"As the crowds started to form at the stage it was obvious what was coming next"
by Feeona Fletcher, Writer & EditorNight One - September 16th - The Wetmore Whistle
Punky acoustic indie rock band Lucida Scroll are already fast becoming known as a band not to do things by half, and their EP launch was no different to this, with not one event to mark the momentous occasion but two. Formed late in 2010, they have already completed a UK tour through April/May of this year, spending the last few months in the studio recording what everyone was here eagerly anticipating, their EP: Monologues.
With massive support from Arch Recordings (a local recording studio based in Burton-On-Trent) there was already massive hype about night one before we even arrived. Arch had set up the entire evening, the sound engineer, the lights, the support acts. As people arrived, some already wearing their Lucida Scroll t-shirts in support, the room fast filled with supporters and friends of the evenings acts.
The first to take the stage was Alex Canner, a solo acoustic set that blew our minds. Mr Canner is known around the town for being in a cover band 'The Dark Horses' (www.facebook.com/pages/The-Dark-Horses) and it is fair to say that because of this, he is not given anywhere near enough credit for his talent. His vocals flew from the stage like hurricane winds, powerful and stunning at the same time. He varied between some well known covers of songs by such bands at The Happy Mondays whilst also proving his talents were not just in his vocals and guitar playing by playing some of his own tracks. A stunning performance that encouraged applause and (during the covers) lyrical unison from the crowds.
Following Canner was going to be a difficult task for anyone, the second support act 'Bill Cort' (www.facebook.com/pages/Bill-Cort) was obviously quite aware of this. He, however, stepped on stage as if he was the first support act, cracking jokes before he even started playing he had the attention from the crowd just from the title of his first song 'Fat People Are Harder To Kidnap'. Unaware whether Bill was a comedy act or a serious musical act he seemed to revel in the laughter from the audience as he moved from a song about his girlfriends father being homosexual to one called Grandma (this one too being of sexual nature), Bill constantly warned those that were easily offended that his set was probably not the best to listen to. Moving onto a crowd favourite 'Why's the baby Chinese?' and 'Tic Tacs' the crowd were singing along whilst also in pure hysterics at what could only be described as lyrical genius, crude as it was, the crowd loved every moment shouting for an encore at the end of his set. In true Bill Cort fashion, keeping the audience a part of his set, he encouraged two women to join him on stage asking for the crowd to come up with the subject for an on-the-spot song.
As the crowds started to form at the stage it was obvious what was coming next, the main reason everyone had been there: Lucida Scroll. Getting straight into their set their emotional yet raw and ragged vocals travelled above the heads of the audience filling the room with an overwhelming emotion. Like a lightning storm from camera flashes the boys were obviously having the time of their lives, introducing their fast becoming well known tracks such as Breakfast In Bed and Romeo & Juliet, the songs of heartbreak and the brutally honest emotions that engulfed the fans were almost overpowering. Moving through their set guitarist and vocalist Stuart Jordan introduced 'It's Alright', explaining that it is a subtle anti Big Brother song because BB is in fact bad for your health. As an inflatable globe flew at the band and came back into the crowd, flying high and fast like this set seemed to be going, guitarist and vocalist Joe Evans introduced I'm Done, a song from their EP, a song of heartbreak with such lyrics as "It makes no difference to me anymore". The end of the set seemed to appear from nowhere, a crowd favourite 'Never Always Dark At Six' was the final song. With such powerful lyrics & intricate guitar playing it was as if the four boys could do no wrong. The constant enthusiasm from the crowd was feeding the band, smiles exchanged between Joe Evans and guitarist Danny Scott proved this. As with all live shows there is always the chance for something to happen, and in true Lucida Scroll style, Stuart Jordan broke a string, leaving Joe Evans chance to introduce the band, as he moved onto introduce drummer Sam Hughes allowed us to witness such an intense drum solo lasting near on five minutes, we later found out that the solo's are never planned, and always on the spot, making this even more spectacular. Never Always Dark At Six was only just over, the bands guitar strings were still vibrating as the crowd started shouting "Encore!" The band were more than happy to oblige playing another song from their EP: 'Perfection'. The night had obviously been a success, the band were eager for more, it's a good job they had less than 24 hours to wait till their next headlining show.
Night Two - September 17th 2011 - The Charters Arms, Rotherham
Still on a natural high from their first EP Launch evening Lucida Scroll made their way to Rotherham near Sheffield for night two of their spectacular event. A new venue, new support acts and the opportunity for the band to play for another excitable audience. They couldn't wait.
