Pent Up Energy Finally Released At Hometown Headliner
Emily Jones || September 8th
It was surprisingly busy in Hanley on Sunday night, as crowds gathered at The Underground to be entertained. Local favourites Release were gearing up to play their first hometown headliner in three months and they’d brought along some friends to help.
Having missed The Lounge Act, I was greeted with the closing songs of Park Avenue’s set, an alternative rock band from Manchester with a great sound and a great image. With tight tracks and a well rehearsed set, it was clear that they’d be leaving Stoke with more fans than when they’d arrived.
Local band ALMA were next to take to the stage. Having only been together for a short time, ALMA had a swaggering stage presence of a feisty up and coming band. Playing a combination of originals and covers, ALMA pulled in a crowd that showed they’d struck a chord with the younger generation. This was only proven further, when they performed an impromptu version of ‘The Hunter’ by Slaves. It was a definite crowd pleaser and ALMA are heading for good things.
The final support of the evening came from another non-local band from Bristol called Crystal Balloon. “We’re the new kids in town” they stated, before tearing through original tracks ‘Insomniac’, ‘Signal’ and ‘Burning The Evidence’ taken from their brand new EP ‘Hurricane’. They had a sound that filled the room and made you unable to take your eyes of them. Let’s hope we’ll be seeing more from them soon.
When Release took to the stage, there was a definite feeling of anticipation in the air. Calling everyone forward, away from their hiding places at the sides of the venue, Caleb Allport seemed full of confidence. And he had every reason to be; Release had been away from home turf for sometime and, judging by the warm reception of the heaving crowd before them, they had been missed.
Opening with ‘Neat Seat’ Release set the bar instantly, their presence domineering and their music loud. Up at the front things were already getting rowdy, with bodies bounding around in time to the music. It felt like random rehearsed madness, but somehow, Release took it all in their stride. Playing ‘Public Urination’, a crowd favourite, ‘No Idea’ and ‘Back To The Old Routine’, the five local lads seemed to get better and better. As Allport filled the stage with every bit of himself, it was blatantly obvious that he was exactly where he belonged. With a character, attitude and personality as overwhelming as Allport’s, it’s only fair that Release take their musical career all the way.
Dropping his two-fingers-to-society front for just a moment, Allport took a few moments to express his gratitude to the audience that had gathered to see his band, “especially on a fucking Sunday. It’s good to be back” he said, wiping sweat from his brow before pouring a glass of water over himself and diving head first into their final track, current single ‘The Inevitable’.
There’s something about Release that makes me excited. Whether they meant to or not, in the last twelve months, they’ve developed into a band that makes relatable music for the younger generation; a generation that’s lost all faith in a society they no longer have a place in. But as long as Release keep making music and give people a reason to go out on a Sunday night, I think they have a chance of restoring that faith, one song at a time.