The filming of a live set for Sunday Night Live at a packed and energetic The Grove in Hazel Grove gave six bands the perfect opportunity to showcase their abilities for a segment to be broadcast on Sunday 27 December at 8pm on Freeview Channel 8.

It was against a backdrop of excellent bands that one group, from Stockport, stood out, grasping the mantel and showing themselves to be on a trajectory which surely will continue upwards.

There’s no denying the strong performances of Larkin (a special nod to them for their rendition of Dragonfly during a stripped back set in the absence of their bassist; Scott Loyd, Plastic House and Feed The Kid as well as Kashmere (although they do need to concentrate on the own sound rather than seemingly replicating those of iconic bands of the near past).  But it was No Hot Ashes who stole the show, despite appearing early on in the set.

From the outset they grab the attention of the crowd.  Their music is largely upbeat, filled with great arches, indie swagger and strong instrumentalism and songwriting.  The bullet-like drums in their opening track dictate the feel before they move on to the excellent Talk To Me.  Amusingly they are forced to restart when one of drummer Matthew Buckley’s sticks goes on a journey all of it own, but before doing so they give the audience the choice – move on to the next track or start over.  It’s a unanimous demand for the band to start over signalling just how quickly No Hot Ashes have hooked the crowd.

They also show some variety in their repertoire as the fast paced material gives way to a slower, dramatic feel and throwing in just a touch of psych before the indie-swagger returns in full force and an excellent bass line heralds the impressive Skank.

They look at ease on the stage, which works well as they perform the laid back Smooth before their new single Easy Peeler and the up-tempo, and highly catchy, Goose, which is the highlight of the set.

The gig comes just as No Hot Ashes have signed a single deal with Playing With Sound, hopefully signalling a smash year to come in 2016.

Sunday Night Live is broadcast on Freeview Chanel 8 on 27 December 2015, 8pm.

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