Smoke machines, disco lights, wah wah guitars, screaming feedback and three talented bands were the ingredients in a smorgasbord of entertainment at the city’s latest rock night.
In an evening that was different to most other Lichfield Arts concerts, the evening was about bombast and spectacle as much as it was about musical delicacy.
Third Angle Projection, Fire and More Fire and The Madeline Rust played sets that ranged 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 the night were Third Angle Projection, who delivered an acoustic set. Vocalist and guitarist Arron and bassist Dean delivered songs partially inspired by the sound of Nirvana, but melded their own ideas from the genres of indie rock, grunge, metal, into a melting pot of inventive sound.
Highlights from their set included such songs as Useless and The Unreliant, while set closer Wake Up Call touched on a lot of crowd.
Although the group are usually an electric three-piece, this was a chance to hear unusual, restrained arrangements of their usual set.
Fire and More Fire, however, were a completely different proposition. Virtuoso guitar playing, and a solid rhythm section, as well as inventive song craft were all to the fore.
Al on guitar and vocals, Danny on guitar and vocals, bassist Glen and drummer Gareth took inspiration from bands such as The Pixies, Mudhoney, Fugazi and Queens of the Stone Age to deliver a short but powerful set of their original songs.
The punkish Drag was delivered with aplomb, while 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 were 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 were accompanied by Geralt Ruggerio on guitar, cellist Clara Pascall, and backing vocalists Calum Mcnab and Alison Taylor, and played 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 this band has.
They started their set with Hey which was a fine opener and allowed the group to stretch out, before musical beauty featured throughout the soft ballad Desert Rain, Aly McNab’s lap steel guitar and the lilting musical refrain adding much to the sound.
Serial Killer Song was a brooding masterpiece, anguished vocals and complicated musical ideas, while Zoe was a fine 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.