Scruff Of The Neck Creating Showcase Nights Of Local Talent
Leah Hamer || September 7th
Scruff of the Neck Records returned to The Exchange on Saturday evening to showcase a tasty trio of local talent, kicking off with Stoke’s power couple, Indigo. Elliot Wilcox and Jim Windsor are unfairly gifted. Some bands spend years adding and swapping more and more members, yet always remain mediocre. Indigo only need two guys with wavy mops and a couple of instruments, and they are lightyears ahead of most. Suave gritty riffs and towering drums make up their sound- dense indie with sporadic kisses of rock n roll blues. Well-loved classics like Indigo are crowd pleasers as its whoas produce untameable snake hips within the audience members, but their new single Devil’s Treasure and the accompanying b-side, The Stranger emerged as the winning tracks of the night.
Poliptik followed, giving the crowd a mature, wise and intricate set list made up of saucy psychedelic riffs and daring drumbeats. As a band, Poliptik are reliable- their tracks are imaginative and creative- their performance is always consistent and trustworthy. John Blair, Jake and Jordan Stannard, and Ryan Belfield manage to produce timeless songs that conjure up kaleidoscopic visions and trance-inviting melodies. You are propelled in a time machine to some summer of love festival. I’ve seen them multiple times this year, and I will never tire of their wonderful ability to transport me into a different life.
Finally came the noteworthy headliners who have been gliding through the scene with ease this year, after releasing two glorious singles and bagging themselves a support slot with their idols, Augustines. Divine Youth are the monochrome lovechild of Pulp and Interpol- reviving an early noughties, alternative guitar band vibe. Their tracks are cinematic, suited for some indie film noir flick- in black and white, of course. Their singles like Please Pour Away Those Petrol Eyes have this muted yet lively emotion, husky and haunting yet rocking and banging at the same time. Dan Sheldon has this enigmatic voice that produces passion without straining into a scream or a yell- it is a raspy whisper that still manages to pack some volume. His brother Michael’s bass is the key to the precise rhythm of their songs making each track sleek polished and sleek, alongside Liam Kaye’s powerhouse drumming. They uniquely toy with different genres - changing the atmosphere with each track, reflecting their stunning individuality.