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Live Review: Attention Thieves, White Rabbit, 25/07/13

For a band that have previously played Redfest, Make a Scene festival and the BBC Introducing stage at last year’s Reading and Leeds festival, you would think that people would be queuing to see them right? Wrong. There probably were around 30 people inside the White Rabbit, and after taking into account the other band members watching, and the bar staff on duty, there must have been only approximately 17 actual ticketholders.

Young locals Sky vs Mountain presented us with their rough, garage sound. Even though the vocals were projected very well, vocalist Joel Harvey Turner needs to up his game as he didn’t often seem to be in tune, which can sometimes bring bands down if poor vocals undermine a band’s strong musical talent and stage presence. However, they haven’t been together long, so hopefully more practice together will help them improve, as at the moment they are still fairly average for a three piece band.

With previous musical experience in different forms, Last One Out displayed passion, and the strength Michael Norton has in his voice live is great to witness. Pedal boards are widely used in this band to recreate changes in tone as on the record to make it that much more authentic. The execution of each track from their recent EP was completed with precision and they seem to get a little better every time they step on a stage.

Resembling similarities to an old school Lower Than Atlantis, Hey Vanity’s upbeat and creative guitar riffs drawn over the percussion, with non-stop movement from Dave Ruffle seized the crowd’s attention. Even though they performed songs from their debut EP, they may have let a few of the crowd down as they didn’t cover Hey Ya by Outkast, but you can’t have everything you want. Nevertheless, Hey Vanity again showed us why they are one of Britain’s hottest bands at the moment.

For a venue that has a capacity of 400, Attention Thieves were exposed to a nearly empty room. Although this didn’t stop the Reading four piece from making their mark on the audience with their infectious songs and liveliness on stage. Alex Green’s ability to alter his vocals from luscious singing to suffering roars with a flick of a switch is amazing, and showed the versatility that this one man has. Some very minor technical faults lead to a lack of guitar for the final song played. However, the band shrugged this off as professionals would do and continued to do what they do best and carried on with their performance.

Regardless of the unfortunate turnout, Attention Thieves had no problem grabbing people by the balls to bring them closer, and with this said, this performance definitely warranted a lot more than a handful of observers.


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