Since my dad has a couple more music events planned for the next couple of months I've been hitting up the Stoke music scene once again. It's quite funny really, because I've never ever been into seeing unsigned bands playing live until this year, yet now its one of my favorite night-time activities. The sounds are much more raw than you get at signed-band concerts, the crowds are more intimate and friendly and the drinks are cheaper!
Anyway, I've decided to start a new feature called 'Culture Shock' in which I'll do my more lifestyle-type posts with reviews of gigs, movies, books, theater performances, album releases and more.
*The Sugarmill from outside, looks a bit like an abandoned warehouse or something*
So for my first post, I want to tell you about the gig me and my dad went to last night. The Musgraves were playing at our local music venue, The Sugarmill. The Sugarmill has a bunch of bands playing each week, some are signed, some are not and the diverse range of musical genres makes The Sugarmill a mish-mash of different types of people. Its a really friendly venue and it has the most beautifully renovated upstairs terrace bar which makes it feel quite cosmopolitan for rough-and-ready Stoke-on-Trent.
*The Sugarmill's roof-top bar at night time*
To be honest, I probably wouldn't have gone to the gig if it wasn't for the fact that one of my favorite local bands, the Sherry Counsellors, were supporting. This five-piece band performed at my dad's music festival, HippyHaze, at Easter and I was hooked. So me and my dad threw on our glad-rags and headed out for a night of musical pleasure...
*Yeah, I go on nights out with my dad. And what?*
Sherry Counsellors are an indie band with a difference. Slightly older than your usual indie rock'n'rollers, these guys are able to throw all of their past musical experiences into one fantastic hotch-potch of catchy guitar riffs, throbbing beats and meaningful lyrics. Not to mention that if you have a penchant for older men, like an antique bottle of wine their ages make them all the more delicious!
*Aren't they pretty??? The band's image is so smart and clean-cut which I love as they all wear collared shirts, ties and sharp suit jackets. And the bassist wears a kilt. Very cool.*
Each and every song sounds different which is enhanced by the fact that the band swap roles every now and then to mix things up a bit. My favorite songs are the mellow Fortunas Fool, the rocking Aveline and the risque She Rides (the lyrics to which are practically pornographic and with the passionate vocal stylings of Keith Mellor the song is one of the sexiest I've ever heard!)
*Aveline by Sherry Counsellors. Subscribe to their youtube channel already!*
One of my favorite things about this band is the use of trumpet in a couple of songs. You don't really get that in many indie bands these days where its usually like, 'If you don't play guitar, bass or drums then you're NOT COOL'. Plus, the band always look like they're having a great time and they sometimes go for a cheeky stroll around the audience while performing which I think is a nice touch. As someone who knows practically NOTHING about the technical side of music (bar vocals), I can't really comment on the guitarists, bassist or drummer's work, but from where I'm standing they all seem very talented.
To find out more about Sherry Counsellors, check out this video:
Hope you love them as much as I do! If so, please like their facebook page, subscribe to their youtube channel and let them know that you want them to come play at a city near you. We need to support unsigned unique bands like Sherry Counsellors a lot more because they're the future of the industry, so get clicking :)
Also supporting The Musgraves were young alternative rock band In The Cards. If you like Paramore, you'll love these too!
What do you think of Sherry Counsellors? Do you support your local music scene? Have you been to any unsigned-band gigs recently? I'm always hunting for something new to listen to so let me know if you've got any favorites!
Love and snuggles