Neon Waltz LIVE @ Sugarmill, Stoke-on-Trent 11.12.14

It is often that new bands emerge from the depths of rock and roll and get pushed to the back of radio stations playlists. However, yesterday the Sugarmill was home to an exception. Signing with Noel Gallagher’s manager, Neon Waltz have been labelled as ‘the most promising band we’ve heard all year’ by NME, the hottest band in the world by Zayne Lowe and have catapulted onto the BBC Radio 1 playlist from out of nowhere. Last night at the Sugarmill, the six-piece demonstrated exactly why.

Through the haze and smoke, frontman Jordan Shearer’s stance hinted at a strange mixture of both shy and energetic personalities as he belts mellifluous tones from behind his mop of hair while frantically bobbing his head. It is apparent that the atmosphere on stage is electric; the frostbitten air is full of hard-driven and hard-hitting beats that are layered with everything from echoes of psychedelic drones to menacing organ melodies without even mentioning the atmospheric harmonies of the other five band members.

Chopping from one short yet sharp 3-minute song to the next, the movements between rhythms and keys was breath-taking. The bands new demo Sombre Fayre sent the audience in a state of transcendence, capturing jangly guitar riffs combined with shoegazing melodramatic lyrics before being hurled back into reality with a wall of angst and noise from steadfast guitar and organ drones.

Neon Waltz’ 11-song setlist was a statement. A statement that their success can only accelerate, that they are destined for big things. With an electric raw performance to a room of a lucky few, there’s no way anyone in attendance could disagree.

Gemma Brookes


Gemma Brookes

Gemma Brookes

Freelance journalist, live music enthusiast and hunting for music that cannot be removed from repeat. I find musical solace in anything from The Libertines to The Cramps to Eminem and back again.