Saturday, 25 June 2011

Gravities / The Hiding Place / From Within @ The Sugarmill 24th June 2011

Review by Emilia Rowley

Photo by Kevin Percival

On first glance it seemed that this gig was set to both start and end with a skeletal number of audience members, half of which were supportive parents. With the maximum age of about 16, From Within graced the stage and were fully ready to please, but were halted by some "technical difficulties". This was definately met with a few quiet "awe! aren't they cute"s running through the crowd until they blasted out some heavy-riff noise which all of sudden made me listen. Their short set comprised of the sounds of an American high school prom band; major-chord rock that is easy to bop to. I immediately referenced 'Back To The Future' in my head. You know the scene, where Marty steps in for the injured band member etc. Well, lo and behold, what do I hear? The opening to 'Johnny Be Good'? No way? Yes way. Excellently performed, if not a little jovial, as the crowd began to increase in numbers and also in spirits (either mood or alcohol I couldn't tell). The lead singer/guitarist is an absolute ball of talent, his voice belongs in a young gentleman of 22 nevermind 15/16. You can tell these boys are passionate about music; I'd say check back in a year or two and these guys will undoubtedly keep you entertained.

From Within exited the stage to rapturous applause and were swiftly followed by The Hiding Place. Now, I've wanted to see this band for a while and was admittedly a little apprehensive as to whether they would get my vote. And they did. An incredible start, with undertones of hardcore-gone-by; referencing early Alexisonfire but with a little more swagger. Yes, swagger, I did just use that word. Vocally the lead was a little confusing at times, but not in a bad way. He swung his hips to the beat of his own drum, brought a little flamboyancy to the stage and proceeded to get intimate with the audience by leaping into the crowd and finishing a song. The Hiding Place's tracks hit you in the face with the right amount of force; slow intros followed by exciting verses and sing-a-long choruses. When the new EP drops expect it to sell out like hot cakes; they leapt about the stage wonderfully, and let the audience know that they were having as much fun as we were in the crowd.

In all honesty I hadn't heard of Gravites before tonight, but I was definately impressed. They sound like dirty, Deftones-esque, gritty, low pitched rockers. Very entrancing to watch. An excellent lead guitarist brings the songs from just a few chords to a more interesting sound, with solos at the right times, and then doesn't play them for too long (pet hate). The lead singer believes in the songs; almost singing past the audience, and rather to the person that the song was originally meant for. I truly believe that tonight's performance was only hindered by nerves, as sometimes the vocal range became a little flat. A complete unfortune as these guys really are something to behold. My favourite track of the night is definately 'Motion of Stars'; a beautiful song that rolls around a simple melody with a building undertone only enhanced by more vocal simplicity. Gravities are worth seeing again.

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