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Review: Lichfield Arts Rock Night @ Lichfield Guildhall

The grandeur of Lichfield’s Guildhall was turned into an energetic rock venue when Lichfield Arts hosted their second rock night.

Stubblemelt

Stubblemelt

There was something for everyone in this gig, ranging from the immediate pop rush of young band The Impendium, the accomplished, funk fuelled and energy driven Mezzotonic, to the darker, more atmospheric sound of headlining group Stubblemelt.

Lichfield group The Impendium had the unenviable task of opening the night, and even though they are only young, they more than delivered. With vocalist Chris James, drummer Zak Morris, bassist Alex Durrant and guitarist Lewis Young they delivered a set full of their own quirky original numbers, and a few well chosen covers, the highlight of which was an elastic reading of The Arctic Monkey’s Mardy-Bum.

Then funk neo-metal group Mezzotonic took to the stage, to render an energetic set of songs.

The group were probably the most musically accomplished of the night, with the dextrous bass of Matt Poole, and the drumming of Dan Hayward providing a steady foundation for the guitar exploration of Adam Parkes and the vocal and rhythmic gymnastics of Simon Lloyd.

The quartet have been working hard at building up a local and national following, and have landed prestigious support slots with bands such as the Average White Band, The Christians and Living Colour, and this level of practice and dedication showed in their stage and song-craft. Their set ranged from the tightest of funk-rock grooves, to lighter songs, with the set-opener even including Chic’s Good Times as part of the bass line. Highlights of the set included Get Wild, Dancing Shoes – with its feel good beat and more summery sound – and the brooding atmospherics of Kill/Violent.

After the musical pedigree of the first two groups, local band Stubblemelt really had to pull something good out of the bag and although their sound and style may not have been for the more conservative rock fan, it certainly crowned a night of good music.

The five piece of vocalist and guitarist Kyle Perry, bassist and vocalist Tom Marshall, drummer David Ashford, lead guitarist and vocalist Matt Giles and keyboard player Amy Collins had a sound that fused early era Pink Floyd and New Order, with later rock bands such as The Killers and Muse.

They played songs from their ep The Search and forthcoming album Gypaetus Barbatus, with songs such as Welcome Back, Evil Insane and See Your Lovers being particularly well received.

As is the nature with concerts like this, the whole encore issue becomes redundant and bands don’t have time to show their full range, or to develop the same rapport with an audience that a full length concert allows, but these three bands are all worth hearing, seeing and supporting.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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