Stone Broken (+ Those Damn Crows & SKAM), The Sugar Mill, Gig Review

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The Walsall quartet, Stone Broken, were in the heart of America when they got the news they would be embarking on a headlining tour around the UK. The rightly named ‘Home Tour’, with them being so far from home at the time, treats fans to a mixture of their 2017 LP ‘Ain’t Always Easy’ and their first released album ‘All In Time’. Supported by two very strong and well known names of the UK rock scene, the tour was sure to be a hit from the start.

The openers: British Hard Rock’s answer to Green Day, SKAM, though not for punky sounds but for their energy and personas on stage. The bassist, Matt Gilmore, giving a very Tre Cool performance throughout gets a few chuckles here and there. Their on stage presence is refreshing and brings an energy to the room can be hard to match, the sound they produce far exceeding the fact that there are only three of them!

SKAM , The Sugar Mill, 13.02.19

Second band on, Welsh born, Those Damn Crows open with the ever catchy, ‘Don’t Give a Damn’, getting the crowd moving and keeping the atmosphere high. It’s evident from the onset that the five-piece are a crowd-pleaser, their later performance of ‘Rock N Roll Aint Dead’ making the audience erupt into chants of “Who said rock and roll’s dead?”, and their set ending with them near enough throwing themselves into the crowd.

Vocalist Shane Greenhall, Those Damn Crows, The Sugar Mill, 13.02.19

The room cuts to black but it’s not long before blinding lights flash in unison flooding the crowd’s faces. The four members walk on to the tune of ‘I’m Coming Home’ to celebrate their returning UK tour, vocalist Rich Moss screaming “Stoke make some noise” before smoke machines erupt and the room is overtaken by the grungy raw sounds of of ‘Stay All Night’.

Taking the time to talk to their audience, halfway through their set Rich explains: ‘Last time we played to around 30 people, we come back a few years later to play this place and you guys sell the f**k out! Thankyou for loving just four guys from Walsall.”

It’s clear these guys are a band for the people, playing for the enjoyment of the crowd, replying “ABSOLUTELY!” when asked if they would stay for meet and greets at the end. They give the people what they want while staying true to their core sound.

As the final shred of guitar rings out on ‘Worth Fighting For’, the crowd are left screaming for more. Stone Broken aren’t about to disappoint. “You guys know we can’t do a headline show without playing this one!” Lead man Rich asks: “Have you brought your singing voices?” The audience are led in a rendition of “Wait For You”, by him alone on stage. Though it’s hard to hear him over the collaborative voice of the room. The remaining three members of the band join him onstage to play out the last bars of the song.

As they thank the support bands along with their crew, the house lights are brought up, Stone Broken plead one last thankyou to the Stoke crowd before bowing and taking a group selfie.

A truly enjoyable and personal experience for everyone in the room, Stone Broken know how to please the many.

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