What better way to spend your Saturday night than taking a trip down into Nottingham to watch a bunch of local bands? With all the hype surrounding Nottingham's ultra-cool, undiscovered and emerging bands, it was not hard to see why this lot though, all on the same billing, are tipped as the cream of the crop to follow young Jake Bugg into the mainstream. The three bands on show tonight were the House of Thieves, LOIS and the Swiines, all of whom were brought together for this bill by the wonderful people at the blisteringly warm Rescue Rooms and DHP Group. And it was warm. Very warm. The gig took place at the Red Room which is situated upstairs. This didn’t help as it catches all the heat from the bar below, but a sold out Red Room is twice as warm still.

First on, as I made my way in, were House of Thieves. Formed in February 2012, House of Thieves started life at the bottom of the bill at The Venue in Derby, but soon after they ended up supporting Dive Bella Dive in London at the Camden Barfly. They describe themselves as “The future of British Indie rock and roll”, and have lyrics that cut deep and a somewhat romanticised view of British life and the struggle to make ends meet. One thing that I noticed straightaway about them was their tight and energetic stage presence, and with their influences including Oasis, the Libertines, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, the Stone Roses and the Red Hot Chili Peppers it was blatantly apparent why. Tom Gourlay on vocals switched from electric to acoustic guitars with ease, while Tim Ridgway also on guitar and vocals added to the power. Accompanied by Tom Gent on bass and Rhys Dolman on drums, House of Thieves are growing with every gig they do.

After a quick change on stage accompanied by a plethora of Madchester standards from the halftime DJ, LOIS hit the stage like a sudden roundhouse to the back of the eardrum. They are a local band, but one that in my opinion has yet to live up to the talent that is hidden inside. Coming mostly from the east side of Nottingham except for Lee who hails from the North of Nottinghamshire, LOIS are the ultra cool of Nott's bands. They don't say much. They don't need to. Influenced by some of the greatest British and US bands of the 60s and early 70s, Lois have crafted a characteristic sound all of their own that blends together a retro-sound with a modern edge, so much so that they have been on Mark Radcliffe’s Radio show time and time again.

Hohn Selby (vocals), Lee Matysiak (guitar/Hammond organ/Wurlitzer),Rich Spencer (bass) and Adrian Maguire (drums), who make up this super cool outfit, all write their own material and had a firm idea of how they wanted their debut release to sound. They employed the talents of renowned engineers Guy Massey (Beatles remasters, Manic Street Preachers) and Jim Spencer (the Charlatans, the Cribs, New Order) and successfully released their EP ‘Velvet Mornings’ digitally in early 2011. They've also had a couple of singles do well including the brilliant 'Be True to Yourself' which has fantastic artwork on the cover and early crowd favourite 'Monkey Girl'. On stage however, they were raucous, but well held together and created a sublime sound. I don’t think that it will be long before it all happens for them.

There was another short interval with music from the Stone Roses, the Arctic Monkeys and the Inspiral Carpets before the finale for the night came in the shape of the Swiines. Another of Nottingham’s finest just bubbling under and yet-to-infiltrate mainstream consciousness acts, they continue to be considered one of the most consistent local bands around. They've only been together for 18 months but have already released two EPs, launched a club night and, like LOIS, have supported some illustrious rock luminaries.

It has not been an easy 18 months though as lead vocalist Scott Bugg, guitarist Adi Young and drums Daniel Taylor who have been there from the start will testify. There have been management problems and some internal fall-outs, but interestingly their music hasn’t suffered and they have shared share stage time with the Subways, the Rifles and even been invited by the White Lies to perform at one of their parties! With the addition of Rory Black on bass and vocals, they have taken their sound to another dimension and level.

The Swiines have a single, ‘Stonefaced’, out now, which is taken from their debut album which is out in the autumn, and draw their Influence from the likes of the Beatles, the Stone Roses, the Rolling Stones, the Libertines, Oasis, the Arctic Monkeys, the Kings of Leon, the Clash, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, the Jam, Nirvana, the Last Shadow Puppets, Kula Shaker, the Who, The Doors, Blur and Kasabian to list just a few. With a raw powerhouse set, the main act raced through crowd favourites and new material until bringing the night to an end with the new single.

So, three of the best emerging bands on the Nottingham circuit all in one place. I have been known to 'bang on' about my hometown and its vast array of wonderful talent. I don't care you know though. With the discovery of the Bugg chap and the slow but sure growth of our Natalie Duncan, someone somewhere is going to catch on and realise that this town is going to be the next musical heaven. I don't want to have to say 'I told you so' but...

LOIS Set List:

Star is Falling
Don’t Waste Your Love Away
Your Own Little World
I’m Out for the Summer
My Precious Love
Be True to Yourself
Who Can Help You Now?
Monkey Girl


Matter of Time
Rattles On
Too Little Too Late
All Ears
Back of Ya Mind
Weight in Gold
Scary Mary
My Plasticine Bowl
Love is Blind
Bent City Roller
Half Full
What Ya Say?

Special thanks to Ben at DHP.

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Commenting On: Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, 22/6/2013 - Swiines, LOIS and House of Thieves

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