. Every member yelled back the chorus to Ryan and Jordan and this is a track that has the potential to be released as a successful single. A brilliant gig from a band that I believe is the ‘next big thing’ from Stoke. In 2010 expect to see these lads to shine with a number of headline gigs booked already.

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