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Emma Scott Presents This Wicked Tongue + October Sky + Last Gasp + Road to Horizon @ O2 Academy 3, Birmingham – 17th September

posted 24 Sep 2011, 02:24 by Unknown user   [ updated 1 Oct 2011, 12:40 ]
Review by Lisa Nash; Pix by Russ Powney

Before this ‘Emma Scott Presents’ gig begins there is an air of anxiety as This Wicked Tongue are waiting for the arranged bus to bring their fans from nearby Worcester, but with three other acts this evening, those who are here already have plenty to enjoy with October Sky, Last Gasp, and Road to Horizon.

Wakefield's four piece Road to Horizon look fresh from the gym or the beach, macho, muscle-bound, fit and athletic, they cut striking figures on stage. Heavy and powerful, they can certainly entertain. Yet it's all too much at once, stopping you from appreciating the finer points of the music which is a shame because here there is something fine to appreciate. Because he has a supreme talent for shredding, they should bring this guitarist to the front and stop trying to drown him out. Just as they begin their last song, the crowd arrives. Check them out here.

Last Gasp is an interesting group, the bassist seems to be smaller than his bass, and he can really handle that bass with strong deft fingers. The guitarist resembles a young Brian Wilson, the drummer looks angry and seems intent on killing the toms, and the tall slender guitar/vocalist has a ragamuffin appeal. Musically chaotic, there must be a tune in there somewhere. I've no idea what the lyrics to any of the songs are, yet despite this it works. With punk overtones and strong bass lines, Last Gasp have an unidentifiable attraction that’s exciting and engaging.

Check them out here.

Canadian band October Sky have instant rapport with the crowd. They have the stage presence of a stadium band. There is variety in their songs and a good use of vocal effects, Karl having the vocal prowess of Jared Leto and elements of Muse and The Killers. While their shout out of thanks to Emma Scott for inviting them gets the biggest cheer of the night, from a room full of total strangers at the start of their set, they leave the stage with a venue full of fans. ‘Hit the Ground’ will be released on 3rd October.

Check them out here

This Wicked Tongue are a band I am familiar with but have never yet managed to see, so I am glad to put that right. With main focal point Tina V on vocals and keys, TWT grind out sexy, raunchy music, the bass vibrating through the soul. This is proper headbanging music and the audience are revved up for it. Tina Vs voice is poppy, soulful, rocky and hard all at the same time, the music making you want to dance. I've seen the guitarist, Haydn, before in another band, and while he is not the most technical player, he does have a great feel for the music and his accompanying vocals blend very well, complimenting Tina Vs voice. TWT have what must be the fastest-fingered bassist in the west, Rob, and while this may be a female-fronted rock band, it isn’t girly. During ‘Creature’, drummer Ben decides to sport a towel on his head. Tina V is the perfect cross between girl-next-door and super model, her tight purple leggings ensuring that there are some happy people in the audience. They finish on the delightful ‘Ray Mears v Bear Grylls’, and as Tina V steps onto the barrier to get closer to her fans, it is a triumphant success.

Check them out here.

Tonight has been a night when bassists have proved they are not just the “also ran”’s of a band as they have all really shone through. This was a night where everyone stayed to see a lineup of great bands and showed a lot of appreciation. A very enjoyable night, thanks to Emma Scott and all four bands.

View Russ Powney's pix here: