By Ben Whittington
The Hickey Underworld opened the show at the Stiff Kitten with a bang. The Belgian band walk a fine line between the chaotic energy of heavy rock and the toe-tapping control of pop. When done right, the balance of the two can create an electrifying and instantly accessible live experience, and The Hickey Underworld achieved just that.
Joshua James took the stage and launched into his folk songs with as much energy as the Belgian rockers displayed before him. The audience’s reception of the Nebraskan’s songs was a testament to the craft and feeling he puts into them. To have an audience singing along by the second choru
s is nothing but a great success.
His band supported him manfully, but they relied too much on their front man to make the magic, and if they had put as much heart into their performance as he did, it could have been something quite special.
When Two Gallants took to the stage, the crowd were ready for them, and they did not disappoint. The two-piece play so instinctively together that their performances become a
spectacle in musicianship and the telekinetic bond that good music can create. A two piece band can however be a double edged sword. Sometimes musicianship without showmanship is not enough. Two Gallants have a tendency to become too immersed in the complexities of their songs and subsequently don’t manage to really connect with their audience – having said that, the songs are good, so it is by no means a fatal flaw. Two Gallants produced a great show to end a great night in The Stiff Kitten.