by Ben Adsett
I have never been to Aldershot before, but with a line up of bands from two of my favorite labels Alcopop! and Specialist Subject how could I refuse. I braved the minus temperatures and snow in hope of a warm atmosphere and certainly found one at the Westend Centre.
The label/zine fair had an acoustic stage which saw the day start perfectly. Telison brought an emotive warm up to their headline set and Itoldyouiwouldeatyou brought lyrical and vocal intensity. But it was Happy Accidents that stole the early plaudits, with a measured and frankly wonderful acoustic re-working of songs mostly from the new LP Everything But the Here and Now. An afternoon in the warmth watching acoustic acts is pretty perfect.
With Dogeyed the afternoon moved to evening and the volume increased. The surf inspired power pop creates a sun drenched haze much needed on such a cold day. The fuzz and pop hooks are individual and the band really come into their own as instrumental breakdowns lead to heavy finishes.
Itoldyouiwouldeatyou brought showmanship throughout the stage to the evening. The entire band oozed charisma as they tore through a furious set of mathy emo bangers. The set closer ended with the singer in the crowd and a stunned silence as a room was blown away.
This was a tough act to follow but luckily Fresh are a tough band. They are a band that ooze cool, there is an effortlessness to every note despite clearly complex musicianship. The sunsoaked guitar parts fit perfectly into a DIY punk sound and once more the room feels a lot warmer.
Within seconds of hitting the stage Peaness had the room enchanted. The harmony heavy vocals and angular guitars are a perfect match. The off kilter musicainship fits effortlessly into pop hooks and infectious hooks complete an incredible live sound. Stage patter aside this is a remarkable performance.Once more there is a stunned silence, as a smiling audience need a second to compute before clapping.
With Caves appearance on the stage the evening takes yet another turn for the better. From first to last note an entire room is engrossed in technical punk. Every element of every song is balanced perfectly guitar and bass combine on a knife edge and the complex drumming adds fascination to the rhythm section. It is in the powerful emotive vocals that Caves really come into their own. The set is an emotional rollercoaster but the ending is euphoric.
Sometimes a room has an infectious atmosphere, today you can almost see it above the crowd. As soon as Tellison sing their first word the audience joins in, it is impossible not to smile in moments like this. For the entire hour set Tellison have hundreds of members and they sound incredible.
With the emotive style of every single moment it is impossible not to feel your way through songs of friendship, love had and lost and death. Ultimately even the saddest of songs are turned on their heads with singalong choruses and infectious hooks. Tellison may be the best band in the UK, the completeness of their live sound is mind blowing. This factors in with an onstage charisma to create a joyous hour. This time as they play the final note the audience are more than ready to clap.
Lets Stop Hanging Out have launched with a contender for show of the year, I can’t wait to see what they have planned next.