Six Towns at the Sugarmill, Hanley 14th December 2012
For those of you who decided to stay in last evening due to the inclement weather, no one could blame you for doing so except that you missed a very
special occasion: "Six Towns" at the "Sugarmill" supported by "The Fortunas", "J.D.M." and "The Current". Prior to one of my rare excursions into Hanley,
I had never seen "Six Towns" perform but know Matt Litherland (bass guitar, keyboards, backing and lead vocals) as a friend and acquaintance. It was on his invitation that I braved the elements and decided it was about time I went to see him perform. The three supporting bands played a variety of
music and performed admirably, in particular, "J.D.M." who actually made me move! "Six Towns" were astounding: when they appeared on the stage, I thought I'd come to a live performance of "Mrs. Brown's Boys", with Matt Litherland looking not much unlike Mrs. Brown! Appearances deceive: "Six Towns"
play their own compositions that they perform with a maturity and abiility that far exceeds their youth. The lead singer and frontman, Liam O'Brien, is mesmerising. Liam performs each song with attitude and establishes an instant rapport with the audience with his cheeky banter and good humour as well
as being able to drop off being the lead singer to play keyboards or provide backing vocal to Matt when they exchange roles. Next, I have to mention the drummer, whom I assume is named Jake (I'll be darned if I can find the band's biography anywhere online - even their photos aren't tagged!). With precision timing, Jake gave an infallible performance and drove the tempo throughout, never being distracted or missing a beat. Worth seeing alone! Then we come to Sime Harry on lead guitar. Cool, precise and subtle are three adjectives I use to describe this musician. His contribution lifts the music and
provides the harmonics and colour to the songs. Si has a very gentle guitar-playing style that is reminiscent of John Entwhistle of "The Who" (albeit that he's playing lead guitar) but underneath that cool exterior seethes a dragon guitarist who can cook your brain!. Very professional and a nice guy. Lastly, but not least-ly, I have to talk about my friend, Matt. What a man! He lays down bass riffs that, together with Jake's drumming, drive the music forward like an avalanche. He plays keyboards and sings. He is calm collected and mature in his application. He is a Port Vale fan. Nice one Matt, you should quit your day job! As ambassadors of the local musical talent of the Potteries, "Six Towns" are an inspiration: there's hope for all of us! If you are a talent scout looking for the next big thing, check these guys out or you'll miss a great opportunity. For the rest of you, never mind the weather, get out and go and see some local
bands: support local talent and especially support "Six Towns" (one day you won't be able to get tickets to see them before they sell out).