Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The Way / Likely Lads / Translucid @ The Sugarmill April 28th 2012

Review by Kirsty Underwood 

Any half decent music fan knows that we owe a lot to the 1950’s and this shouldn’t just be from watching the odd rock-umentary. Stoke’s The Way revel in this musical past and wear it on their sleeves, which happen to belong to T-bird style leather jackets. Their influences read like a school of rock history lesson, checking off the best genres to have popped out of each decade from the fifties onwards. As the first band to take to the stage on a Saturday night at The Sugarmill, The Way began educating the audience by smashing together old and new. Not to be ignored by those for whom this may have been wasted on, vocalist and rhythm guitarist Stef Smith requested enthusiasm with a few simple words; “Come on you f***ers!”. Single One Time Round harked back to the heyday of The Jam and no doubt touched a chord with more than a few audience members with its down-to-earth lyrics “I only work because they tell me to…you shelf stacker…you only get one time round”. The realism almost hurts. Cracking on through a set encompassing a cover of Ed Sheeran’s The A Team and something that sounded suspiciously like a Ramones mash up, The Way’s unique energy visibly spread across the room. 

York based band Likely Lads were the northern filling in this Stoke sandwich of a gig. They may have only been together a relatively short time, little over a year, but time wasting has not been on the agenda. September 2011 saw the release of Likely Lads first untitled EP which was followed up in February of this year with an album entitled Melrose Yard Demos. Their debut single Observations is due for release on May 7th on Right Track Records and the band has supported Chingford’s best output of late The Rifles. Good effort! Likely Lads set comprised a reel of tracks that told it like it is, and they certainly had a lot to say about the need to get away from a mundane existence in “a little city”. Their upbeat indie rhythms, not a million miles away from that of The Kooks, coupled with insightful lyrics were received with more than ample appreciation from an audience potentially hearing these tracks for the first time. Get yer sens back to Stoke soon boys! 

Translucid, a mysterious name suggesting everything is not quite as it seems and they were just that. Their talent spoke for itself from the beginning. Formerly known as The Riots, who have seen a few line up changes since their creation in 2007, the band on the stage were electrifying. Front man Dan Watkin, with his Parka and tambourine, was completely at home giving us all something to marvel at. Guitarist Steve Pye was implausibly mind blowing and let’s be honest, with a Hendrix tattoo and a Dylan t-shirt he would have been taking the Michael just a smidge if he hadn’t have been. Translucid’s classic rock influences showed through in Pye’s bluesy strings and you can’t say no to a bit of wa-wa. There was so much going on in terms of influences from classic rock right up to Kasabian in the present that their set, including tracks Tripping Lilly, The Mind is a Temple and personal favourite Blow Out, was impossible not to appeal on some level. The band also had excellent support from what were assumed to be family members; you don’t see enough air guitaring these days. All in all, a delectable array of talent and style; definitely worth witnessing at The Full Moon on May 11th if you had the misfortune to miss this gig.

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