Saturday, 9 April 2011

The Gospel According to John @ The Sugarmill April 8th 2011

Review by Sian Eardley

Maybe you shoot yourself in the foot when you look up bands on their MySpace sites, prior to gigs, (though you do have to get a feel for what they’re about), because when this gives you a false idea of what to expect, it’s pretty disappointing, and that’s what pretty much what happened here… Imagining a happy-clappy with clever musical arrangements from these young, fresh-faced hopefuls from Stoke is what we got when they arranged themselves in production line fashion on stage, eagerly poised with their instrumental weapons. The lights came on, and everything was O.K....then the music kicked in and well... it wasn’t what’s sold online.....

Don’t get me wrong, they have the best intentions, and you can see they’re trying to achieve something different; going for a ‘Get Cape Wear Cape Fly’ vibe with the addition of a brass section, and you can identify their inspirations from Kate Nash, with their lyrical listing dialectics. And even then, their vocals aren’t even that good.

‘Chess’, which is what I was hoping would be the highlight of their show, really showed their naivety, they have a long way to go, but with the best of encouragement, and lots of practicing in dad’s garage, they could achieve a more accomplished feel-good indie sound. As the set went on, the more unsure of the band I became. I first enjoyed the sax and trumpet additions, but then it became all too pretentious, and just a throw-in to try and sound cool. They were abusing what could be a beautiful creation. I was just hoping for an ending crescendo that never came.

I admired that all members got a chance to have a go at lead vocals, which was different to seem but at the point when they guy on the boards started to erratically spazz, being all too alike Ross from Friends ‘rocking out’ in the 80’s, I knew this was my time to leave, and I very rarely cut a gig short. But, with a very mundane, below par, and below average performance, my ears had-had all they could take. There was no spark, and no connection to their music at all, and this is crucial to any band’s life force. They’re definitely a work in progress, and I’d like to see them when they’re more well rounded and polished. We will keep you updated on how these guys get on…

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