Saturday Sun at The Prince Albert, 15/01/14
Thinking I was going to be late, I luckily made it just in time to the Prince Albert, sweating from a warm night, warm venue and too many people!
Too many people was a good thing, as The Creaking Chair started off the night to a big crowd at the Prince Albert. The moniker of Andy Cooper’s musical project, this was the first time I have ever seen The Creaking Chair in a full-band set-up, with Ryan Bollard on drums, Sam Clarke on bass and newcomer Ozzy Ellis on lead guitar.
The band set-up still managed to retain and even build on the charm of the Creaking Chair’s unique sound with Andy’s fascinating sea-sick guitar pedal background waver which flows in and out of every song. The themes of the songs seem to explore the ideas of crumbling systems and the inexpressible feelings of loss and emptiness without the need to be cynical nor straightforward; it’s a great feeling when an artist can really get to the crux of universal feelings in a really imaginative way.
The surprising main support was an act called Chalk, a moniker for solo acoustic singer-songwriter Steven Stride. The singer moved through different kinds of screams to really focus on his disillusionment with society. One can definitely see the cathartic reasoning behind this type of performance, but it unfortunately lacked the sensitivity or subtlety to make it standout in any unique way. Maybe Chalk could work in a full-band set-up to create some dynamics to the performance.
And finally Saturday Sun took to the stage for their headline show. The four-piece powered through some heavy power-pop, sometimes echoing Kings of Leon. There were some interesting times, and interesting sounds, and lead singer Alex Hedley has one of the most powerful pitch-perfect voices I’ve heard live in an extremely long time, however Saturday Sun came and went in a blink without much memorability. The songs were well-crafted if somewhat predictable at times, but it was definitely Alex’s vocals which made the whole set cohesive. Maybe it’s the slightly out-dated genre of guitar-driven power-house male bands that didn’t make this set as compelling as it could have been 8-10 years ago.