Words: Rosie Mulhern
Meet Sugarthief - a new four-piece from Birmingham via Penkridge, Staffordshire. The group begun with brothers Jack and Jordi James first teaming together as an acoustic duo for two years before deciding that they wanted to form a band, adding school friends Luke Owen and Reece Downton into the picture.
The quartet made a much welcomed return to the O2 Academy in Birmingham last week after their previous visit consisted of a sold-out headline show. Although this was just a support slot this time, the crowd were still keen in showing their support towards the band with their very own mosh pits and even the odd crowd surfer. It seems this band is only growing as with each gig more and more crowd members are singing the boys' songs back to them and are eager to hear more from them.
Having only been a band for less than a year and having just two officially released singles - their debut ‘New Ends’ released in March this year, and follow-up ‘Crowing Youth’ - their progress couldn't be more impressive as within such a short space of time they've already headlined several hometown venues, not to mention their feature in the April batch of Flying Vinyl amongst other new emerging bands within the indie scene such as Black Honey and Inheaven.
Photo: Rosie Mulhern
Their set of jangly guitar riffs and poppy basslines sprang into action with a cover of 'Money' by well-known B-Town scene inspirations Peace, which went down well to say the least with primarily young, indie crowd members. They then launched straight into 'New Ends', which was their first studio recorded and officially released single. It's no wonder that this was the song that caught the attention of several music blogs and support from local radio station - BBC Introducing West Midlands, especially with how tight it sounded when performed live. Whilst its punchy opening drum solo adds to the tracks unique assets, distinctive vocals from frontman Jordi supplies further charisma to the song along with a striking burst of a guitar solo before firing into a somewhat explosive chorus.
Their original material appeared to blow their covers out of the water and whip up an even bigger reaction out of the crowd than the more familiar covers - which also included Blur's 'Song 2' and 'I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor'. With three new songs fitting in quite nicely with their upbeat setlist including 'Other Song', an assertive, energy fuelled track with an early Arctic Monkeys feel to it. Not forgetting their other newly recorded tune 'The Joy Affair': a five-and-a-half minute laid back number with the kind of catchy and repetitive chorus that you simply can't help getting stuck in your head, consisting of a football-like chant of "oh-oh-oh's" and a powerful climatic build-up from guitarist Jack before an impressive drop. Both tracks fit in nicely with Sugarthief's newly created unique and recognisable sound of their own.
Keep your eyes peeled for these guys as new material is due to drop soon. And I'd recommend catching them at one of their next upcoming gigs to see what all the fuss is about.
Sugarthief play Birmingham's Sunflower Lounge on July 24.
Sugarthief are: Jordi James (vocals/guitar), Jack James (guitar), Luke Owen (bass), Reece Downton (drums).
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