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Saturday 24th of September saw an evening of threes at the newly refurbished and much improved Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar.
Three bands, three three-pieces with headliners Young Legionnaire embarking on the first leg of their first headline tour, albeit with a wealth of experience as individuals.
The introduction to the evenings format of two guitars, a drum and some vocals came courtesy of local band Kai, who’s relaxed look and stage presence certainly didn’t prepare you for the electric eruption they unleashed. Launching into their post hardcore rock chock full of wobbling bass, “Overthrown” was the kind of aural assault that only live music can do justice to. With “Talk/Scream” Jako Hooper showed a hidden tenderness to his vocals, before returning to roaring atop a crescendo of sound as the band played out with an accomplished passion belying their age.
Fusion continued where Kai had left off with yet more uproarious rock. This was a more matured performance however, with vocals erring towards melody over rawness, the instrumental instead being allowed to provide the performance with it’s brutal edge. After an exchange with the crowd detailing the threat of a Del Boy-esque sales attack, they launched into the hard hitting single, “Firework”. Certainly no Katy Perry comparisons here, overdriven drums fuelling the choral highs, a nod towards the alt-rock spectrum before the band left stage with the final chord still echoing around them.
Young Legionnaire took things up a notch, making full use of the increased decibel level afforded by an underground venue. A visceral opening saw lead Paul Mullen (The Automatic) perform by far the most convincing head banging of the evening such that the audience couldn’t help but join in with foot tapping being rather out of the question due to the sheer adhesiveness of the floor (it’s not called Sticky Mikes for nothing).
Gordon Moakes, of Bloc Party fame and the only man bucking the t-shirt trend of the evening, then invited the crowd forward with the kind of subtle nous that is gained only through experience. Crashing waves of sound soon followed with “Blood Dance”, the intimate proximity leaving the noise coursing through your veins. “Numbers” was laden with infectious riffs whilst “A Hole In The World” was a marginally mellow exception, all shaking bass lines and hounding vocals. As drummer Dean Pearson discarded broken snares with the same disdain he did his tee, Moakes treated us to yet another anecdote, this time regarding carpeted stages and the dangers of playing in the front room. It was perhaps the memories of this domestication that prompted his comparative composure, at wonderful odds with Mullens unrestrained fervour, as we were treated to new material from upcoming EP, “Wreckonomics”. The rock chaos capped off by the hook driven “Chapter,Verse”, with the trio turning in on each other for the shredded close before we watched them swiftly depart the stage, our ribcages still vibrating.
Words courtesy of www.heymancheckmyband.com
Images courtesy of www.rmaynardphoto.com
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Date: Monday 26th September 2011