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Concert Review by Simon Oxley

The Borderline, London – Tues 29 July 2003

Tuesday night at the Borderline sees a fair turn out for what is Stag’s first headlining slot, after a month long residency here. Those present this evening mill around nonchalantly during the opening acts consuming drinks, chewing the fat. I have to concede that I also considered refreshments over music, having found no real inspiration from the early sound drudging through the P.A.

That is until Stag take the stage. Andy Burrows’ drums crack through the babble to introduce LOW WATT GLOW and after a few proceeding moments of calm, the gloriously addictive chorus tones breeze through the room. Peter John Hobbs sneers “its an easy life…” and easy is exactly how Stag make this seem as they confidently and commandingly straddle the stage.

UNTIL THE END offers glam rhythms intertwined with dirty ‘Slashesque’ guitars and packs even more of a punch than on record (think T-Rex playing WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE). Stag have everyone’s attention.

Maintaining the flow, the as yet unreleased duo of I WANT DOESN’T GET and ALL I NEVER WANTED follow, by which time Andy Burrows is beating his drums as if they’ve seriously offended his mother. Pete and Struan (Bass) are reeling around the stage attacking their instruments with a similar vengeance.

GOTTA GET AWAY is to be Stag’s second single release (out at the end of August on Karma Lion and worth picking up a copy for the b-sides alone) its a magnificent rendition and really underpins Stag’s pop sensibility with a constantly building verse and the kind of chorus that gets under your skin and won’t leave you alone. Stag roar through it in style then leave us with THERE MUST BE MORE, a more lush contemplative number evoking a sentiment I also felt as the guitar trailed out to an enthusiastic applause and the end of set. On reflection perhaps it was just right, Stag left everyone wanting more which the band will no doubt be happy to offer up soon. If you want some good rock ’n’ roll with no garage rock pretensions I recommend you pick up a ticket next time they’re in town.