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Lichfield Rock Night, The Guildhall, Lichfield

  • Published in UNX

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.


Cheatahs, Independent, Sunderland

  • Published in Live

Arriving in a damp and dark Sunderland after battling the inclement weather, we arrive for our first taste of the new Independent. You can see where it once stood just across the road, home to so many great evenings but we’re sure the new incarnation will yield as many awesome evenings.

Unfortunately, we miss first band Cohesion, but we’re in time for Moon Gangs. Will Young’s diminutive figure hides behind a variety electronic trickery, his beautiful loops and drones with sporadic synth stabs that pierce the air throughout his set. Whilst this is fine for the first ten minutes the drones remain fairly stagnant and there needs to be at least a small amount of variation.

Taking nothing away from the set, the drones are beautiful yet lacking in imagination. Something, which cannot be said for Cheatahs; their well-crafted indie rock is perfectly balanced and they hit the stage with the intention of transporting us all to a much sunnier place than Sunderland. Tracks like ‘Geographic’ filling the new iteration of the Independent; their rocky guitars leading the way throughout the set entire. Much like ‘Kneworth’, it seems to be a slightly darker track, the guitars taking control as the vocals take a backseat. The band really let go here, somewhat heavier than the rest, it maintains, and embodies, the balance of the evening. Cheatahs seem to have a bit of everything, whether it is vast expansive or something intense and dark, both facets are on show this evening.

Tracks like ‘Fall’ see the band becoming freer, opening up, in turn this sees the sound relax, becoming a little less harsh as the vocals take precedence. They close out their main set with a rather lively rendition of ‘The Swan’ which has everyone in the crowd nodding along.

Overall it’s an excellent evening, despite the weather, and the smaller than anticipated crowd. Cheatahs made up for it with their huge presence, they were truly excellent this evening and its not difficult to see why they’re firmly on the up.

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