A Nottingham band with their views set on global megadom. I’d imagine.
Date: June 22, 2013
Jake Bugg proved that you can make it out of Nottingham and conquer pretty much anywhere with a bit of luck, some good tunes and a healthy dollop of brilliance. His shtick is a million miles away from the city’s new great white hope, Lacey, but that door marked ‘Stardom’ hasn’t slammed shut just yet, and is wide enough for these four former Nottingham students to pile through.
For Lacey – Nottingham’s finest purveyors of impassioned pop-rock/neo-punk – there’s a whiff of disappointment hanging over them. They recently lost out on a competition which would have seen them play the recent Download festival, a potential launch pad for their career. But, undeterred, they do not falter or wallow in self-pity, no sir. Instead they stridently march onto the stage for this EP launch gig. And besides, there’s another opportunity to be grabbed. On June 26, they are also competing at this year’s Rock the House (of Commons) competition, which invites every MP to nominate an up-and-coming, unsigned band to represent their constituency.
Politics and rock ‘n’ roll haven’t always been the best of friends, with anti-establishment and anti-capitalist manifestos aired by most rock artists through decades of political struggle and turmoil. But, Mr Bugg found the competition to be a major boon for his career in 2011 so maybe there’s a welcome parliamentary hand to be shaken afterall.
So tonight, they’re putting on a brave face, forgetting about Download and trying to shift some EPs, as well as preparing themselves for their big London trip.
The crowd is a mixture of ardent local supporters and reviewers, eager to catch a glimpse of the band at fledgling level because, with a bit of luck, their nebula could explode anytime soon.
They certainly have the tunes. They’re cut from the same cloth as melodic hardcore acts like Lower Than Atlantis and Don Broco, but they have more power and precision than those two bands put together. They have a prowess; a stage presence that belies their comparatively small existence. There’s electricity in the air, and it’s frazzling the senses as the band strain every sinew, sharing vocal duties and creating a layered tapestry of modern rock.
A cover of Ellie Goulding’s ‘Anything Could Happen’ might seem incongruous at any other band’s show – certainly a band in a similar genre. But Lacey make it work via a wonderfully constructed glacial guitar line and a bouncy rock glaze.
As the gig comes to a close, ‘Lights Out’ would seem the obvious titular choice to end with, but, they return with a pulsating, emphatic version of ‘Let It Go’.
If they rock parliament, and impress the stuffy-nosed MPs on the 26th, these Nottingham wunderkinds could be following Jake Bugg’s path to the big league. And deservedly so.