Photo: Gavin Morrow
Smoke machines, disco lights, wah wah guitars, screaming feedback and three talented bands are the ingredients in a smorgasbord of entertainment at Lichfield Arts latest rock night. In an evening that is different to most other Lichfield Arts concerts, this evening is about bombast and spectacle as much as it was about musical delicacy. Third Angle Projection, Fire and More Fire and The Madeline Rust play sets that range from acoustic introspection to full on rock, from narrative stories about serial killers to more mundane everyday subjects.
Taking on the difficult task of opening tonight are Third Angle Projection, who deliver an acoustic set. Vocalist and guitarist Arron and bassist Dean play songs partially inspired by the sound of Nirvana, but melded their own ideas from myriad genres. including indie, rock, grunge, metal, into a melting pot of inventive sound. Highlights from their set include such songs as ‘Useless’ and ‘The Unreliant’, whilst set closer ‘Wake up Call’ touches on a lot of crowd. Although the group are usually an electric three-piece, this was a chance to hear unusual, restrained arrangements out of the context of their usual set.
Fire and More Fire however, are a completely different proposition. Virtuoso guitar playing, and a solid rhythm section, as well as inventive song craft are all brought to the fore. Al on guitar and vocals, Danny on guitar and vocals, bassist Glen and drummer Gareth take inspiration from bands such as The Pixies, Mudhoney, Fugazi and Queens of the Stone Age to deliver a short but powerful set of original material. The punkish ‘Drag’ is delivered with aplomb, whilst the soaring, melodic ‘Hear Through the Heart’ blended a fine tune with complicated musicianship and shifts in time signatures to fine effect.
Closing this action packed evening are the Nottingham based The Madeline Rust, here augmented by a number of extra players. The trio, led by bassist and vocalist Lucy Morrow, and guitarist Aly McNab, and drummer Martin Syret are accompanied by Geralt Ruggerio on guitar, cellist Clara Pascall, and backing vocalists Calum Mcnab and Alison Taylor play songs from their album Truth or Consequence.
Imagine Pink Floyd, front by Sinead O’connor playing the lost music of Ennio Morricone, and you will have some idea of the type of sound that The Madeline Rust uphold They start their set with ‘Hey’ which is a fine opener and allow the group to stretch out, whilst musical beauty features throughout the soft ballad ‘Desert Rain’; McNab’s lap steel guitar and the lilting musical refrain adding much to the sound.
‘Serial Killer song’ is a brooding masterpiece, anguished vocals and complicated musical ideas, whilst ‘Zoe’ is a softer ballad.
In all, this was a good concert, that showed the level of local musical talent. All of the bands play live locally, and are worth seeing on their own merit.