Stolen Earth’s official launch gig took place on September 17th, in the Post Office Social club in York, the same venue as the launch gig for Breathing Space’s album “Coming Up For Air”, which seems half a lifetime away now. As a showcase gig, it attracted a sizeable audience, with a lot of dedicated fans travelling far and wide. Nice to see Bryan and Livvy from Mostly Autumn in the crowd.
While the band had formed from the ashes of Breathing Space, almost all the material was new. Much of the set had been premièred at the Cambridge Rock Festival back in August, and I certainly remembered songs such as “Mirror Mirror” and the anthemic “Perfect Wave” from that performance. To fill out a headline-length show they included a couple of covers, an excellent take of The Eagles’ “Hotel California” which got some of the audience up an dancing, and Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” with Paul Teasdale on 12-string. They encored with Paul’s “Clear”, the only song recorded by Breathing Space to remain in the set.
Unfortunately the sound mix left a bit to be desired, with John Sykes’ keys too low in the mix and some of the Adam’s vocals a bit muffled. That combined with monitor problems meant the set didn’t quite have the power and energy of their triumphal Cambridge set. Not that it was a bad gig by any means, and I’ve heard far, far worse mixes at Breathing Space gigs over the years, but it does show that for their sort of atmospheric multi-layered rock the soundman is just as important as anyone on stage.
But despite those sound problems, Stolen Earth do seem have got off to a good start. They’ve got a powerful set of songs, and while there are strong echoes of Breathing Space in their sound, Heidi’s soulful voice and Adam’s very Floydy guitar gives them a distinctive musical identity of their own. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how their music develops, and hope they record an album sooner rather than later.