Stillia + Fragile Creatures
December 12 2017
Words/Pictures: Steve Willcox
It's a North vs. South affair tonight at Brighton venue Komedia, with St Helens headliners Stillia being supported by local five-piece, Fragile Creatures.
The latter, who have been together for a few years now, always amaze with lead singer Adam Kidd’s delivery, a mix of Jarvis Cocker’s lyrical humour and Alex Kapranos' (Franz Ferdinand) voice. The songs are immediate and catchy, framing lyrics have relevance with an added twist of dark humour combined. The band this year supported 90s band Space, but today is their first hometown gig in ages and they brought along a large crowd with them. New songs ‘Falling’ and ‘Phantom Limb’ as well as old favourites ‘One Bit At A Time’ and ‘You Don’t Get It’, all work together well.
Keyboard man and joint songwriter Aaron Neville entertains the crowd with his witty style of banter about Christmas shopping, whilst guitarist Tom Alty is having some amp problems. But apart from that mishap it was another flawless display of musical passion from these guys.
With their Bristol the day before snowed off, Stillia were eager to play and it showed. They come on stage amongst fanfare and atmospheric haze, launching straight into new single ‘4am’. The song has energy that brings the crowd to their feet and instantly transforms the room. Vocalist Jack Bennett’s stage presence is immense and has great rapport with humility to the crowd, which can be rare nowadays especially when you need such focus to get to the top.
Next song ‘Monday’ was so catchy that I was already singing the chorus by the second time around. From Connor Moran’s guitar riffs to Johnny Waring's thundering bass overtures, this song is a real standout favourite. ‘Euphoria’ and ‘Little More Time’ both bring up some serious beats from Matty Bennett - Jack's kid brother - on drums.
‘Stuck in Summer’ shows what great band they’ve become; Connor’s guitar hooks and Jack’s laid back delivery complementing Johnny’s bass perfectly. The rest of the band leave the stage for a beer whilst Jack plays his solo ballad ‘Bold Street’ - a popular bar and restaurant area in Liverpool where guys try to impress the girls with its rich nightlife - and he dedicates the song to a young woman, Jacqueline, who is in the audience and who had coaxed them to play Brighton when she had seen them perform at the Liverpool Loves Festival back in August.
When full band return they launch into ‘Let Me In’ a stonker of a tune that delivers in all the right places and was released as a single in February. ‘Sometimes’, the last song of the evening - preceded by some kind words to the Brighton crowd tonight, thanking them for coming and supporting them on the tour - is a real crowd pleaser which has everyone in the audience dancing their socks off. But as with all great things, it all had to come to an end, although the band hung around after they had come off stage to say goodbye to everyone. Now that’s what you call a great connection with the fans.