The energy emitted by all four bands at the Eagle Inn last night was everything the Salford Star stands for...quality content, freedom of expression and a D.I.Y. attitude to the mainstream, profit-led, business-fed, dull as fuck culture and media industry.
It was a night when all four Salford bands – Sticky, Matthew Hopkins, Four Candles and The Sandells – played for the joy of playing, slapped on stage in the beautifully bricked space at the back of the iconic Salford pub.
It was pure rock n' roll. And it could have been Hamburg in the black and white early Sixties. First up was Sticky, playing their first ever gig; tight, loud, with a whiff of punk, a hint of hammered pop and a streak of mellifluity.
Next up was Matthew Hopkins, with the strange name for a band fronted by two women and a supreme male drummer. The name might come on like an old sotted folk singer but the soundscapes were something else; hardcore, at times face-frying, frenetic riffs and beats and vocals that had the foot stomping audience going 'Wow!'. Was this really only their fourth ever gig? Unreal.
The Four Candles, meanwhile, were a sight and sound to behold. Having done songs about sexual abuse, eco fright, the BBC and a zillion other political issues, the larger than legend frontman just looked wryly at the crowd and nodded 'Bunch of c*nts, the lot of them!'...before launching into another steamrolling sonata. They have to be seen.
Finally, The Sandells, who put on the benefit with Red Rec Records, ramped the stage with finely crafted tunes that took rock on a trip around punk, funk and psychedelia somewhere over the X Factor drainbow…
Altogether a top night, steaming with energy and alternative vibes that raised a total of £298 towards keeping the Star going. And the Salford Star team would like to thank all the bands, Red Rec Records, the Eagle Inn and everyone who turned out on a dark Sunday night to provide some light.
With the money raised from the All Materials of Value Have Been Removed CDs, donations and the gig, the Salford Star can now keep going until the end of January 2019...
...But we want to survive and need to survive beyond that. So we're really going for it. Watch out for a huge announcement this week...
Photos by Dr Gareth Lyons
Main photo shows Four Candles