Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Finch, Stoke Sugarmill

Last night I stepped out with number one daughter to see a band that we hadn’t seen in a few years due to “hiatus”, Finch. A US rock band that I used to like a lot and my daughter loved, they were perhaps part of a handful of bands that got her interested in rock music.

They were playing The Sugarmill in Stoke, the last time they played, they played Birmingham Academy in the small room. The scene then was the location of my realisation that I am too old for pits, I still go to gigs where there are pits, however the circle pit at the Neil Diamond concert earlier in the year was abysmal.

I have only been to The Sugarmill once before, that was to see a local band, Hips Like Cinderella, I really like the venue, small intimate, and lots of good viewing places if you are daughter or wife sized. Sound overall was pretty good, security staff courteous, a welcome change from the Academy to be honest.

Finch had 2 support bands, this displeased me on a school night, I wanted a short set from one support and headliner and back home before 10.30. Not to be.

First support was a band called Dissolved In, before they played a note I knew what they were going to sound like, I guess on this bill its always going to be circa 2003, and these boys desperately wanted to be a Drive Thru records band in 2003. Their set was competent though and they certainly had the songs, if they were a little dated. The t-shirt the frontman was wearing was a capped t-shirt and his trousers made him look like Max Wall, which detracted from the songs a little. Randy from Finch guested on stage with them for one song, a cover, alas I don’t know what it was a cover of, I want to say a Descendants track but it was a little “loose” so couldn’t get the gist of it.

Staying in 2003 we had the next support band screaming for their supper and they were called Shadows Chasing Ghosts, I recall at one point during a metal solo performed by Jack Blacks fatter younger brother, muttering, Its like punk never happened. Not the worst band I have ever seen and the only entertainment I had was watching some 12 year olds attempt hardcore dancing. Hardcore dancing you say? Whats hardcore dancing? Look it up on youtube, its hilarious especially when done by kids.

Finch came on stage then, just a fraction before they started a space cleared and a teenager, 19/20 went into the middle and started hardcore dancing but he slipped on his backside and the crowd laughed, it tickled me somewhat. Then Finch came on.

Finch aren’t chatty, The Pixies are Billy Bragg as far as chat are concerned compared to Finch, and Finch also don’t play to the crowd, they avoid the hits and do what they want, or at least they did until the hiatus, they appear to have come back and decided that they want to be Cuba Gooding Jr in Jerry Maguire and show us the money, they play the crowd pleasers from the first two albums, Ender, What it is to burn and Letters to you to name 3, it was, it has to be said, the set I have been waiting for them to play and with the addition of a new song that sounded superb all in all it was a great set, played well, in a good venue. Nothing more to add really, a pleasant night and kid enjoyed it so lets put it down as a home win.

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