Shader, The Underground, Stoke

in Live by

An eclectic swirl of rock and roll descended into Stoke’s The Underground as upcoming rock band Shader delivered their own blend of British guitar music.

You could easily be forgiven for thinking at times that this was a well established band promoting a critically acclaimed third album by the huge sound and effortless confidence they delivered the performance with, however the gig becomes all the more electrifying when it is considered that this is a band yet to release a single.

Driven by the booming drums of Isaac Salisbury locking in perfectly with some of the best bass grooves I’ve heard in modern British music they swagger over volleys of guitar as the music builds and swells into massive climaxes and then spirals back towards strong, ambitious verses.

Perhaps a testament to the rest of the band is that frontman Stu Whiston’s voice, maybe one of the strongest live voices I’ve heard in my life, is far from the only reason the group are brilliant. Instead of sounding like a virtuoso driving the band he instead sounds like an artist who’s found his home amongst not just musicians of a similar quality but the right musicians to bring out the best in each other. It was refreshing also to see an act of this quality in a small venue with an audience they clearly had to win over. Great music at a grassroots level can only be a good thing for the future of British music as a whole.

However I feel as if it’s unlikely for Shader to remain at this size for much longer with singles on the way and an enormous sound that could have incredible widespread appeal. The songs are built upon hard graft and arena sized ambition, two things we as a nation have never struggled to get behind and hopefully we will support bands like Shader to reach their full potential. One thing that is certain is it will be a pleasure to watch them grow and perhaps pick up the guitars that have been seemingly dropped by yesterdays rock stars and help carry music into it’s next era.