Emily Jones || March 11th
Loud, triumphant and godlike; three words to describe Psyence’s EP launch gig at The Exchange last Friday night. Great amounts of anticipation and excitement have been building around the release of A New Dawn for what seems like an age and so it was no surprise that the energy in the room was noticeable from the second you stepped inside.
Eagerly, the audience waited as the support acts took to the stage. First up was Emily Kate, a young Music Awards of Staffordshire & Cheshire nominee, who soothed the audience with a combination of originals and covers, including her own version of Jolene by Dolly Parton. Although she was easily lost amongst the heavier acts around her, her set remained strong and promising and I look forward to hearing more of her music as she develops.
Following her were Indigo, with a set so powerful, it was enough to upstage the headliners. Performing tracks including their current single Devils Treasure and B side The Stranger, as well as a brand new as yet unreleased song, Jim Windsor and Elliot Wilcox seemed unstoppable. Unsurprisingly, the audience seemed to enjoy them too, giving them the loudest cheer of the night whilst no doubt wondering when we’ll be lucky enough to receive another musical offering from the duo.
Last but not least, it was the turn of Liverpool-based Lying Bstards (or Shy Billy as they’re now known as), a rock four piece who no-one in the room really knew much about. But after hearing them play their set to the appreciative Stoke crowd, it was quite clear that they were the perfect choice to support Psyence. By the end of their set, they’d gained a room full of new fans and could leave safe in the knowledge, that if they were to headline a show in Stoke, they’d definitely have a crowd worth playing to.
As Shy Billy stepped off the stage, the energy in the room reached an all time high. I’d heard that this performance was going to be like no other, with talk of lighting effects and smoke machines to ensure a memorable night was had. As the crowd gathered at the front of the stage, Stephen Pye, Joe Walsh, Jamie Bellingham, Ben Nixon and Jamie Cartlidge strode onto the stage, like soldiers commencing battle. Their stage, now lit up with trippy projections behind them and room shaking strobe lighting, looked immense and so was their set. Playing tracks from their brand new EP including Cold Blooded Killer, Bad Seed and the spine tingling Falling In Love Again, Psyence put everyone into a psychedelic infused trance, with their spiraling spongey guitar solos and stadium sized sound. Their set was powerful and their presence domineering, as they displayed before the crowd the full extent of their combined talent. As they came to the end of their evening, the crowd continued to shout for more. With encouragement from drummer Walsh, the band ripped through one final song.
Once the night was over, the lights were up and the band were offstage, it was time to assess the damage. Thankfully, Pye and Cartlidge’s soul shivering guitars hadn’t blown any holes in the ceiling, but I’m pretty sure the walls had most definitely been shaken. Psyence are fast becoming a huge concern and with their brand new EP now officially released into the ether, it’s only a matter of time before they’re a name on everyone’s lips.