What a better way to spend a Saturday evening than at the Redrum, Stafford, when 3 top bands are playing. The place is packed out before the opening act gets away on the stage. The crowd are gathered and it’s a t-shirt war comprising of all 3 acts.
First up is Weston Rd. Hailing from Stafford, this 3-piece is named after the road where their studio is located. All session musicians in their own right, with interests in different musical genres, including hip-hop and folk, this promises to be a stand out set. And we are not wrong.
Their sound is heavier than expected after briefly talking with the band prior to them hitting the stage. Promising stage attire, Joe Blanks, vocals and guitars, has a style, as eclectic as the musical genres promised. He is joined on stage by Jake Brown on drums and Leon Philipsen on bass guitar. A few songs in, played swiftly one after another and we are treated to a drum solo by Brown, who demonstrates his prowess with confidence.
After that, we are straight back in with more songs, comprising some new and some older tunes. Blanks has a distinctive voice which is periodically supported with backing vocals by Philipsen.
There is obviously a good chemistry with the trio and the crowd confirm their tightness and professionalism with a positive response.
This was my first time seeing Weston Rd live and admittedly I only began to listen to them in the build-up to this gig. I can confirm that they have recruited another fan, I’m in. I will be looking forward to future releases.
Next up was These Wicked Rivers. I am aware of their music as I own their 2 EPs but was still to catch them live, so tonight was going to be a treat. Full of expectation they did not disappoint. Starting their set with Stones Painted Gold and establishing themselves on that small stage the band took their positions with grace and ease.
Their forty-minute set flew by and was well balanced. John Hartwell delivers hardy vocals which are further enhanced with the commanding Dan Southall, driving momentum on the drums. Arran Day on guitar complements the strumming made by Hartwell. Sam Williams’s thumping bass completes this quartet, creating the perfect blend.
Their closing song ‘Don’t pray for me’ is a beautiful crafted song, with a deep soulful and philosophic tone. With ‘The Enemy’ and ‘II’ both excellent EP’s I can’t wait for future releases. With their second EP, they seem to have found the direction and their live show reflects this.
These Wicked Rivers are exceptional live and if they’re not a force to be reckoned with in 2020 I’ll eat my hat, or John Hartwells.
It is then onto our headliners. I have seen Ryders Creed too many times to mention and so I know already that this is going to be a treat.
This local 5 piece certainly has been busy, fresh from Ramblin’ Man and Steelhouse, this set at Redrum offers a more intimate performance.
Starting off the set with ‘Promise’, the room is jumping from the first chord. No-one is jumping as high as Ryan Anthony Hulme! As frontmen go, he is as energetic as a puppy. He begins the set on the ground level with the punters, looking forward towards the stage. He’s getting his game on and the room are excited, like a greyhound in the traps.
He generally enjoys his craft and this is infectious. He knows how to work a crowd and this is always rewarded in a polished performance.
Lee Gilbert keeps time better than the speaking clock throughout the performance, never missing a beat. Lee Spencer on the guitar is just so happy to be up there, this emanates from his whole demeanour, he plays with confidence.
With Myles Cooper showing off his new tattoo, he can’t keep the smile of his face and Richard Clark donning his identifiable leather jacket, Ryders Creed stagecraft is top drawer. With a teaser of some new material in the mix, together with their familiar yet fresh anthems the set was perfectly balanced.
Ryders Creed have it all, the look, personality, stage craft, professionalism and foremost the musical ability. They also have a humbleness which is a really refreshing quality. This is a strength that will see them tower above. They promise and they deliver each time. These boys are destined for bigger things. They are getting the job done and remaining grounded at the same time. They must be a promoters dream.
Whether in the studio or on the stage they show their fans the upmost respect and will always take the time to interact with them. This is further backed up with their social media presence.
When they make it big, which they will, it will be a hard one for fans to pinpoint the ‘I was there’ analogy, as there would be too many occasions to actually pinpoint the best gig to say it to.
With a second album currently being worked on, and this crowd were salivating for more. These guys have so far established themselves to be gentlemen of the NWOCR movement, and have further cemented this with their competence musically they will be around for a very long time.
‘Raise the hoof’