Tag Archives: Bonsai

THE TORCH – The Underground, Hanley, 09/12/2016


SUPPORT: Bonsai, West Pier, Jupiter’s Beard


The Stoke-on-Trent music scene has had a fantastic 2016, and what better way to cover my last gig of the year than to go to one of the city’s respected music venues and see four local bands who have truly made their mark.

Jupiter’s Beard were first up, playing a mix of original tracks taken from their forthcoming EP and covers, which included a sublime version of Oasis classic ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’.

Next on to the stage were West Pier, whose set was interestingly half acoustic, half electric, which they seemed to pull off effectively, even though I did hear one or two groans amongst the patrons when they began to play a cover of a Justin Bieber track.

Even though Bieber is considered public enemy number one by the majority of proper music lovers, the four-piece performed the song well, making it their own and turning something rather mediocre into a good listen.

Bonsai, the final support of the night, are a talented outfit who I have had the pleasure of seeing live on a number of occasions this year, and every time, there has been a noticeable improvement, and this was no exception, with them playing what was their best set to date.

I really think that 2017 could be their breakthrough year, they already have all the necessary ingredients, a great sound, talented musicians and a rarity in music these days, a charismatic frontman in Chris Hough.

The majority of the females in the audience seemed to be enjoying it, when Chris did his now obligatory stage dive, some of them took the chance to eagerly grab the shirt off his back.

Headliners The Torch are another local fledging band that are tipped to go on to bigger and better things, and after seeing their performance, it would be difficult to disagree.

Despite the fact that some of the members may have somewhat overindulged in the liquid refreshment department, it certainly didn’t seem to affect them.

They wowed the crowd with their fast-paced, guitar-led indie rock sound with a few punk elements thrown in.

Towards the closure of proceedings, some members of the audience began to jump up on to the stage and join in, which in what seemed like a matter of seconds, had developed into a mini stage invasion, which was probably a health and safety officer’s worst nightmare.

Stoke-on-Trent is not normally a city you would associate with having a booming music scene, but after seeing so many immensely talented local bands this year, these four included, it is safe to say that at the moment, it is enjoying very rude health, and it should only get stronger in 2017.









Bonsai band photo

BONSAI (from l-r): Freddie Godley (drums), Chris Hough (vocals/guitar), Ben Hough (bass), Joe Hough (lead guitar)


Indie/alternative rock band Bonsai are, according to their Facebook page, ‘four Stoke lads with a massive dream’.

They are going some way towards achieving this, with praise coming from critics and fans for their guitar-driven sound.

I spoke to vocalist/guitarist Chris Hough about what makes them tick.

How did Bonsai get together?

Well, me, Ben and Joe used to be in a previous band and then we dragged
Freddo in and the ball just got rolling from there.

How did the band decide on the name Bonsai?

We were on Talk to Frank because they have a sick weed pinball game.
We went through the list of drugs and Bonsai was one, so we decided on
that one (laughs).

How would you best describe your music style?

Like indie/alternative I guess, but you’d have to listen to us to get it.

With the UK deciding to leave the European Union in the recent
referendum, do you think that will affect the music industry in any way?

Nah, music’s good and always will be.
I think there will be a lot more politically inspired songs written
though, but it’s all a load of bull really.

What’s the inspiration behind the band’s music?

We want to make people feel something, to feel as though I wrote the songs for them.
I want them to grab their best mate or their missus and just go “This is
for us”.

On the subject of songwriting, are you the sole writer or is it more of a group effort?

I personally write the lyrics because that’s all I’m good at! (laughs)
The other lads are the magicians in the band, they are what make us sound
how we do.
I just write gay lyrics about girls being dicks to me (laughs).

How has the reaction been to the band since you formed?

Not as good as I’d have hoped, but it’s been alright so far.
We’re slowly getting better and better, but things take time, don’t they?

Coming from Stoke-on-Trent, what’s your view of the Potteries music scene?

I think the scene at the moment is one of the best in the country, although people need to find the new music themselves, it’s still cool man.

Do you have anything lined up in the near future?

You’ll just have to wait and see!


YOU CAN LISTEN TO BONSAI’S MUSIC¬†ON¬†SOUNDCLOUD AT https://m.soundcloud.com/bonsaisot