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We received an invitation to attend the ‘Bring The Light’ E.P launch night of the Warrington based band The Stocks, at the Manchester Academy III, by Jo Poole the Manager. I can honestly say right or wrong that I wouldn’t entertain a show if I didn’t like the music, otherwise you’re heading for a very limited review. I’d caught this bands short set at the Warrington Festival last summer, playing with several other bands, but tonight we’d see them headlining.

We arrived around 8.30pm and the show had already started into the second band of the night, who were Idol Minds (we missed Kismet Ryding).There were five bands in all playing for our perusal. We’re becoming quite the regulars at this venue, and tonight it was a pretty packed house, with a mainly young crowd, of under 25’s, amidst a few parental type figures. It’s always inspiring when I hear North West bands delivering the goods, no bullshit, just honest down to earth, that’s what we do. Tonight was certainly one of those occasions. 

The Articles - So with camera at the ready the first full set for us began with a four piece Wigan band called The Articles. The group are led by Azzer on vocals & Rhythm Guitar, Damo - Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals, Zoë - Bass, Grimdawg - Drums. A very impressive first number rang out called ‘Same Old You’. I guess if you had to describe them it would be a pop, rock band, although that might be doing them a disservice?

Ringing through the hall delivering a huge crisp sound, heavy bass, thunderous drumming and sparkling guitar, technically I couldn’t fault them. They even tried ‘Rooftops’ a LostProphets cover, Azzer spoke about seeing them in Preston recently, a gig Mudkiss also attended.

A pretty popular band, many had their cameras out, the bass player is a pretty girl called Zoë who certainly has a bit of style with the bass. It’s always great to see a female in the band, girl power and all that malarkey.And they certainly kept me entertained waiting for the main act, which can't always be said.

Same Old You
Beginning of the End
That was Me
I’m Alright
I won’t Wait  

System Fault – From Manchester’s region, a six piece alt rock band, who’ve been together for five years. Tonight they imploded onto the stage and hit 0 - 100 within minutes. Josh Fitzpatrick on vocals, unleashed his angst and facial grimaces onto the crowd and they lapped it up. Whilst his band of merry men fought alongside, Dan Woolfie giving us some classic heavy guitar playing, next to James 'Juice' Collard with his luminous bass, Andy Walsh on Guitar he wouldn’t look out of place playing for The Quireboys in his natty ensemble. Whilst on Synth, Andi Sidwell (albeit hidden at the back) formed the perfect band.

The crowd loved them, a mosh pit was formed and the party commenced. Unlike other very loud rock bands I have encountered previously on this stage the sound was just the right volume, with no vocal distortions. If alt rock is your scene you can’t go wrong with this band, the old saying springs to mind “THEY RAWK”!

Ten Jagged Daggers
Art + soul
This Is It
Jacobs Ladder
Mr. Priest

The Stocks - A four piece consisting of Luke on vocals & guitar, Matt – guitar & harmonica, Kev – bass and Tom on drums. Luke as a frontman, possesses stylish poise and eye candy appeal. The Stocks dominate a kind of cool stance, although not aloof, certainly not too cool as Luke had no qualms about wishing his Mum a happy birthday. The Stocks hold the elements of blues, rock, dance, echo guitars and a psychedelic, indie resonance within their make up.

At around 10pm they gave us a performance to be proud of, they’ve come a long way since last summer, having increased in confidence, ability and stage presence. As with the previous bands, a faultless show, giving it their all with a tight set, and camaraderie between the band. The lighting served to enhance the music with the obligatory smoke machine. They did a crackin cover version of ‘What Is Love’ and their entire performance certainly glimmered brightly, which brings me to the title track of their new release ‘Bring the light’ a great single, which they played with lashing of aplomb. Without so much as a breath then launched into ‘Lure Of The Cure’. Having been nominated for Band of the Month in August 2009 for Wire FM (107.2). Things are looking first-class for The Stocks and with the release of their E.P watch this space, and remember where you saw them first.

Shallow Water
Love Someone
Tunnel Vision
Bring The Light
Lure of the Cure
3rd Degree
Open Rain
What is love (cover version)
Twisted Minds
Good Times
Line of Sight




Review/photos/video of The Articles by Mel
Video of The Stocks by Vanessa

More photos to be added on