Review: Help for Heroes Charity Concert
December was a cracking month in Wrexham for local music. Christmas week saw both wrexhammusic.co.uk’s annual spruce and the Polly Mackey/ Gallops extravaganza being held at Central Station.
The Help for Heroes gig at Wrexham Memorial Hall continued with this momentum and finished the year off in style.
Orient Machine had no trouble getting the show on the road. The band march through their set with a great sense of confidence and vigor and it seems clear that months of practice and gigging have paid off.
Not only do Stop the 64 do a nice line in roadie-ing and stage management they also squeeze in a stellar performance. The much acclaimed, The Revolutionary Spirit almost steal the show. Their dynamic progressive sound floats around the room absorbing the atmosphere. With dreamy vocals and soaring guitar lines they create a sound reminiscent of early Verve but with enough originality to mean that 2011 might be their year.
Mowbird play a great set of spiky punk songs and prove they are worthy of the buzz being generated around them. Performing their final gig as Trader, the newly-christened Portlights give one of their best performances to date. The band will go to ground for a few months before re-emerging with a new E.P. If tonight’s show which features two new songs is anything to go by we are in for a right treat.
It’s amazing how far The Scene have come in such a short space of time but then they are relentless. This band of workhorses have ploughed their way through countless venues and nights in the last few months and it is for this reason they play to a packed house. New member Craig Allen rips open the keyboards during opener ‘Panorama’ and gives the song a honky tonk retread. Set closer ‘Come Away’ soars in and jams out and threatens to bring the house down.
And how can The Fag Machine follow this? The answer is quite effortlessly. Frontman Phil Chennels treads the boards as if he’s walking on air. The Fag Machine’s dark theatrics and unique stage presence brings the curtain down on a perfect evening.
All in all the bands take a wide open space and make it their own – 2011 is clearly up for grabs and these are some of the bands that will own it. Until next time then…
Brendan GriffithsEmail: email@example.com
Brendan is the organiser of The Spectrum events, which are held regularly in and around Wrexham.