M.A.D.I.S.O.N/ The Clocktower/ Arcade Parade/ The Rooz
Loose Lips/ Envy Of The State/ The Making
and Stay Awake.
The Place Oakengates 19th July 2013.
It was early June when the call went out to local bands that two support spots were up for grabs, supporting the mighty McFly at T Live at the Telford Arena on 7th September. Sadly, it seems to be a well kept secret that Telford has an exceptionally healthy music scene, but I’m very much hoping that an opportunity like this will change all that as T Live is looking to be quite an event!
Following a healthy response from bands, the final selection of eight was made and with the line up for the band slam confirmed, the competition and competitors were ready to begin.
The organisation of the night allowed for each band to play a twenty minute set, not very long you might think but in reality it was actually just right. With the audience being the majority vote holders for the competition, they had a long evening ahead and twenty minutes is certainly long enough for a band to make their mark.
Our opening band tonight was M.A.D.I.S.O.N and they are certainly no strangers to the local live music scene. This five piece rock band have been together for several years and during that time they have evolved with confidence and tonight’s performance could not have gone better for them and by the time they left the stage, the bar had truly been raised up high for those about to follow.
Our second band of the evening were The Clocktower and again, this is a band who have evolved with confidence. Having a strong indie rock presence in their music and appearance plus plenty of swaggers to deliver it, the audience were quickly drawn into the energy of the set and I suspect there were a few new Clocktower fans happily ticking by the end of this evening.
With only ten minutes change over time between bands, Arcade Parade’s time to shine was quickly upon them. I’ve seen this band on several occasions and on each and every occasion they have always impressed me with their level of ability regardless of their young ages. Tonight’s performance was no different in that regard and the rousing applause and cheers they received as the last note was played, was most definitely fair praise that they deserved.
The fourth band taking part in this evenings competition were The Rooz and the first new musical experience of the evening for me – and my oh my, what a rock ‘n’ roll experience that was to be! These guys simply burst into action with lead singer Louis Coupe being a tremendous front man and a pretty nifty multi-tasking musician aswell! Tremendous performance from these guys and what a way to close the half way mark for this evening!
Performance number five took us forward with a change in style and musical direction and all courtesy of the local duo, Loose Lips. With the stage looking larger than ever, the spotlight was literally on Kieran Hayes and Lewis Bates whose striking acoustic tones and melodies gave rise to a captivating set. Through an abundance of heartfelt lyrics along with their sincere conversation, tonight’s audience were given sight into how important music is to this duo and the chance to see a great performance to mark it.
Variety was certainly proving key to good entertainment tonight and in a sharp contrast to their predecessors, Envy Of The State took full possession of just about every inch of stage with their raging high energy set. From their very first note, it was clear that their assigned twenty minutes were going to be used for maximum impact and Envy Of The State were relentless in their objective to make every second count. Full credit has to be given to this band for their intensity and tireless performance tonight as it was by far one to certainly be proud of!
Our penultimate band for this evening was The Making, and these guys have successfully been carving themselves a statuesque niche in the indie rock scene since 2009. By no means outrageous in their presentation, but easily capturing outstanding in their performance, the audience looked and sounded more than a little appreciative at everything this band had to give. Regardless of the outcome from tonight’s competition, I have a feeling that The Making are set to go far in the music industry, so if you’ve not had the chance to see them perform live, just make sure to catch them locally while you can.
This evening has literally packed in some mighty fine entertainment and what a wealth of talented musician’s it has shown us. But the story ain’t over yet and final band to take to the stage tonight were the up and coming young band, Stay Awake. This band were a fabulous choice to end the night with as their keen blend of indie style pop mixed with the witty comment from young Jedi front man, Harry Davies, was happily infectious and once again, a band whose acquaintance it was an absolute pleasure to make.
Tonight’s event cannot pass by without comment upon the venue itself, in particular its spectacular sound, visuals and organisation. ‘The Place’ in Oakengates Telford, has easily provided to all of us present, bands and audience alike, it’s ability to put on a great night of live music and I genuinely hope that events such as this will become a regular feature in the future!
It is at this point in my review that I feel it is appropriate to skip forward by a few days and with much pleasure, confirm that both M.A.D.I.S.O.N and The Making were announced as having secured, through audience and judge voting, the two slots supporting McFly at T Live in Telford Town Park on 7th September. Tickets for this event can be purchased through Telford & Wrekin’s website, the Box Office on 01952 382382 or by personal visit to Oakengates Theatre @ The Place or Telford Ice Rink.
Finally, BIG congratulations must go out to all the bands who were involved in this great night, you really did make this an event to remember!
Words and Photography by Sue Wardle