Stolen Earth

The Duchess, York

16 June 2012

The last time I saw Stolen Earth I thought they were a good band let down by poor sound in the venue. I feared the same would happen again, because I really don’t like The Duchess. It's a huge, cavernous box, not to mention a strange shape, and there was no way Stolen Earth fans were going to make it look comfortably full.

In fact, the sound quality was a pleasant surprise. There was no distortion and everything seemed well balanced.

And the fans turned out in force to make the space in front of the stage look respectably occupied, some travelling huge distances for the gig (I was virtually a local in comparison, only travelling from Tyneside). I think it speaks for itself that a band only a year old, with only a handful of gigs and one self-funded album under their belts, can inspire that much loyalty.

So, no worries about a hostile crowd here, no need to win anybody over. All the band had to do was prove they were worth the faith in them.

And prove it they did, with a stunning 90-minute set that that showed just how proper rock should be played; skilled, energetic, but melodic and heartfelt at the same time.

I’m not going to single out individual members for praise, because everyone did his (or her) job perfectly, and I don't think this band is about individual heroics—it's all about the songs, and the songs are truly superb.

I think it's also worth noting that with only one album, released just a couple of weeks ago, the band still managed to fill a 90-minute set without falling back on playing covers (one Breathing Space song (Clear) but Paul Teasdale wrote that so it's not technically a cover). We got every song on the album plus one brand new song (that may have been my favourite of the night—if they promise to put this on the next album exactly as they played it last night, I'll pre-order it today).

Stolen Earth easily rewarded my faith in them. They're as good as I hoped they would be, and the signs are that they're only going to get better.

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