THE HOWLING TIDES - THESE WICKED RIVERS - ALMOST EASY - The Howling Tides EP Launch at The Underground, Stoke 29.06.18

As Britain basks in a heatwave, long days of sunshine and temperatures close to 30C, a sweaty night was calling in Stoke! 

 

Almost Easy, a popular hard rock band from Cannock kicked things off to an energetic and very loud start. With songs from their album, ‘You Win Some, You Lose Some’, the guys tore up the stage with some rampaging riffs, thumping basslines from Jack Watkins and aggressive, punk edged vocals from David Saunders. What held it all together though was some seriously strong drumming from Jack Bloor, so much power and energy! The sound didn’t seem great from near the front as it was too loud, just distorting a tad too much but this can be forgiven by the pure energy the guys threw into their tight set.

 

Some chatty banter getting the crowd to sing along and then the shirts were off for the last few tunes, sweat dripping from Saunders as their energy kept pace with the music. Best of the set for me was ‘What’s In The Box’ and ‘Mystic Girl’. 

 

Check the band out on their Facebook. 

https://www.facebook.com/almosteasybanduk/

 

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Midlands favourites, These Wicked Rivers took their place on the dimly lit stage.  Bottles of water surrounding the mics as the humidity increased as the crowd increased.

 

I love these guys, professional and they always deliver a totally solid performance and tonight was no different. Dan Southall on drums doesn’t miss a beat, Aaran Day who provides the hooks and riffs with flair and measured dynamics on guitar, Jon Hallam pulsing that bottom end keeping it low and packed with groove and of course, the rich tone of John Hartwell’s smoky blues tinged vocals.

 

A pleasure to see on any line-up with songs and music that calms the soul and excites the senses all at the same time. A set list packed with pure class including a fabulous cover of ‘Human’ (Rag & Bone Man) and the final song ‘Don’t Pray For Me’ gave the crowd a great deal to cheer and applaud.

 

Visit the bands social media to hear more and for more live dates

https://www.facebook.com/TheseWickedRivers

http://www.thesewickedrivers.com

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO LINDSAY@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

So to the main event! I had seen The Howling Tides back in January when they were called Anonymous, they impressed me then with their brand of classic rock combined with a gritty hard rock edge. Listening to the EP and chatting to the band recently for the DTF Podcast (Episode #77) reinforced my opinion of these 4 guys from Uttoxeter in Staffordshire. They are young and talented and passionate about their music. They had drawn a large crowd tonight, the age range more diverse than most rock gigs.

 

Cranking it loud they played a set packed with a sprinkling of brand spanking new tunes from their new EP plus some from their earlier releases. ‘Death By Exile’ from the new EP sounded phenomenal live with soaring riffs, impassioned vocals and a solid rhythm, added to that there was an air of confidence about the band which comes from not just cohesiveness but a polished performance, their time has been well spent in the rehearsal room. Each of the EP tracks flowed easily, the crowd singing along as these guys are clearly building a solid fan base and rightly so.

 

Rob Baynes has a quality in tone which varies with the song providing melodic accompaniment or gritty, almost vitriolic hardness. Hayden Kirk is precise and agile in his playing, ripping into the riffs in a manner way beyond his years allowing clarity or filth as required. Luke Lawley provides the low tones consistently driving the levels to a low-lying groove. It is certainly a night for solid, entertaining drummers as Steven ‘Herbie’ Herbert flamboyantly but rather excellently plays his part in providing the beats.

 

‘Crack My Soul’ almost brought the house down as fists flew into the air and the temperature whacked up by a full 100 degrees! Well that’s how it felt! The song is the stand out track in the EP. It floods your ears with a plethora of punchy riffs and memorable lyrics allowing the amassed fans to sing along loudly and passionately – a cracking good tune!

 

The band were sweaty, the crowd were hot and the music was pungently rich. Punctuated by some chat from Baynes peppered with “Thank you’s” and these came across as heart felt as he described the support the band had had from their families and from their management and record label. They seem grounded and almost a little stunned by the reaction to the night.

 

The only negative was finishing the set with a Hendrix classic. These guys are in their early 20’s, they have some hugely good songs there is no need to play ‘Voodoo Chile’ even if you do play it well.

 

So after around an hour and a half the exhausted crowd roared with their appreciation of the band who had thrown everything they had into making this a fantastic night.

 

Go catch them live when you can, buy the music, buy the merch, visit their social media.

https://www.facebook.com/TheHowlingTides/

 

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO LINDSAY@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

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