Aaron Mobberley headline @ Sugarmill.

15th September was the first and last day Samuel Astley will perform at the Sugarmill before joining a band- Lazy Vagrants. Here is what he said about leaving his solo music behind, “I feel as if it will better me as a performer, I’ll have more freedom to run around stage and the sound will be bigger, a bigger sound to me gives me more opportunity to make people feel my music, I won’t sound so empty, my studio recordings have drums etc in but when I’m live on my own they just don’t have as much feeling in them, I think other instruments such as the drums brings out the heat rate of the song, fast drums(angry) slow drum (love or sadness) I also write alot happier when I play with a band and I’m trying to stray away from my past.” Alone, Sam has this ‘voice worn down by cigarettes and alcohol’ as he says on facebook. It gives him a unique twist and you feel his influences like Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley coming through. He had two friends join him on stage with different songs. ‘It anit me babee Bratherton)’ was joined by a mellow female vocal which was totally opposite to Sam masculine vocal, it was a great combination. ‘I don’t mind’ saw another guest on stage which was TNT. Having the added rapping to this song sounding like it fitted well and showed us that Sam can cover another genre, it sounded rather hip hop with the catchy lyrics and catchy melody. Throughout Sam’s performance it became apparent that his skill of free styling lyrics was excellent. He added humour that got everyone focus upon his talent.

Alternative rock, Monster I am is made up of mainly Daniel Hodgkinson as the singer/songwriter and seven other musicians that contribute. This gig he was joined by just one of the seven who added another layer of guitar. This layer fitted unmistakably like a jigsaw with Daniels guitar. ‘I Hope You Know’ and as Dan said, ‘the hunting for bitches song’ both had emotional lyrics which were real story tellers. With vocals like Thom Yorke from Radiohead it was faultless. They covered Mr Brightside which was intensely a joke but they pulled it off. The theme of the track is jealousy that burning up inside and letting one’s imagination take over, you could feel this theme coming through his voice and performance; it was like he was a character from the song.  Having the freedom to roam around stage seemed a positive for Dan as he had likeable stage presence.

Making an appearance on ‘Ones to Watch for 2012’ Marc O’Reilly really shows the Sugarmill why. First thing I have to mention, it’s an essential; his mesmeric guitar talent. It was like all eyes were focused upon him and his guitar. He has this folk vocal of the rare intensity with a blues-infused guitar technique which continued flowed throughout his set. His skill is seen best in ‘Get Back’ when he scratches the chords from the lower strings, as he picks up speed the sound gets more violent and it becomes incredible that it was only him on stage. His vocals can easily be described as James Vincent McMorrow or Ben Howard. F.O.O still has no meaning what it means but by the lyrics you can tell that he’s had relationships that haven’t worked out. The sweet melody in ‘Hail’ gets you sway and intrigued in how he learnt this awesome talent on his guitar. Marc O’Reilly is currently on a six week tour and with the live performance he gave in Stoke I’m quite sure other cities will enjoy and be fond of his genius song writing and melody creation.

Second time having the pleasure to witness Mr. Nice Guy; Aaron Mobberbley was a treat like before. Darkness and it was like being in the movies, a unique way to start with his recent music video. It was utter silence, the atmosphere was speechless, and all eyes were fixed upon the Sugarmill screen. Aaron stood there in complete darkness not to anyone’s knowledge, all that I could think of was what may have been going through is mind maybe…’Wow all these people are watching and paying attention to my music video’. All Aaron’s songs without a doubt have this loving, gentle and passionate feel towards them whether on his own or joined with his band. Being a good musician you want to play the best for any crowd small or big. Aaron began to play the bus ride story track, ‘Roulette Winning Gold’ and suddenly realised his guitar needed tuning, only the best can come from Aaron as everyone present that night can agree. ‘Spare Room’ has them loveable lyrics you just want to jot down in your personal diary and never forget. The unique twist of Aaron Mobberbley is that he can play so beautifully on his own and yet still play beautifully with a full band. The layering effect of the drum beat, bass line and vocals gave the song somewhat more depth and a great track on his track titled EP. Personally my favourite track which gives me butterflies when he performs it is ‘Crayons’. The driven powerful drum beat and the cymbal pattering from Brad Malbon with added layer of vocals from Sam Bloor makes it an unbelievable track that takes over bodies with toe tapping and swaying. ‘Family Reunion’ sees Aaron taking a step back from stereotypical acoustic folk as he plays an electric guitar, he and his band are just full of unique twist and turns its magnificent. Ending the night with the genuine heartfelt new single ‘Unison Harmonies’ was picture perfect, powerful drum beat, meaning lyrics, solid bass line and rhythmic guitar.  His smile when he ended indicated appreciation.