So first time I’ve returned to what I’d now like to call my home venue in 2010 (well that’s mainly cos they haven’t really been putting any good bands on of late). So arrive in plenty of time and i got my free cup of tea from McDonald’s one of the highlights of the evening. Before settling in to what was to be a pretty good night of live music.

First up of the two bands we’re Chew Lips who I’ve been into for quite a while now and to be honest was looking forward to seeing slightly more than Delphic. All of this after I said one of the stupidest things I’d ever said at a gig ever. Heres rough transcript of the conversation

Me: (directed at Michael Kinge) The floor’s not that sticky tonight, maybe they’ve raised it

(Piers over girls shoulder to left to see if i could see if the floor was lower on the other side of the barrier)

(Girls stares looking perplexed)

Me: I was just looking to see if there was a difference in the height of the floor, I come here quite often and usually its lower than this

(Girl looks bemused starts laughing with her friends, Kinge almost breaks into tears, I stand there looking like an absolute penis)

Anyway more importantly the music. Chew Lips we’re very good and played a set filled with songs taken from their debut album ‘Unicorn’. Not really a big fan of the newer stuff but they managed to transform these songs into something brilliant tonight. Front woman Tigs presented a certain individuality that many female fronted bands lack at the moment. Her voice echoing throughout the venue and would certainly match the likes of Florence and Marina any day. Musically as well live they presented more prowess with sequenced beats and synths and what not. Which I’d expect to find boring but as a three-piece this really works as Tigs doesn’t necessarily steal the show with all three members looking equally interested and involved in what there doing. Sadly the crowd quite obviously weren’t up for it as it was obvious that I was the only one singing along (probably cos’ i was standing next to a load of piss heads and girls who wouldn’t stop taking photos of everything) to early singles ‘Salt Air’ and ‘Solo’ which were both equally superb. Looking forward to seeing them headline Sugarmill next month, can’t help but think they’d be so much better playing in bigger cities rather than standing in front of a few hundred people who couldn’t give a shit about them on a Sunday night in Stoke.

I was a bit apprehensive about Delphic tonight who similarly to Chew Lips failed to match early singles such as ‘Counterpoint’ (even though Chew Lips proved me wrong) with some of the songs taken form debut. Delphic almost instantly lost all apprehensions I may of had by kicking into furious versions of  ‘Clarion Call’ and ‘Doubt’. With plenty of electro indie pop noise and very, very flashy lights. I can tell you now if Ian Curtis was there to see his fellow Mancunian’s then he would not be having  a very happy time. Surprisingly these two opening songs were played with more heart than I expected cos they always have seemed to me to have come across as a bit faceless to the media. But once again like Chew Lips the three piece looked like they were having fun and interacted with the drunken hoard standing to my right well. The whole show worked really well for a band of this caliber and I feel that Delphic should not be ladled and indie band there more like a dance band with indie pretensions. As shown by the huge and ever so slightly epic ‘This Mometary’ which was extended to a massive 10 minutes unlike its album counterpart. Yet none of this extendedness seemed to be boring as the band managed to merge all the songs into one to make one massive progressive piece of electro beauty. Can’t help but wonder what a band like this is doing in a venue so small surely they should be playing to massive rooms full of loads fans who like flashing lights as much as i do. The sold out Sugarmill was also well up for this with arms, limbs and bodies flying left, right and centre. I even managed to apologise to that girl for saying something so stupid and went home with a massive black mark down the side of my face probably from being kicked in the face. Delphic really surprised me tonight cos’ i wasn’t really expecting that much and put on absolutely stunning visual audio display. Reminiscent of the Nintendo DS game Electroplankton but without the weird fish. Looks like Delphic might just be taking a step up to next level and hopefully they will.

James x