Posted by Kevin Richardson.
Reviewed on 13th September 2008.
Live at New Roscoe on Wednesday, 3rd September 2008
The New Roscoe on a wet Wednesday night was a new experience for me. This was my first gig there and having never been in I was unsure what to expect but as a live music venue I was pleasantly surprised. Plus three quid entry in this economical climate is a big plus!
The first band on was called High England, a duo that certainly stood out. One of them was wearing big shades, a black suit and a hat. As you might have guessed he didn't lack confidence and did most of the talking. It was unusual to see just two guys with guitars on stage but it worked quite well. We were too busy talking to really listen properly but their set certainly wasn't offensive. They even had a female vocalist join them for their last song entitled "Camalalalonganavabuzzbuzz" (thank you Myspace!) And yes that really was the title and yes it was included in the lyrics!
The second band up were The Severed Alliance. Right from the first song I liked what I heard and was surprised to read on their Myspace that they have only been together a year. They sounded like they have been playing together years and were extremely tight which for a band with two guitarists is no mean feat. It's hard to distinguish exactly what they sound like, but it was all very upbeat with some rocking riffs throughout the set. The guitarists interacted well and the drummer kept the set going and was definitely the basis for the rest of the band. It seemed every song me and my brother were saying how much it sounded like other bands we like. Not in a way that they were ripping anyone off though, it all sounded quite fresh and the majority of their songs would probably sit nicely in my CD collection. Hints of The Courteeners and The Libertines were clear but it was a very old school rock and roll set. Tight, toe tapping and a lot fun. Definite potential here for a band only a year old.
And speaking of potential, STOP! Motion have plenty of it. I've seen them a few times now supporting bands like The Dykeenies and Look See Proof but this was the first time I've seen them headline. And there is a vast difference between then and now. When we first saw them they were all dressed in black and walked round the Cockpit looking like it was a Halloween party! It seems the strict dress code has been relaxed and the band themselves seem a lot more relaxed for it.
They are a four piece including two brothers and have honed their sound to the point where they are sounding tighter than I've heard them before. Songs from their first demo CDs were very popular with the crowd, including 'I Can't Change The Way' which has recently been (scandalously!) dropped from their set. Despite reservations from the bassist Chris Dann about not remembering the chords it was definitely one of the highlights of their set.
The new songs perhaps showed where the band will go in the future though. 'At The Kissing Post' is a slow synth drenched track sung with passion by lead singer Chris Parsons that crescendos at the end to possibly the strongest ending to any of their songs. 'Ulysses' is another example of the strength of Parsons' vocals packed up by the synth from Thom Dann and excellent drums from Jonty Brown. Each member of the band plays their part in 'Ulysses' however as it probably their most complex song but loses nothing in the live environment. 'Apples & Pears' was the highlight of the set for me as the band ripped through it with real vigour and enthusiasm.
And despite the relatively small crowd it was this enthusiasm that shone through. The band were clearly enjoying the gig and they now have the tunes that can carry them to even bigger crowds. An encore of 'Apples & Pears' was a brilliant end to the night as STOP! Motion seem ready to move onto bigger and better things. A hidden gem in the Yorkshire music scene, if you can get down to one of their gigs I would highly recommend it.