Having been caged by COVID-19, but riding out the confused claustrophobia of the era on the British airwaves thanks to the patronage of BBC Radio One’s Jack Saunders, exciting, Liverpool agit-wavers, STONE return with their latest single, STAY SILENT, released on Fri 11 September 2020. An accompanying live video, captured at Liverpool’s perennially-threatened, DIY-hangout, 24 Kitchen Street, shows a drum-tight band releasing every exhilarating drop of pent-up energy.
Momentum continued to build around their prose-spitting, January single, LEAVE IT OUT, during the global pandemic, despite the four-piece’s wings being brutally clipped. The pandemic pause hit just as acerbic front man; Finlay Power’s incisive takes were beginning to find a natural home amongst an inquisitive Gen-Z audience of night-crawlers. A period of unwelcome downtime was lifted by the support of Saunders, whose effusive praise and repeated exposure settled the band in a new home of national recognition.
Now, STAY SILENT presents more of the band’s typical power and tenderness, with Power’s frustrations boiling over into song, while failing to find the words to express the rights and wrongs of the world around him in day-to-day discourse. Redressing the balance, his intense delivery, full of righteous conviction, silences the room, giving no quarter to listeners who have no option but to hear his true voice.
Initially inspired by metronomic, electronic music, the band – made up of Power (vocals/guitar), Elliot Gill (lead guitar), Sarah Surrage (bass) and Alex Smith (drums) – took initial ideas for a walk alongside the venom-spitting lyrics to land in the sweet spot between borderless punk abandon and new wave’s angular intelligence.
The live performance of Stay Silent from 24 Kitchen Street comes at a time when live venues are threatened by multiple assailants, with the band being vocal supporters of the venue’s #savekitchenstreet campaign. Liverpool City Council’s agreement to allow property developments that are insensitive to the club’s nighttime activities mean, at best, the club will need to restrict its activities or, at worst, close entirely.
Doyens of the Merseyside’s late-night party/house-gig underground scene, STONE have had the joys of a run of memorable shows, including notable support slots, prior to the UK’s March and April lockdown. As openers for IDLES front man, Joe Talbot and playing in front of sold out crowds at Liverpool’s Olympia and Invisible Wind Factory, they have encountered heroes and won admirers in their short time together. STONE are on an upward trajectory and are hauling their high-impact music-with-a-message with them.
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