By Ian Haughey - 6th February 2012 7:02am
The snow fell on Saturday night, the temperature dropped — but only outside the Scout & Guide Hall in Audlem. Inside the gigged rocked! For the handful of people that made it out on the one winter's night of 2012 — they had a ball.
From the minute local band The Wash enticed you in with 'She's my religion', the temperature started to rise. The Hall is probably one of the best local venues for live music. With the main lights down, stage lights up, front man Wayne Capper cut a formidable image through the laser lit haze, his unique vocal style drove through the band's own, 'Use me' and a favourite of their following, 'Sirens'.
The Wash sound, created through distinctive driving bass lines and haunting electric guitars, is layered with a vocal that really delivers their own penned tracks. Think Stereophonics, Manics and Starsailor as influences, then add the originality from some well crafted lyrics, which includes the band's signature track 'Eddies Stripper', ending a very accomplished opening set.
In what was a typical gig atmosphere the audience, of mixed ages, showed their appreciation and eagerly awaited the Modern Alarms.. With no introductions the stage erupted with Modern Alarms. anthemic' Voodoo dancing monkey man', followed by 'Plight of Blighty', 'Supersoul' and 'Comfort in ignorance' before mellowing in to the thought provoking 'Pride aside'.
The band is tight, technically and emotionally, from Gled's driving drums, or teasing beats with brushes, laying the foundation for Colm's bass rhythms and Fray, with his array of pedals, rings out every note on guitar.
No doubt about the influences of Manchester bands that underlies Modern Alarms. sound, it's the added energy driven from their lyrics that metamorphosis front man Dom, creating memorable performances, whether an audience of one or thousands, this band perform and Dom never fails to engage.
And so it was as the energy levels raised through the rest of their set 'Matador in red', 'Showtime smile', the revamped 'Modus operandi', 'S.O.B, Freak factory' and 'Thinking out loud' into a demanded encore which left the audience with a warmth inside.
I'm not sure that this is reminiscent of one of those points in history, such as the legendary Sex Pistols gig at Manchester's Lesser Free Trade Hall in June 1976: one of the most influential gigs of all time. Hundreds of people have claimed: 'I was there.' given an estimated 35 — 45 people that night, but if ever it does I will say "I was there".
Look out for Modern Alarms. new CD currently being recorded locally at Audlem's Hollow Floor Studio.
The Wash's 'Eddies Stripper' is the opening track on Audlem's Oxjam CD which is still available from Hoc's Fat Pigeon — all proceeds to Oxfam.
Wednesday 22nd May
Scout and Guide Hall
Aston Methodist Hall