Saturday, 7 May 2011

The Lines / The Fears @ Stoke Sugarmill 5th May 2011

Review by Sian Eardley

Photo by Martin Kaluza

After a hard day’s grind, I finally roll up at The Sugarmill to find myself presented with local band: ‘The Fears’, ready on stage to perform as support for tonight’s main act: ‘The Lines’. What I find is a group of lads with exactly the right idea. They’re tight, with spot-on sound quality, quality tunes, and quality vocals, delivering all you could ever want from a local gig. Their opening track was blinding – ‘Whispers’ is a killer track, so much so it’s practically sanctimonious, indulging in Editors/Vines undertones, they must, must, MUST headline again soon! Their live act, in fact sounded more new and alive than the likes of Editors (which by my standards is saying a lot), and you could embrace their beautiful dark quality, with vocals that reminded me of Robert Harvey (The Music), with lyrics so luscious you could swim in them.

It was a tall order for The Lines to follow, but of course these talented guys would pull it out of the bag. After being blown away by them on our Stoke Sounds radio show (on April 25th) performing their acoustic set, which pretty much left the people in the studio speechless at just how good they were, I didn’t actually think it possible they could top it. But, here they were, electrifying;show stopping, and performing each note like it was new, with such beauty, integrity, and aplomb. The voice that comes out of Alex Ohm is purely remarkable and holds so much conviction that it perfectly synchronizes to their unique and compelling sound.

‘Circles’ is a winner – lyrics of aptitude (‘what a beautiful state we’re in’ which could be used to describe themselves), and music so elaborate it perfectly carries the song which sees glimpses of a young Richard Ashcroft (‘heard these words from these brothers and sisters’. I’ll not forget to mention their drumming crescendo of a finale, seeing the vocalist pound put some smoking beats to put all that more heart and passion into what they’re trying to achieve, only seen once before by The Temper Trap in Manchester which was also a phenomenal spectacle.

I only wish that their set was just that tiny bit longer. They are magnificent to watch and are so unlike all the indie drab these days that it really sets them apart, and for saying they’re from only down the road in Wolves, The Lines are pretty much waving the flag in The Midlands for music’s future, and I’m all for that. Please, please see these guys!

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