Support act number one of the night was a solo acoustic set from Jim Marston. Starting his set with outstanding covers of 'Little Yellow Spider' and 'Stuck In The Middle' his voice was powerful and mesmerising, although quite apparent that Jim was nervous he never let this falter his performance. Introducing his third song 'Long Summer Goodbye' his emotions swept over the audience like a magical spell, we couldn't believe our ears when we were told the song had originally been a metal song. The smooth harmonisation between vocals and guitar chords encouraged massive applause from the crowd. Jim continued swapping and changing between exhilarating covers and astonishing originals, as he began 'White Blank Page' (a Mumford & Sons cover) the audience joined in, swaying in euphoria at his talents. After a few more originals and covers, including 'American English' by Idlewild, Jim finished with what he described as a "cover of a cover" this was his version of Travis' version of Britney Spears' 'Baby...One More Time'. The audience loved it and showed this by joining in on the 'backing vocals' (more shouting) "Still Believe!" in the right places.
Jim had been a success and, as with Canner the night before, was going to be a tough act to follow. The guys from 'The Loaded Dice' didn't seem fazed. Travelling down from Manchester the indie rock four-piece had come to join the Lucida Scroll boys in their momentous occasion and they took to the stage like birds to the sky.
Starting with a mellow and tranquil yet still dramatic track lead singer and guitarist James Stone's vocals were shockingly daring, hitting notes I'm pretty sure men shouldn't be able to hit. Their performance was truly captivating moving from track to track guitarist Adam Griffiths hands were a frantic blur. As they moved through their set you could hear crowd members mumbling "Oh! I liked that one" and "I'd buy their album".
The boys seemed to feed off the audiences enthusiasm after each song. James Stone and bassist Dave Bradley performing their own little side show during instrumental parts allowing us to see drummer Rich Watts giving the drum kit the time of its life. At the end of their set Connoisseur, Steve Evans (Joe Evans' father) thanked the band and encouraged the already hyped up audience to request an encore. The band obliged (naturally) and it appeared they had saved their most up-beat and enthusiastic track for last with James Stone and Adam Griffiths both playing harmoniously like there was no tomorrow.
It was that time again, the Lucida Scroll boys couldn't get on stage fast enough. Before starting their set guitarist and vocalist Joe Evans thanked both Jim Marston and The Loaded Dice for their support whilst also adding "they were the best live acts I've seen in a long time".
Starting with what is fast becoming one of this reviewers favourites 'Breakfast In Bed' it wasn't long before the 'true Lucida Scroll style' hit guitarist and vocalist Stuart Jordan, not even before the track was out he snapped a string. Luckily band manager, sound tech & light tech 'Bob' from Loaded Presents... was on hand with Jim Marston's guitar. Moving through the set guitarist Danny Scott and Joe Evans almost appeared to do their own performances, including what could only be described as a 'Busted' jump from Joe and some rather bizarre guitar grinding from Danny.
The bands enthusiasm and all-round hyperactivity was making this performance ultimately more enjoyable than the slightly nervous night before. Moving from 'Open Your Thoughts Wide' to yet another favourite 'I'm Done' the band were going from strength to strength through the lyrics and instrumental exhilaration. Introducing 'It's Alright' as with the previous night Stuart explained "to those that haven't noticed, Joe writes about heartbreak, I write about Politics, kind of".
As they played track after track, dedicating 'Poison Heart' to Joe's brother who was in the crowd the applause and general ecstasy from the crowd encouraged the boys even more. Through 'It's Not Yours, Give It Back' a track from their EP the boys obviously wanted to witness how involved they could get the crowd by encouraging a 'beat clap' which continued well towards the end of the track. It was as if, in a good way, this set was never going to end, the band were fully revelling in the attention from the crowd, the beaming smiles exchanged between the four confirmed they didn't want this to end. Unfortunately all good things come to an end, and in true style it was this reviewer's utmost favourite of tracks 'Never Always Dark At Six'.
This track is the pinnacle of any Lucida Scroll show with the opportunity to witness the entire bands talents, and following a show such as this one the absolutely insane jubilation flowing from the boys on stage into the audience and surrounding us made it even more spectacular. This was of course, our main chance to see Sam Hughes at his best, following another outstanding drum solo (with cheers throughout from the boys of The Loaded Dice) Steve Evans stepped back on stage. As with the night before there was no need for him to speak, the crowd were already shouting for an encore, they too didn't want the set to end.