I have no idea how many gigs I’ve been to in my life, hell I’ve got no idea how many gigs I’ve been to since I decided to give this music journalism thing a try. But out of all of those hundreds of shows I’ve seen and hundreds more sets I’ve seen there are of course some which are just etched on my brain for all kinds of different reasons.
Kanye West Global Gathering 2008 (Before he lost his shit) was awesome; Jay Z at what was the LG in Birmingham in 2010 was incredible; J. Cole at Wireless 2010, Faithless Global Gathering 2010, Janelle Monae at Wireless 2011, the list just goes on and on. On a local level too there have been many stand outs, Martyr De Mona at the Wulfrun, Chasing Dragons in Nottingham, Face Of A Stranger at Slade Rooms all last year were brilliant and Hightower at The Actress and Bishop was a night and a half.
Well that list has just got a little longer because I witnessed Stone Broken absolutely tear the house down in Wolverhampton last Saturday.
That performance from Stone Broken wasn’t just another rock gig it was a statement. They might as well have hung a banner from the stage saying ‘Here to steal the fucking show!’
Music and low lights set the scene even before the band had taken the stage; the whole thing had that ‘big fight feel.’ When the band did finally hit the stage what followed for the next 35/40 minutes or so was an absolute rock gig clinic.
Let Me Go set things off right with huge chunky riffs and a monster chorus to boot. Better was more of the same and the band sounded awesome and the buzz in the crowd was something that I hadn’t felt for some time. Following track Save Tomorrow was a tune that the band only finished writing the previous Wednesday and if truth be told I don’t think that they were they confident in performing it but it went down really well. It sticks nicely to the Stone Broken formula in that it pounds along on a concussive drumbeat, thick guitar riff all building towards a huge hook. It’s not rocket science by any means but it just works so so well.
Up next was something that I can’t remember any other band doing but it was honestly one of the highlights of the night. In the space of 5 minutes the band pulled out Nirvana Breed, Lenny Kravitz Are You Gonna Go My Way, and ACDC Black in Black among other legendary tunes and the crowd went wild. Again it’s such a simple idea but a fantastic one all the same. After all nothing like a quick spin of the classics to get people singing and dancing right? All of this then launched straight into a drum solo from Robyn, the like of which is normally reserved for arenas. The girl can hit, trust me on that one.
It was soon back to the originals as SB slid into the only mellow-ish point of their set with a cracking rendition of EP favourite Another Day. The crowd needed a rest and to be brought back down after the highs so the change in tempo gave everyone chance to recharge their batteries. From a geeky point of view the set was put together really well, peaks and troughs in all of the right places, and everything just flowed together really well together. However this slower moment was indeed only a moment as the band had one more surprise in store… A cover of the Backstreet Boys’ Larger Than Life. It was a really good fun moment not only watching the guys have fun on stage but watching the audience trying their best to try and retain some sort of credibility by not singing along!
The band brought down the curtain on their night with a couple more EP tracks in the form of This Is Life and Fall Back Down. It was a fantastic way to finish, the place was still buzzing, the hard-core Stone Broken fans of which there were many were belting out every word to every tune and you couldn’t help but get the feeling that this band are built for bigger things.
There aren’t many gigs or sets these days which give me the kind of buzz which Stone Broken gave me last Saturday. I know people will look at this review and think I’ve gone totally overboard but all I can do is call it as I see it. I can be accused of many things but I’ll never let it be said that I’m not honest in my reviews. This set was awesome and this band are freaking awesome. In the words of Black Hounds frontman Ant who had the unenviable task of following what I just described ‘Man I’d pay to watch those fuckers every day!’