Stand Alone – The Underground, Bradford (30th November 2018)

What is the best way to end your year on a high? Probably to play an amazing hometown gig in front of all your fans, showcasing your awesome new tracks at your very own EP launch party. Conveniently enough, that is exactly what Stand Alone did on a drizzly Friday night in Bradford, brewing up a storm of pure, unadulterated rock down in The Underground.

Kicking off the night were Bradford’s very own teen rock clan Temporal Storm with a collection of metal and punk covers and original tracks. And while this set may not have been polished and perfect, it proved a valiant effort from these enthusiastic lads and lets face it, even the greats have to start somewhere. Following swiftly with their brand of energetic feel-good songs were Leeds based quartet Late Night Legacy. Frontman Ryan Kitto’s warm charisma was wonderful to watch, as they powered through their zany, head-bopping set. For those times you’re powering down the highway, on a roadtrip in the heat of summer with your friends, Late Night Legacy is definitely the sort of thing that should be blasting out on the radio.

And then it was down to the main event, to celebrate the release of ‘Falling, Faster’ as Stand Alone graced the stage. With lights of all shades of the rainbow dancing around the room, the trio wasted no time in keeping the crowd waiting, blazing straight into the depths of their past with bold and gritty track ‘Demons’. Almost immediately, we see the unending talents of all three members: from drummer Tom Durran’s explosive percussion to Luke Harrison slaying gnarly bass and finally, singer Gavin Stevenson bringing this story to life with his passionate vocals. There’s something to be admired about a musician who can belt out incredible vocals and shred insane riffs all in the space of three and a half minutes, and Stevenson certainly pulls this off with complete ease.

As they dive into ‘Falling, Faster’ track ‘Repose En Paix’, there is a blatant feeling of honesty in what these guys do. Within these words in particular, there are no gimmicks and absolutely no facade, it is purely the true thoughts and emotions from real people, which are startlingly relatable to more than a few. If there is a song that we could beg you to listen to, it would definitely be ‘Repose En Paix’.

Before giving the crowd another snippet of the ‘Falling, Faster’ story, Durrans delighted with a snippet of blasting yet surprisingly polished percussion. As if we could ever forget he was there, but it was fabulous to hear nonetheless. ‘Never Stand Alone’ allowed us to hear harmonies from the entirety of this trio, which complement each other beautifully. A huge amount of irony rides within their name, as Stand Alone truly hold the power of five or six musicians within their three souls, and this is truly inspiring to watch.

With more than a few of their tracks focusing on hard-hitting issues such as mental health, it’s wonderful to see these lads be truly open with such topics. It’s a universal unspoken truth that if you can’t feel safe with your insecurities anywhere else, you can in the music world, and definitely in the hands of Stand Alone.

Taking things down a notch, both Harrison and Stevenson took a seat onstage, with the vocalist taking a pew at the conveniently hidden keyboard. Tinkering against the keys, the trio played a stunning, stripped back rendition of new track ‘616’. This proved a truly special moment in the intimate venue for the crowd, and painted another stroke of talent onto the canvas that is Stand Alone. But the rock couldn’t stay away for too long, as the set roared back into life with ‘Nothing is Forgotten’ classics ‘Easier Said Than Done’, ‘False Beginnings’ and ‘This is Ours’, which ribbons of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ dancing through the latter, proving a delightful treat.

Drawing the night to a close was the final pieces of the puzzle, firm fan favourite ‘Save You’, packed to the brim with meaty guitar, grinding bass and an infectious toe-tapping quality that you couldn’t resist even if you tried. And before the curtain was called, ‘616’ was resurrected for a final outing in all its heavy rock glory. For one last time, we saw what Stand Alone do best, but it must be said, Stevenson’s vocals truly shone within this last track. You could feel every ounce of strength and passion ooze out of every word he sang and through every note he played, cementing the feeling of utter joy and pride that every person in that room shared. As the inevitable ending came to pass, each member sang their own unique lyrics and as the haunting lyrics faded into the night, The Underground was rendered silent with the power of their words, and quite rightly so.