Review by Liam Kelly
Kicking off tonight’s proceedings were a band I have become increasingly familiar with in recent months, The Decision. At an average age of around 17 you would expect the band to have the usual run of the mill tracks and lack of a stage presence, but not these lads! The Hendrix-style riffs of Ben West on lead guitar combined with the powerful bass playing of Rob Melville and Liam Kaye’s furious drumming give the band the stepping stone to go on to big things. After a lengthy instrumental Ben kicks into things with his yelping and unique vocals for first track, ‘Wasting time.’ It’s in tracks such as ‘Hide’ and ‘I don’t know what you want’ where you see the bands true potential, and it’s clear to see the influences of 80’s - 90’s indie bands such as Primal Scream, particularly in Bens superb range of guitar riffs. This is to take nothing away from Rob and Liam who keep hold to a tight rhythm section throughout the set. A band that get better and better through each track, they ended their set in fashion, with crowd favourite The BIB, which definitely achieved the crowd reaction Ben and the rest of the band aimed for. A band who have been in fine form in recent gigs, The Decision are definitely up there with the best of the younger bands in Stoke right now.
Main support act Vellocet took to the stage, packed with their usual confidence. A band who are clearly becoming popular in Stoke, it's easy to see why with their 90's indie stylr vibes being similar to The Stone Roses. Frontman Ryan Barker demands respect from his audience and certainly earns it, with his powerful vocals sending this large crowd into a frenzy. First track 'Frontline' see's Jordan and Ash displaying a wide range of hogh quality playing and is easily a track with the credentials to be released as a single. 'Messiah' and 'One and Only', two of te bands strongest tracks seem to go down particularly well with thie rather up beat crowd. Finishing the night with a slower track 'Drown', the band showed they have the talent to write a range of songs and change tempo and mood to showcase the most of their skills. This band just get better and better!
Headliners The Rivalry arrived on stage to a thunderous reception from a bumper crowd. They seem to be one of the most popular bands in Stoke at the moment, and arguably one of the most talented. A band who have arrived back in the local music scene in the past couple of months combine some of their most popular older tracks with some freshly new written material.
First track of the set would be the instrumental ‘Sex and Fear,’ which seemed to be much to the approval of the crowd. It’s in the next track ‘This is how we do it our town’ that you can really see what this band are all about. Frontman and lead guitarist Rob Hawthorne has the attributes similar to that of a young Liam Gallagher, minus the attitude problems. To see the crowd screaming back the lyrics of his tracks is a testimony to Rob’s lyric writing capabilities, with comparisons to that of Paul Weller and Ian Brown in their heyday. A new keyboardist has been added to the original line up, and is particularly effective in next track, ‘Live it like you mean it.’
Their newest track ‘Welcome to the silent disco,’ a track written by Rob when he was at last year’s V festival, went down better than expected and demonstrated the authoritative and heavy bass of Darren Mellor mixed with the symbol thrashing drumming of Tom Machin. Slower track ‘Legend still remains,’ written in tribute to the legendary John Lennon, shows a slower and more melodic side to Robs vocals and shows the bands versatility. Unfortunately the set had to come to an end, and finishing with ‘Lets wake up the sun,’ the band certainly saved the best till last, prompting scenes of delirium with their large fanbase. Easily the best gig iIhave been in the area for a long time, I have no doubt that The Rivalry are going to go on to big things.