A Updated

Stone Broken have built up a healthy reputation as live band and this has now gone hand-in-hand with an ever increasing set of high-quality songs.

Liverpool : Academy 2 - 9th February 2023

I saw Stone Broken in Liverpool for the first time in 2016. The night club venue was nearly empty and the atrocious sound did the band no favours at all. When I saw them again in Liverpool, it was at the Arts Club (recently closed) and they were sharing a bill with Those Damn Crows and Hollowstar. On this occasion the attendance was far healthier and I remember the sound being more beneficial. The Academy 2 venue in Liverpool is not a favourite of mine, due to its compact nature and limited viewing space (not to mention the extortionate refreshment prices), for those not lucky enough to find a position in front of the stage. Though by no means full, it was a decent turnout for a chilly Thursday night.

2022’s ‘Revelation’ release saw Stone Broken mature in terms of song-writing (‘All In Time’ and ‘Ain’t Always Easy’ were not shabby to be fair) and it also gave the band more songs to draw on for the live set. This new tour was advertised as the “Come Closer Tour”, so I was expecting something different. Although varying very little from the shows played in April 2022, to coincide with the ‘Revelation’ release, there were a couple of nice tweaks to the show. ‘Revelation’ kicked things off and was followed quickly by ‘Stay All Night’ and ‘Heartbeat Away’. Rich Moss (lead vocals/guitar), Robyn Haycock (drums), Chris Davis (lead guitar) and Kieron Conroy (bass) were bathed alternately in blue and red lighting, and the sound was crystal clear (thankfully).

During the early part of the set the band wasted no time with between song banter, concentrating on setting a good tempo with the high-impact material. ‘Save Tomorrow’ was played for the first time in a long time (due to the insistence of Kieron) and this went down really well with the enthusiastic crowd. ‘Revelation’ has been re-issued in an expanded format, featuring alternate takes (live and acoustic) of some of the songs, so when Chris and Rich both strapped on acoustic guitars, we got new versions of ‘Over The Line’ and ‘This Revival’. Both worked really well stripped back and maintained the energy levels, so it was also the perfect opportunity to continue with ‘Wait For You’ and let the audience stretch their vocal chords. ‘Stronger’, ‘Worth Fighting For’, ‘The Devil You Know’ and ‘Not Your Enemy’ brought the pitch-perfect set to a close and I think the only disappointment was that there were only fourteen songs during the seventy-minute performance.

Stone Broken are still regarded as one of the new breed of UK Modern/Alternative acts, but during the last six or seven years, over the course of three strong albums, they have built up a healthy reputation as live band and this has now gone hand-in-hand with an ever increasing set of high-quality songs.

Dave Bott

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