Sierra Alpha @ the O2 – A Music Festival PDF Print E-mail
Gigs - 2009 Gigs
Written by Jordan White   

The Headlining Act…every band’s dream, right?!  Sadly, for up and coming pop/rock band ‘Sierra Alpha’, this was a much more low-key affair.  Performing at the Indigo2 (the smaller sister venue of the O2 Arena), Welsh act Sierra Alpha had a 30 minute slot at the Surface Unsigned Festival, invited back to play having finished 3rd at last year’s event.

With a record deal under their belt and an EP recently released, this band are headed for bigger things to come…and I expect the Indigo2 was not exactly how they imagined it to be.

For a 2500 person capacity, to see this stunning theatre-like venue with an audience of barely 50 people made it feel like this band were auditioning, not actually playing for fans.

The stage looked messy and I was distracted by goings-on backstage as the stage side curtains were not even fully closed.

The band, on the other hand, looked quite the part with waistcoats and skinny ties in abundance.

Lead singer/guitarist Martin Goddard managed to do the unthinkable, sporting a wolverine style hair do with skinny jeans finished off with a pair of sparkly red ‘Dorothy’ shoes – yet it sort of worked.  His clash in fashion statements matching his clash in personalities; his strong but husky vocals and erratic style of owning the stage were in deep contrast to his modest but witty intermittent banter.  Quite the enigma.

His two fellow guitarists, however, left me feeling awkward.  They commanded very little stage presence and to add insult, one of them was playing the fittest crimson bass guitar that, quite frankly, just wanted to be seduced!

Thumbs up to keyboard player Andrew Harries who, compared to the guitarists, was practically making love to his keyboard and savouring every moment.  Just a shame that, barring a couple of middle-section solos, his talents were not fully flaunted.

There is no doubt that these guys are very current, yet the radio-friendliness of there songs just didn’t seem to translate to the stage.  "Come Hither" was definitely the crowd pleaser - I spotted at least 5 teenagers attempting to mosh.  Their style of music, however, does only work with an energetic crowd and if Martin Goddard can put in that much enthusiasm for a group of teens, then I’d love to see him on a proper main stage!

Ending on a high note, they did a surprising rock rendition of "Billie Jean" which was the perfect way to end their set.  After all, every decent band needs a great cover to pull out the bag!


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