Leah Hamer || November 23rd
The primary goal of a support act is, quite simply, to warm up the crowd. Never ones to give into convention, Thieves Asylum chose to set the crowd alight instead. Patty got the wheels rolling before Top Hat Rider sent the audience into a spin. Following that came their latest single, IKYKIK, which has been circulating the depths of my sub-conscious since its release in May. With these twinges of psychedelia amongst the heavy rock bursting through on the racy solos, and the banging chorus, hearing the unfeasibly infectious tune live is always a pleasure. Distinctive rhythms, catchy lyrics, and a cool, stylish presence from each member means that Thieves have an overwhelming amount of potential. Finishing with fan favourite Noc Noc, the foursome teased the crowd with the ending and soaked up the atmosphere of the ballroom. Thieves Asylum a truly a band that deserve a big stage.
Bromances are great, bandmances are even better, and Thieves Asylum and Psyence go together like bread and butter. The psyched out five piece glided onto the stage and welcomed Keele into their hypnotic world. A spectacle of flashing lights, juicy riffs and entrancing synth beats was unleashed by the supreme artists on that stage. Each member leaks passion from their pores and looks the perfect part on stage. Showing off some new material as well as their usual winners like Falling In Love Once Again and The Bad Seed, gave me a tickling excitement for their debut album that will be released next year. With new member, Jamie Cartlidge, now fully settled into his role on guitar, it now appears he was the missing piece of the jigsaw, and Psyence have harnessed this extra body in a manner that allows them to sound utterly complete.
‘The old… and the new… balance out great.’ Cast’s legendary Liverpudlian singer, John Power, said to me in a recent interview regarding their set-lists on tour. His words could not have been more true, about not only their choices of song at Keele University on Saturday night, but also of the audience as well. Right at the front barrier, stood an endearing elderly couple, who must have been in their seventies, rocking out to Sandstorm. Next to them, was a pack of lairy teenagers, singing equally as hard. Cast brought together generations of music lovers in one space, and they proudly championed a belief of celebrating the past and the present. With the nostalgic classics like Fine Time and future hits like Kicking Up The Dust, the iconic indie quartet are not stuck in a time machine. They are ever-growing.
They are at ease on stage. After decades in the business, I half-expect that they could perform blindfolded. They perform with a maturity and a wisdom that only comes after a lifetime of musical experience. Cast are the masters of melodies. There was not a single song that John sung solo, the crowd were his choir. Playing on binary emotions, the tracks ranged from upbeat yellers like Alright and touching criers like Walkaway. Happy and sad. Old and new. Cast will always remain timeless.