16
Jun
09

Review: Shylos/Amber Rising (Limelight, 11-Jun-2009)

It had been quite a while since I last went to the Limelight, so with the combined influences of Limelight Dave offering to put me on the guest list and Amber Rising Dave letting me know about the gig in the first place I figured it was time to rectify my omission and make the half-hour walk from CM HQ.  (The suffering I go through for my art!)  There are lots of rumours about the Limey and its ongoing viability which I won’t repeat here, but whether these rumours are a symptom or the cause of the low turnout, or whether it’s just because it was a Thursday night and people have to work on Friday is hard to say, but it seemed that there were about the same number of people on stage as there were in the audience.

Small audience or not, though, the show must go on!  First up, from sunny Stoke, were The Shylos, who gave me hope that the DIY garage-punk ethic is still alive and well.  Judged purely on a technical level they probably wouldn’t fare too well, and indeed their cover of a Blink 182 track (or Sum 41 or Linkin Park or one of those kinds of bands — I’m never sure which is which) was something of a mess, but complaining would be to miss the point, and when they played their original material complete with off kilter guitars, vocals that didn’t really belong to any particular key, and on-stage tomfoolery they showed their strengths rather than highlighted their weaknesses.  Far from the polished yet empty turds of boy-band "pop punk", this was the gleeful noise of a bunch of lads playing because they wanted to!

Also hailing from Stoke, Amber Rising‘s alt.rock/blues provided a strange contrast, bringing touches of late 80s/early 90s acts like Big Country to the stage.  It’s a genre that’s never really grabbed me, and they had perhaps a little too much guitar soloing than was strictly necessary — if in doubt, skip the middle eight! — but it was overall a solid performance, with some hummable choruses, a mix of ballady slow numbers and faster paced 12-bar riffery, and some examples of excellent musicianship.  I had a quick word with Dave before the start of the show and he said it’s hard to get a gig in Stoke unless you’re an indie band, so if you’re a more traditional rock fan why not head to The Box on the 19th and show your support.

(And once again, thanks to Dave at the Limelight.)

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1 Response to “Review: Shylos/Amber Rising (Limelight, 11-Jun-2009)”


  1. June 17, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Just wanted to say a big thanks to Mat for coming down to watch and review us (as well as some cracking photography), The Shylo’s for supporting us and the Limelight for having us – Small Crowds aside its a cracking venue to play at and we had a great night !


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