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Sunday, 23 October 2011

Live & Dangerous 14: The Trews, The Sharp Darts, Little Wing

The Trews, The Sharp Darts, Little Wing (Birmingham HMV Institute)

Little Wing

This 5-piece play technical alternative metal in the style of Exit Ten and Fightstar. They possessed serious skill especially lead guitarist Ryan Baynham whose melodic style is the cornerstone of their sound. Vocalist Dan Rowbottom has a possessed manic style between singing contorting and flailing like a madman. His voice his good and clean and the band are all very tight. The only problem was that the sound was very muddy meaning that not all of the intricacies of the band could be heard. One to watch. 7/10

The Sharp Darts

One question went through my mind while watching this band. Are they trying to be Oasis? Mod haircuts? Check. Telecasters and parkas? Check. Sneering frontman wielding a tambourine? Check. So then The Sharp Darts are so much like Oasis it hurts but that said they are also like Paul Weller as well and play furious mid pace indie that got many of the locals jigging. (The band were from Birmingham after all) However for me I enjoyed it but no more so than I would an Oasis tribute playing album tracks rather than hits. 4/10

The Trews

I was always going to be biased but this was my first time seeing one of my favourite bands so I was not going to berate them. Despite playing to a crowd of 50 or so people the band came on rocking for their debut UK tour. However three songs in there was a high pitched squeal coming from the amp of guitarist John-Angus who was visibly annoyed. This apparently was the latest in a long list of mishaps that had befallen the band on this tour. Despite this and with a replacement amp the band carried on regardless playing a set of heavy rockers that included Paranoid Freak, Not Ready To Go, So She's Leaving, The World I Know, Hold Me In Your Arms and frantic I Can't Stop Laughing. The set was broken up by two slower songs in Hope & Ruin and Highway Of Heroes (Which is a tribute to a friend of the band who didn't come back from Afghanistan). The band then broke into the favourite Poor Ol' Broken Hearted Me and finished. They returned to a rapturous reception and took two requests from the crowd the favourite being Yearning. Despite the sound problems, the small crowd and the obvious frustration of the group, it was a great gig from a band that thrive on performing. Now if only someone could get them a stint on Jool's Holland they would be much bigger than they are! 8/10

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