Local Rock Scene Soaring

The Freebird In Newcastle Provides Perfect Platform

Becky Snow || July 29th

Local music fans braved the rain on 22nd July and made their way to the Freebird in Newcastle-under-Lyme to check out Between Angels and Idols at their latest hometown show. Supported by alternative punk newbies YOUYESYOU and prog metal outfit Construct, this line up showcased some home grown talent in a whole range of genres.

Kicking off the night: newcomers to the Stoke music scene, YOUYESYOU, an alternative trio made up of members of Stone the Alchemist and Scarlett Arcade. Creating their own brand of alt punk, these guys are bringing something a little different to the table – it’s purely drums, bass and vocals, but their lack of guitarist doesn’t mean their sound is lacking. Their songs are all big riffs (from very small bassist Liam Stride) and pounding drums from Jordan Poole. Vocalist Chris Munday switches seamlessly between singing and screams, with songs ranging from the upbeat and infectious to the angry and frenetic, and coupled with the energetic show they put on, this band are a lot of fun. Drawing comparisons to Rage Against the Machine and an angrier Muse, and already garnering praise from audiences and other bands alike, they’re one to watch this year.

Providing main support were metal 5 piece Construct, who played a fantastic set full of atmosphere and technique. Frontman Callum Howle is brilliantly engaging to watch, a strong vocalist throughout who balances a great performance with audience interaction, and backing vocals from Mike Foxall add more depth to the sound. The technical complexity of the music is really impressive; bassist Chris Lovatt and guitarists Mike and Richard Howle create some amazing riffs with great tone, all tied together with storming beats from drummer Sam Hunt. As the heavier band of the night, these guys are a must-watch for fans of all things prog and djent, as they manage to combine these styles with their own original spin on the sound. Influences from the giants of the genre such as TesseracT and Periphery are there for sure, but as a band that takes influence from everything from pop to jazz, they've got a unique edge that helps them stand out from the norm.

Last on were headliners Between Angels and Idols. Made up of former members of various Stoke bands, most notably Hypothesis, they specialise in the more classic side of alternative rock, with an accessible sound that stays true to the genre without being overly heavy. Fronted by Tess Mctigue and Carl Foster, the use of both female and male vocals is a nice touch and allows for some variation within the set. Their dynamic on stage works really well and they both gave strong performances. The classic rock influences are clear in the performance of guitarists Ben Leese and Gav Hand and bassist Dave Owen. Playing a variety of Hypothesis songs, such as Absinthe Fairy and Blameless, and several from Ben’s 2013 side project Blacklist (in which he coincidentally worked with Chris of YOUYESYOU), there will be some familiar material for those who were fans previously, brought up to date with the new line up. This is interspersed with some of their own newer songs which fit well within the set . It will be interesting to see what's next for Between Angels and Idols and in which direction they take their new music in future.