Review by Charlotte Lunt
This was only the second gig for Adam Atkinson, who was treating us to a set of his bluesy melancholia this evening. From early on it was clear he was playing to his friends and supporters who had come along as there were plenty of in-jokes and banter between them.
His optimistic lyrics and creative melodies show his potential as a writer, although he has chosen the route of being a frontman without a band rather than taking an acoustic pathway. This is betrayed at moments when it is not a massive leap of the imagination to envisage a full line up behind him both visually and musically, with the potential for intertwining backing vocals being very apparent. However he holds his own with a set comprising of his own compositions such as ‘Shining light’ and a couple of covers to boot.
Suzie does it, are a duo, who perform close harmonies and very tight playing. Throughout their set they perform tracks from their new EP, and also provide a generous sales and social media pitch, showcasing some really rather good guitar playing, and also some stunning vocals. They played a consistently strong set with hints of Country and Folk. This is clearly a duo who know they’ve got nothing to prove and who enjoy playing for the sake of it.
Just as the Blue Yellows take to the stage, in what seems like a per-arranged move, the room filled with a substantial audience, it looked like I wasn’t the only one anticipating a foot stomping set from Jonathan and Co. Opening with ‘Killing me’ a jaunty rock number which had a clear sense of humour lurking in the keyboard hooks, before moving to a more mellow number featuring the not often heard accordion, these guys really do pack a punch, with the song ‘Cry Cry Kill’ really echoing round the room and getting people off their chairs and onto the dance floor.
The thing about the Blue Yellows is that they’re not a one trick pony; each song is distinct and has its own personality, whilst maintaining a definitive Blue Yellows sound. Through a number of the tracks the melodies are punctuated with humour and light hearted keyboards as well as acerbic lyrics.
Hitting a more mellow note the audience were permitted a breather before they launched into Stoke Sounds favourite and championed ‘Summer anthem’ ‘No Tobacco, No Jesus’. Jon offered a curious explanation about the title involving missionaries and their converts (which to be fair I haven’t done justice to here) and with the crowd nodding like a flock of pigeons singing along, they all seemed like they were enjoying it too.