The following review appears in the latest edition of London’s premier music ‘zine, London Tour Datestd-18.JPG

Retuning instruments between songs is a pet hate of mine but in the name of chordal harmony I am oft prepared to swallow this unreasonable prejudice. Tweaking your strings during a song however, is surely beyond the pale. Seriously, will an audience of 30 & 40-somethings, mostly industry execs, friends and family getting pissed on a freebie really notice the odd semitone out? Rough and ready is not The Storys style.

Fine attention to detail pretty much sums up this Welsh six-piece — check the gear for a start: mandolins, expensive sunglasses, over-coiffed hair and enough exotic & colourful guitars to get Slash drooling bedecked the Revue Bar’s small stage.

Needless to say you’re as likely to find a note out of place as you are a hair in singer Steve Balsamo’s barnet. There’s no doubt The Storys look and sound good — due in large part to Balsamo’s brilliant voice honed on the stages of london’s West End. The generous soul is not afraid to share the mike too, with various other band members getting in on the vocals throughout the night to good effect.

The Storys at the Soho Revue Bar, pic by Rachel LipsitzThe Storys peddle country-tinged rock — a moniker which can conjure up some awful images. However, with cheesy but swelling choruses that echo the upbeat, listenable tunes of San Francisco’s Train rather than the pounding tedium of Nickelback, the overall effect is an inoffensive, radio-friendly, summery haze. But like the punters surreptitiously sneaking out the Revue Bar of old, dear departed Mr. Raymond, you’re left with the empty feeling that style has triumphed over substance.


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