Bike Riders On The Storm

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Bicycle Theives , Bar Bliss , Leigh – Friday 5th Feb 2010

“Ignorance is bliss before you know what it is”,(or should that be where it is) goes the line from the Bicycle Thieves’ debut single “Stop to Start”  . 

There may some truth in this , but Bar Bliss “up Leigh” is becoming harder to ignore as a music venue these days. Darren , Russ and Kieron of Rkid Events have built a strong reputation for putting on a show. The past couple of years has seen Bar Bliss showcase  Twisted Wheel, The Courteeners, The Whip and  The Jessie Rose Trip amongst many others, all early in their careers. The biggest is yet to come as heavyweight champions “Reverend And The Makers” arrive in town for a sell-out show in March.

So Bar Bliss and Leigh is on “The Map” , erm well nearly. The Bicycle Thieves took the wrong trail and got lost. “I thought Leigh was near Preston”, tells the amiable James (guitarist) as we have a pre-gig  chinwag. Warning follows , we’re in WN7 which, yeah , may sound like it’s in Wigan, but this is Roundhead-land  and not Cavalier-country, anyway local history lesson over.

  “Liam Fray is a good friend” , we’re told and among other industry names  such as Terry Christian , Steve Lamacq and Huw Stephens has influenced exposure through 2009. It was a busy first year of the bands existence. Dubai Sound City gigs , Teletext Planet Sound 2009 top ten single, Radio play on Radio 1 , BBC 6music and a Glastonbury 2009 appearance on the BBC introducing stage.

Tonights’ support starts with local boys “In the Grey” covering Stereophonics and Kings Of Leon. Next ,  “Urchins”  are known to us through previous gigs in Wigan and St Helens,  serve up Indie/ SKA beats (see early Coral) on songs like Cabin Fever and Confetti. Tightly knit and sounding fuller and ballsier.  The White Stripey riff-up “Lupine” and raw passionate vocals on “Eleanor” impress , James (Bike Thief) is first to congratulate. The Magpie loving scoundrels are set to support Bez’s Domino Bones and on this showing shall climb the pecking order. 

Incomprehensible Geordie Michael Watson then heads up three-piece Champagne Charlies who churn up mucky garage rock from under the shelter of the biggest bobble hat ever bought and finally Bliss regulars Deadbeat Echoes complete support mixing 70’s post-punk with classic indie , pretty impressive teenagers who are already about to release a first single and will appear here again for the Reverend gig .    (myspace links below)

As the first chord is struck it’s clear Bicycle Thieves’ are befitting of bigger stages than this. Three threatening guitars forecast the blustery sound-storm ahead. Indie swagger with a Muso twist and with Tom Hammersleys’ rich baritone vocals you can see where the Interpol , Editors, Joy D.. etc etc a-likes come from. Songs like Double The Effort , Story Of The Year and Stop To Start are , however, strong enough to stand firm on their own two wheels. Personal favourite Eggshells has Nick Pickering working extra hard behind the kit and after 35 minutes or so the set is over all to soon.

Grateful of another chat with Tom and the rest we find the so-called scousers are working on 5 new songs to be added to live shows and are originally from anywhere but Liverpool, oh yeah and who they support.       

Tom  – Kidderminster / Aston Villa, James – Crewe / Chelsea (Dad’s fault) , Ash (guitar) – Reading and Man U (i think) Jim (bass) – Wolves , Nick – Wirral / Liverpool. 

We reckon tonight was another one of those we were there moments.

Nice one Rkid.


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