Review by Kirsty Underwood
This was one hell of a cold night in Leek. Even inside the venue where I was informed the radiators had been on all afternoon I was wondering whether to trade in my coke for a brew. The Foxlowe, an unassuming building opposite the market place in Leek, has recently undergone a bit of a spruce and is now home to upcoming music promoters The Situation. This was my first visit and I liked what I saw; the bar slap bang in front of you as you walked in, low lighting from mismatched lamps and table-top candles, a few sofas dotted around by the dance floor, random antique telephones. A surreal living room with a stage.
Being a new venture the place wasn’t heaving with people but My Vote of Confidence and Fighting Flux had seen to it that their friends and families made a good audience and of course the local music lovers were drifting in as the night went on. I was aware however, that there seemed to be a divide. In front of me were groups made up what I feel I’m grumpy enough to refer to as youngsters or teenagers and behind me the age range jumped up a bit. This left me wondering where the twenty somethings were…beer and music, get yourselves out!
The background rumble of The Rolling Stones and Sex Pistols died down and gave way to Fighting Flux. In their short time as a band, round about a year, they have already played at The Sugarmill, so I was hoping for a good dose of stage presence from these flannel-shirt wearing newbies. They didn’t disappoint. What was delivered was a pleasantly loud surprise. Influences of Black Sabbath and, dropping the N-word, Nirvana were heavily evident. As a throw back to the rock of old a bit of 70’s style wa-wa slipped in alongside guitar solos that were given with centre-stage fervour and put smiles on faces. Vocals were confident and brash. A cover of Adele’s Rolling in The Deep was a personal favourite of the set, and a damn sight better under rock stylings. But none of this compared to a cover that the band’s lead singer admitted he did not want to sing; Tick Tock, Kesha, an act of genius that left the audience giggling with glee.
As Fighting Flux disassembled, joining their jubilant groupies, it was time for My Vote of Confidence. These guys have been knocking around Stoke for a few years now in a few shapes and forms and have their first digital album Chasing Dreams up online. Prior to the night I sampled the tracks and was expectantly waiting to see how track I may, I Might, with its Motorhead appeal would transfer. I was hoping that the band’s name was not going to jinx the performance especially as the bassist was nowhere to be seen. However, the set was short lived and ended with two tracks performed acoustically by the lead singer. Those performed by the band as whole had a good dusting of Iron Maiden-esque classic guitar solos and grunge influences circa early 1990’s (I didn’t want to drop the N word again!) and I May, I Might was the best of the lot. I must say though that I was left a little flat and maybe it was because they were missing a bassist, but this wasn’t a 110%, I’ve only got one arm but I’m going to drum anyway, kind of performance.
So hoping that next time would be better for MVOC and that Fighting Flux would keep up the good work, I made my last scribble of the night; “candle burnt out, warmth gone”, and headed for home humming Kesha, cheers boys!