SUPPORT: The Manalishi, The Gurus, John Dhali.
REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
There must be something in the water in Stoke-on-Trent.
In the last couple of years, a diverse range of talented bands and artists have made the Potteries a thriving hotbed of emerging British music.
The Exchange, a venue that has played an important part in making this happen, showcased four of the local talents, headlined by indie four-piece Broken Flags, who were there to promote their new single “Dare To Dream”.
First on the stage was singer-songwriter John Dhali who, despite some technical issues at the beginning, played a strong acoustic set with a sound that switched with ease between soul and folk.
Next up were The Gurus, last minute replacements for Shimmer Trap.
They are a fledging group, but their eclectically influenced musical style suggests a maturity beyond their years.
The Manalishi then really got the increasing crowd going with heavy guitar-led compositions coupled with hypnotic vocals.
A sublime set was played by Broken Flags, with a real assortment of tracks.
Watching them perform, you could tell that every note played was delivered with the utmost passion and determination.
“Dare to Dream”, their new release, seems to be more upbeat musically and lyrically than their debut “Enemy”, and that’s good, because it shows that they are not a band that sticks solidly to a specific sound.
Having seen these four and numerous others on the Stoke music scene this year, I’m starting to think that it may only be a matter of time before the Potteries is no longer the best-kept secret place in new British music.